Free Clinic to host "Ski for the BFC" at Prospect Mtn.


WOODFORD >> If the Super Bowl isn't your thing, head up to Prospect Mountain on Sunday for "Ski for the BFC," a fundraiser for the Bennington Free Clinic.

Despite the lack of snow, folks will flock to the mountain from 1 to 5 p.m. for some chili, hot chocolate, raffles and frisbee games, Executive Director Sue Andrews said. This is the seventh year for the fundraiser and happens to be the BFC's biggest event of the year. Last year the organization raised about $16,000.

"The day at Prospect is always a helpful day in terms of people making a commitment," Andrews said. "It will be a little bit of a challenge without the snow, but we're very thankful for the help we receive."

Prospect Mountain is a cross-country ski center in Woodford.

The BFC is a program that is part of Bennington Interfaith Community Services (GBICS) started in 2009. It's a medical clinic for people over the age of 18 who do not have health insurance. The clinic aids in acute problems like sprains and sore throats as well as ongoing needs such as diabetes and high blood pressure. It staffs 20 doctors and nurses, according to Andrews.

Tom and Nancy-Jean Steffen are the Honorary co-chairpersons for this year's event. The Steffen's live on Prospect Mountain and are long-time supporters of the BFC, Andrews said.

"Nancy and I are honored to be co-chairs. I look forward to this every year because I participated in it for a long time," Tom Steffen said. "It's [BFC] obviously an incredibly important need in the community for people who cant get medical or dental care any other way and anything we skiers can do is a real plus."

The Mount Anthony Union High School Nordic ski team is also a major supporter of "Ski for the BFC." The coach, Bruce Smith, is very passionate about this event and sends his team out into the community every year to raise money for BFC.

"There's no middle man. We raise money and every dollar we raise goes to our service," Smith said. "It's our major community service. It's the annual one that the team really gets behind and we've done it for a number of years."

Smith said that the team's service is a way of reciprocating the generosity they get from the community in supporting their not-so-affordable sport. He explained that most high school sports require sneakers but asking parents to chip in a couple hundred of dollars for ski gear is hard.

"We gear up, set a date, and ask team members to go out and ask people to pledge to this cause and then celebrate to ski as a team," Smith said.

The ski team typically generates five to six thousand dollars for BFC each year.

—Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-447-7567, ext. 118.


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