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Petawawa's Mount Molson wraps up successful 57th season

By Pembroke Daily Observer

Submitted Photo 

The Petawawa Ski and Snowboard Club's season has wrapped up with the board thrilled to announce that its popular Snow School program operated at capacity this winter.

Submitted Photo The Petawawa Ski and Snowboard Club's season has wrapped up with the board thrilled to announce that its popular Snow School program operated at capacity this winter.

Thanks to the help of Mother Nature and a full slate of enthusiastic volunteers, the 57th season at Mount Molson Ski Hill on Laurentian Drive in Petawawa was a great success.

On March 30, the Petawawa Ski and Snowboard Club (PSSC) Board met to review and set plans for wrapping up the 2017 season. Increased engagement rates by both participants and volunteers, and a learner operations schedule were good for the club's bottom line.

The highly popular Snow School, which offered alpine skiing and snowboard instruction, operated at capacity. Over 100 students from age three through adult learned the basics and improved on their technique on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings.

The board recognized the efforts of Snow School directors Sharon and Jim McCafferty, Kinderski co-ordinator Judy Mulvihill, and snowboard director Connor Wein. This dedicated crew organized and facilitated all instructors and weekly programming.

Local alpine race alumnus Brandon Brown, with the help of veterans Keith and Thain Paterson, coached the Mount Molson Race team that competed against Mount Martin as part of the Upper Ottawa Valley Ski Zone.

Public skiing and snowboarding on Friday evenings, and Saturday and Sunday afternoons, were also well received thanks to great snow conditions on the hill, and the support of family volunteers who stepped up to groom the slopes, man the tow, run the canteen and assist with general operations.

"We didn't open until after the Christmas holidays, but we skied right through to the end of March," said the PSSC president, Jamie Trader. "The snow kept coming so the kids wanted to be on the hill. Our volunteers put in countless hours to help make it one of Mount Molson's best seasons ever."

The club also had the support of several community champions. The Town of Petawawa assisted with snow plowing and snow removal, and with the purchase of race medals. Local benefactors once again provided anonymous financial support, and Waito Homes helped groom the hill in preparation for a key race with the Mount Martin Ski Club from Deep River.

"If Terry Waito and his crew hadn't stepped up to help, we would have had to postpone that race," said PSSC treasurer Matt Schooley. "It's always good to know that so many community minded supporters have our back."

Susan Chalmers and Lindsey Buckingham, along with their team of volunteers, ensured that the canteen was always open, serving up hot chocolate, juice, chili and hot dogs. No one put in more hours than the canteen crew! "This winter we reached out to our club families personally to encourage increased volunteering," said PSSC director Betty Biesenthal. "And they didn't let us down. We saw lots of new faces helping out to ensure a fun, safe and successful season."

Of course, the most important members of the PSSC team are Fred and Edna Molson, and their son Brian, who each winter open up their back yard so that local families can enjoy skiing and snowboarding so close to home."

Director Craig Edmonds summed it up best when he said, "Thanks to a lifetime of generosity by Fred and Edna, the PSSC continues to be able to offer this outdoor recreation gem to generations of local families like mine. We are so thankful for the Molson's."

As the season winds down, the board is finalizing plans for its annual April 22 Euchre Party that Tina Noel has generously hosted at the hilltop chalet for more than a decade. It you wish to attend, connect with Tina via the club's Facebook page.

Then on April 23 the club will host its wrap up party at the Mount Molson Chalet. All PSSC families, past and present, are invited to come out to socialize and toast the best of the 2017 snow season.

For information www.mount-molson.ca



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