Mary Anne Levins of Rutland, Vermont has been awarded the 2010 L.L. Bean Outdoor Hero award for her phenomenal dedication and devotion to youth Nordic skiing in New England. Created in 2007, the award was established by L.L.Bean to recognize individuals working towards the preservation and promotion of outdoor recreation.
Each year, a committee selects six recipients from a pool of submissions. “Out of this year’s many nominations, one name rose to the top of the list,” said Steve Fuller, L.L.Bean’s chief marketing officer, speaking of Levins’ candidacy. “We’re looking for people who inspire us with their commitment to the outdoors”–a commitment embodied by Levins’ years of service to the New England Nordic community.
In addition to the honor of the award, Levins was presented with a tote, a $500 gift certificate to L.L.Bean and a $5,000 check to the New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA).
Levins has been the Chair of the New England Bill Koch League Committee since 2004, initiated and still directs the Mountain Top Bill Koch League Club in Rutland, Vermont, and organizes the Mountain Top/Tippman Paintball Biathlon, which is the largest paintball biathlon in the country. Levins’ understanding that fun and games are at the root of any successful ski program has brought vigor and passionate involvement to all of the programs in which she is involved. Thanks to Levins, the Mountain Top Bill Koch League holds numerous exciting events like backcountry ski tours and a New Year’s bonfire each winter, keeping youth and families enthused about and in love with the sport.
One of the fundamental ideas promoted by L.L.Bean is that outdoor recreation begins simply with participation and becomes a cornerstone to a healthy lifestyle. Levins’ work with the Bill Koch League and with NENSA have, above all, enabled and encouraged countless children to enter into the world of Nordic skiing and to enjoy spending time outdoors. As one grateful parent noted in Levins’ nomination, “Mary Anne reminds us that success is not based on the finish place, but on the experiences and joy that are had.”
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Maddy is on the Nordic ski team at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where her majors are psychology, political science, skiing, and being an awesome JA.