Presque Isle native, Mary Smith, has given a gift that, if matched, could generate up to $900,000, enough to guarantee continuation of programming.
Presque Isle, Maine – A little over three weeks ago the Maine Winter Sports Center announced a reorganization that would require it to secure a new source of funding for its programs beyond April 30, 2014. Since that time we have been working to secure that new funding and committed to ensuring the programs continue.
“The Libra Foundation has been a remarkable partner for 15 years,” said Andy Shepard, President and CEO of the MWSC. “The legacy of that support can be seen in the world-class venues that continue to bring the world to Maine and in the world-class programs that are impacting thousands of kids and their families across the state. The time has come for Libra to focus on other initiatives around the state and for the MWSC to define a new funding model for our programming. Mary’s remarkable gift is a major step in that direction.”
Mary Smith is a Presque Isle native, now living in California and has made other significant gifts within the Presque Isle area over the years, including the soon-to-be-completed construction of Northern Maine Community College’s Rodney Smith Wellness Center. The Center is named in honor of Smith’s late husband, a pioneer in the semiconductor industry.
“Mary has offered a $100,000 gift and an additional $400,000 matching grant,” said Shepard. “The steps are now in place to secure operations for next year. While this is a critical first step, it is just that-a first step. Mary is hoping this gift will encourage the entire state of Maine to embrace the importance of what we do and to understand that our future success will depend on a lot of helping hands. We will need to secure the matching gifts in the next 2 months to get the job done.”
“Over the past 15 years we have worked collaboratively with the Libra Foundation to create world-class programming and facilities,” said Brian Hamel, Chairman of the MWSC board. “We are continuing to do so as we craft a reorganization plan that will provide continued funding for the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle and the 10th Mountain Center in Fort Kent, while at the same time providing an opportunity for the legacy of the MWSC programs to continue under a new funding initiative led by MWSC President Andy Shepard. We are extremely grateful to have had an opportunity to work closely with the Libra Foundation over the years and thank them for putting us in a position to succeed in the future. Thank you also to Mary Smith for allowing us to take the next step in ensuring our programs will benefit Maine families for generations to come.”
The Maine Winter Sports Center’s Healthy Hometowns program is in over 140 communities across the state, helping get Maine families engaged in a healthy, active, outdoor lifestyle, year-round. The program comes with an award-winning curriculum, volunteer training, gear and technical support on trail development. The youth racing program is producing some of the top cross country skiers in the east and the Olympic Development program in biathlon and cross country skiing produced 6 Olympians and 1 Paralympian for Sochi.
If you would like to help, please contact Andy Shepard at 207-232-3304, or go to this link to donate:http://goo.gl/Hsk30k