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More than 400 highly-trained volunteer instructors make Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports’ mission of empowering individuals with disabilities possible. Out of a dedicated pool of volunteers, Vermont Adaptive program coordinators recognized this year’s four Volunteers of the Year at off-snow trainings this fall. Liz Mead, of North Chittenden, Andrew Kimpton, of Winchester, Mass., and Greg and Carole Lothrop of Milton, were named 2019 Volunteers of the Year, a tribute in honor of Jim Hutchinson, a Vermont Adaptive volunteer who left a legacy of empowerment to people of all abilities and commitment towards supporting the organization.
“Each year, there are a few individuals that shine,” said Tom Alcorn, senior program coordinator at Vermont Adaptive. “These folks are involved year-round with Vermont Adaptive in exemplary ways. They each represent the organization as a whole. We’ve had years where a dozen individuals were recognized and years where one single person stood out the most. Jim Hutchinson was the most dedicated volunteer Vermont Adaptive or any organization could hope for. I know he would be so proud of our accomplishments in what we have built over the past years.”
Mead was nominated for her love and commitment to the Vermont Adaptive family and the success of all of her students. “She brings her vast experience with her children on the slopes and outdoors to our programs every day and is a supportive and caring mentor to everyone she works with,” said Alcorn. “Her support at our special events year-round has been invaluable and you would be hard pressed to find her not helping her fellow volunteers and staff members. The commitment she gives to our Special Olympics athletes and school groups has made for some amazing successes and plenty of fun times on the bike path, water and snow.”
The power couple of Greg and Carole Lothrop have been volunteering with Vermont Adaptive for a combined 16 years. As a Veteran and Veteran spouse, they have made a lasting impact the Veterans Ventures program. They also coach on Sunday’s with the Vermont Adaptive Race Team at Bolton Valley. “If you are ever in need of some great and wonderful crockpot food and cookies you can find this couple at Bolton Valley with the Veteran Crew every Thursday,” said Alcorn.
Kimpton’s patience, consistency and determination set the bar high as he volunteers his time throughout the year with a commute from Boston to the Mad River Valley to teach at Sugarbush Resort. “He has taken the initiative to bring his skiing to greater levels and increase his knowledge for equipment-based lessons,” said Alcorn. “He is very willing and highly able to lead lessons in almost all areas of our winter programming. His willingness and flexibility to help with any lesson contributes to his ability to lead lessons with ease while making the participant feel comfortable, safe and able to enjoy the time on the slopes.”
To volunteer at Vermont Adaptive, candidates must participate in off-snow and on-snow training each year and commit to a number of days on and off snow. To learn more, visit www.vermontadaptive.org/get-involved