The Maine Winter Sports Center’s fundraising campaign added a $5,000 donation from the state’s largest ski club, an amount that will be matched by a California woman, Mary Smith, who grew up in Aroostook County.
The Bangor-based Penobscot Valley Ski Club, whose programs include the leasing of more than 400 pairs of cross-country skis as well as mountain bikes, canoes, kayaks and paddle boards from MWSC, announced the pledge Thursday.
The center is in the process of trying to replace a loss of about $1.4 million in funding.
Although it has continued to produce Olympic athletes, it faces an uncertain future.
In early February, the Libra Foundation, which has provided the primary financial support for the center and its world-class facilities in Fort Kent and Presque Isle, will end funding after April 30. The foundation, which provided nearly $1.4 million of the center’s $1.7 million in revenue last year, will move on and look to other projects, said Libra’s president and CEO.
Smith, originally from Presque Isle, has provided significant help recently. She gave the center a $100,000 gift last month and offered an additional $400,000 matching grant.
Now, she’s matching the ski club’s donation.
Daniel Perkins, the ski club’s vice president, challenged other ski clubs to consider a donation to MWSC in Caribou, whose Libra Foundation funding runs out April 30.
“Considering the generous match-challenge that MWSC has recently received, every dollar counts twice,” Perkins said. “We hope each club will think about the ways that MWSC has supported skiing around the state, and how much they want that work to continue.”
Anyone wishing to donate can find a link at Mainewsc.org.
Max Cobb, president and CEO of U.S. Biathlon, said demands of the recent Olympics have prevented him from sitting down to plan with his MWSC counterpart, Andy Shepard, “but definitely our interests are aligned and we’re enthusiastic about continuing to be a good partner for Maine Winter Sports.”
Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at: