READFIELD — Nathan Delmar appeared to have the best combined time Saturday morning at the End Hunger in Maine Slalom, but like most other skiers at the new event, he cared little about how long it took him to ski through the gates on two timed runs on freshly made snow at Kents Hill’s ski slope.

The Maranacook Community High School junior, of Manchester, was more interested in the roughly 4,000 pounds of food the fundraising race he organized will pay for. It was part of a larger effort at his high school that, so far this year, has raised enough money to buy about 90,000 pounds of food for the Good Shepherd Food Bank in Auburn, which distributes food to agencies helping those in need statewide.

Delmar said the school effort to help the food bank, which he also helped organize, prompted him to think about what he could bring to the table to help more. A passionate ski racer, he decided to organize the ski race fundraiser, which drew nearly 50 high school racers from multiple Maine schools.

“Ski racing is a big family anyway, but when it comes time to race,” racers are concerned with getting the best time they can, Delmar said between his runs Saturday morning atop the Joanne and Dick O’Connor Alpine Center in Readfield. “With this being for charity, everyone is just here to have fun, for a great cause.”

The event originally was scheduled for a couple of weeks ago but was rescheduled, then nearly couldn’t be held because of a lack of snow after last week’s warm weather and heavy rain.

Delmar and Anna Iredale, director of communications for Kents Hill School, said Steve Bell, director of snow sports and the ski coach at Kents Hill, worked night and day to make new snow with the hill’s snowmaking equipment, and groom it, so the race could go on.

Delmar trains regularly at the Kents Hill slope and knows Bell well, so he approached him about Kents Hill hosting the event. Bell agreed and went to work on the slopes.

Despite the not-very-winterlike weather leading up to the event, the course appeared to be in good shape Saturday, with plenty of snow. Bright sunshine lit up the slopes, which overlook Torsey Pond, where a small group could be seen ice fishing far below the top of the ski slopes.

Skiers included racers from Maranacook, Winthrop, Kents Hill, Mount Blue, Oxford Hills, Falmouth and Mountain Valley. Their high school ski racing seasons already had ended, so they weren’t racing for points.

The 46 entrants in the race paid $15 each to enter. Those proceeds, plus money made from selling homemade food such as whoopie pies and muffins at the event, all will go to help Good Shepherd supply food to smaller food banks and charitable organizations across Maine.

“It shows the love of ski racing they all have, and how they can come together, as a skiing family, to raise funds to help those who don’t have as much as they have,” Ron Gifford, Maranacook ski coach, said of skiers turning out for the event.

Delmar’s parents, Janet and Mark, said they were proud but not surprised that their son was able to play such a role in organizing the event, one day after a School Spirit Challenge rally at Maranacook held as part of a WGME television station contest to see which schools can garner the most food for the food bank.

“He’s really a go-getter. He puts his best into everything he does,” Mark Delmar said of Nathan.

Katelyn McGrail, a Kents Hill sophomore from Wayne, said the race was a good way to raise funds for a good cause. She missed a gate on her first run, leaving her with a “did not finish” instead of a time. She didn’t care.

“It’s a great opportunity to do what you love and help people at the same time. It’s a great cause,” she said.

Delmar hopes to have the race again next year, possibly having it added as an official race on the high school schedule, and drawing upward of 100 skiers to compete and help raise money.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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