WATERVILLE — Henrietta Schmalzel and her family came to the Central Maine Ski-Skate Swap Saturday looking for some cross-country skis for her son, Joshua.

They left with three pairs of skis — for Schmalzel, her husband and her son; two pairs of ski poles; a pair of boots; and having signed Joshua up for an after-school cross-country ski group at the Quarry Road Trails.

“I’m from Europe, so I’ve done downhill skiing in the Alps,” said Schmalzel, who is originally from Hungary and moved to Waterville about a year ago with her family. “I always wanted to do cross-country but in Europe most people do downhill. So we were very happy when we moved here and went to the Quarry Road trails and saw it was a big cross-country facility.”

Schmalzel, 46, said she is always checking the center’s website, which is how she learned about Saturday’s Ski-Skate Swap at the George J. Mitchell School.

The event, now in its second year, sells mostly used and some new winter sports equipment donated from local residents and businesses and is organized by the Central Maine Ski Club, Central Maine Youth Hockey Association and the Waterville Elementary School PTO.

Donors collect 80 percent of the proceeds from what’s sold while the remaining 20 percent is donated and split up among the three organizations, though fundraising is not the only purpose behind the event.

“Primarily we’re doing this to get more equipment out into the community,” said Scott Beale, who is on the committee of the Central Maine Ski Club and serves as president and treasurer of the Waterville Elementary School PTO. “Everyone has stuff floating around in their basement. This is an opportunity for them to get it out of their basement, into circulation and get more people using Quarry Road.”

Last year’s swap sold $2,800 worth of equipment and organizers said they’re hoping to grow the event in coming years.

“It’s new, so I think it’s just catching on in terms of people bringing out the stuff they want to get rid of,” said Caroline Mathes, who is also a member of the Central Maine Ski Club and serves as youth director for the after-school cross-country program at Quarry Road. “As it gets more popular, people will know it’s the end of October, so get your ski stuff in.”

Caroline Mathes stands next to a ski rack explaining that a lot of inventory isn’t outdated and still serviceable at the Central Maine Ski-Skate Swap on Saturday at the George G. Mitchell School in Waterville. Photo by Nikolas Hample

The main purpose, Mathes said, is to get inexpensive ski equipment into the hands of local people and youth. At Saturday’s event, skis, both cross-country and alpine, were selling for $10 to $150 while boots were priced at $5 to $100. Ice skates and hockey equipment also filled tables inside the gymnasium of the school.

“It was awesome,” Schmalzel said. “We came here with the idea we’ll equip Joshua and we did. And we also found some things for us.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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