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Paddling Penguins, Hoses and Pancake-Flipping Patrollers – Generosity Abounds

penquin-paddle-coverBy Eva Potter

While Ellicottville is known for its amazing ski resorts, small-town charm, eclectic shopping, expert ski shops, dining variety and pulsating nightlife, this little town is also quietly known for its deep-rooted sense of community, philanthropic generosity and willingness to help anyone who needs it. Year-round fundraising events take place on the slopes and around town.

Coming up this weekend on Saturday, Feb. 22, the annual Penguin Paddle is the only fundraiser for Holiday Valley’s Bill Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program (LASP). The program offers lessons to people with virtually all physical and cognitive disabilities. (More about LASP on page 7.) The day is filled with penguin-style belly sledding down the bottom of Yodeler sporting a black plastic garbage bag, a delicious cookout, fabulous auction items, music and guaranteed laughs. (See page 7 for complete schedule.)

Skiers and non-skiers alike are invited to join the Ken Brown 700 Club Fundraising Party held outside at noon near Yodeler Lodge at Holiday Valley on Saturday, March 1. This memorial club is dedicated to helping others as Brown so often did. Started by Brown, who one year was looking for 10 skiers who turned 70 that year to get together and have a good time, this annual fundraiser provides charitable support to local groups.

Those age 70 or over can join for $50, and those under can become associate members for $25. A $7 donation gets you full access to the large buffet prepared by The Depot restaurant (owned by Brown’s son and daughter-in-law). The afternoon includes a 50-50 drawing and a live auction with great merchandise.

On Thursday, March 6, head to HoliMont for Ski Day for United Way. One price gets participants a lift ticket for a great day of fantastic skiing

and boarding, event T-shirt, breakfast, lunch and more. The event is open to the public. Proceeds benefit the United Way of Cattaraugus County. To register, visit www.uwcattco.org.

For a night of song and dance, don’t miss McCarthy’s Celtic Thunder on the evening of Friday, March 7. The fun begins at 7 p.m. in the Rotary Auditorium in the Ellicottville Town Center. Tickets for this adult fundraiser to help children are $40 and include a commemorative shamrock, food, wine and beer. Call (716) 699-8758 for reservations.

Winter Carnival celebrations take over Holiday Valley on March 8–9, with a Mardi Gras atmosphere, complete with wacky costumes, colorful beads, the Dummy Downhill, a costume parade and lots of family-style fun.

If you wake up hungry on Sunday, March 9, then head to Holiday Valley at 9 a.m. for the 19th annual Ski Patrol Pancake Breakfast at the Warming Hut located at the top of Champagne. For a donation, your family can have a heart-warming breakfast to benefit the Ski Patrol, a self-sufficient entity that purchases all its own medical supplies and equipment to provide first-aid on the slopes.

The Holiday Valley Ski Patrol is holding a Nonperishable Food Drive March 8–9, at Tops market, Holiday Valley and various locations around the village. Collected food will stock the Ellicottville Food Pantry.

In addition, the ski patrol is involved in the Michael Israel “Art of Rescue” fundraising event on Aug. 2 at Ellicottville Brewing Company to benefit the National Ski Patrol and local patrols. Sponsorships are sought and are tax deductible. Call (716) 699-2345 and ask for the Ski Patrol.

On March 16, the Holiday Valley snowmakers invite other snowmakers from nearby ski areas to compete in the annual Guns & Hoses Snowmaker’s Race down Cindy’s. Teams make their way down the course carrying a snowmaking hose that they must hook up to a snowgun at the bottom of the course during this entertaining event, which includes a cookout and awards. Proceeds benefit Mercy Flight.

So what are you waiting for? Head to Ellicottville and help others while having some exciting winter adventures!

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