Thank you for making the Mad River Valley Memory Tree a success!

There are two things we do on a regular basis here at the Chamber: 1. Solve Problems. 2. Make Connections.

This past holiday season, we were approached by community members who’ve been keeping the MRV Memory Tree lit for many, many years.  They were looking for someone new to take over the responsibility, which had become too large a task.  At the same time, Sugarbush came to us and said ‘it’s time for some new ideas to ‘light up the Valley’ and keep the engage the community around the annual Sugarbush Festival of Lights’.  Our light went on.  Let’s solve these two problems by connecting them.

The Mad River Valley Memory Tree became the star during the 2018 Sugarbush Festival of Lights.  Community members donated $1807 in light dedications to loved ones. The Winthrop H. Smith Jr Foundation more than doubled their match, and donated an additional $4000.  In total, the Mad River Valley raised $5807 for the 2018 Sugarbush Festival of Lights non-profit of choice: Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports.  (Which, is currently working on their own big investment here in the MRV.)  To make this story even sweeter, VT Adaptive has an anonymous donor who is matching all donations — so our $5807 turned into an $11,614 impact for Vermont Adaptive.

But, the success of the Mad River Valley Memory Tree is even larger than the money.

We came together to share and honor each other’s loved ones, and remember that these people, and pets, will always be a significant part of who we are — as individuals, and as a community.  And, at 4pm on December 20th, we gathered at the Memory Tree for a sweet tree lighting ceremony, which included singing by members of the Mad River Chorale, and a reading of all the names of those loved ones.  And, while some of the tree’s bows need to be trimmed, and the lights on the tree and its accompanying star are not perfectly strung — it is perfectly beautiful.

Thank you, MRV Community, and Win Smith and Sugarbush, for supporting the Mad River Valley Memory Tree!