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Cooperation Nation

Thursday, September 1, 2011

By now, you have heard about or seen the destruction wrought by Irene in the Mad River Valley and beyond.

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Moretown Village at 4pm on Sunday.

While the damage is extensive and heartrending, the community has come together and is quickly recovering. Volumes could be written about the selfless volunteering and support that so many people have contributed.

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Clean up at St. Patrick's Church.

In addition to local residents, many visitors and guests have lent hands and donated funds too.

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Route 100B.

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Same spot. Hard to believe, but this is supposed to reopen soon.

A lot of folks have asked how to help, and more than a few have wondered if Vermont is still open for business. One potential visitor asked an innkeeper, "Is foliage cancelled?"

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The last breath of summer. The leaves are already changing fast.

Foliage is not cancelled. Even in the hardest hit areas, the majority of resorts, inns, lodges and restaurants are still welcoming guests. It may sound odd, but the best way to help is to visit the area, enjoy Vermont's most spectacular season and have some fun.

If this feels like too much guilty pleasure, volunteering on vacation can be a great way to add meaning to your stay. The after work beverages and food always taste better too.

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Liam helped out at Flatbread and got a little downhill reward. Thanks buddy!

If you can't visit now, consider donating to the Mad River Valley Community Fund.

Fortunately, Sugarbush weathered the storm quite well, as did our neighbors at Mad River Glen. The Sugarbush Golf Club is open and all 18 holes should be accessible by late today or tomorrow. Swing easy, hit hard.

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Laura Arnesen says, "The field is dry, the roads in and out of Waitsfield have been fixed and 115 artists from all over Vermont and beyond will be here this Saturday and Sunday. We are counting on you to come out and support these hard working artists who have weathered the storm and rely on craft fairs for their living. As usual we'll have great food, live jazz, door prizes and free kids activities!"

The Mad River Valley Craft Fair is going on as scheduled and so is the Green Mountain Stage Race, with a few course changes.

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The Green Mountain Showdown Photo Finals last weekend was awesome. Many thanks to Ryan Thibault of MTBVT and Patrick Kell of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association. Congratulations to Bear Cieri, the winning photographer, who shot a bunch in the Mad River Valley, which is why he won. ;)

Unfortunately, the Mad River Path is gone in many places and will take extensive work to replace it. However, the Long Trail and the Mad River Riders networks are still in good shape for the most part. Despite inundation by the Mad River, American Flatbread is supposed to reopen for dinner tomorrow, with barely a missed day of service.

The reason that so many washed out roads, businesses, farms and homes are quickly being restored is the incredible spirit of this community. Regardless of whether you live here full-time, visit regularly or just have a connection through prior visits, if you've helped, you are part of it.

It is an honor and an inspiration to see the outpouring of caring and help.

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The hurricane kicked off a bumper crop of mushrooms, just in time for Fungi Fest!

If you do plan to come, the best ways into the Valley at this point are RT 17 and RT 100 South from Waterbury.

We hope to see you soon!

John Atkinson
Director of Strategic Programs and Partnerships
802-583-6534 | jatkinson@sugarbush.com

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John Atkinson

About John Atkinson

Follow our own 'John of all Trades' as he explores and documents adventures in and around Sugarbush Resort and the Mad River Valley.

802-583-6534
jatkinson@sugarbush.com   

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