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New England Women's Ski Day 2007

Like the Alaskans' original event, this event chooses a non-profit womens organization to benefit, gathers as many women as it can for a day of skiing, and culminates with a short, fun relay event. The highlight of the New England event is learn-to-ski clinics with women instructors: the emphasis being on relaxed, fun learning with other women. Hosmer and event co-director Anne Donaghy of Meriden, N.H., hope that by spreading the word about this annual event, they help bring more women together for this wonderful sport and lifestyle. Instructor Mary Heller Osgood of Putney, Vt., tells a story from this years event that captures the spirit of the day: "As I was walking through the Jackson Touring Center parking lot at 8:45 on Sunday morning, I met a woman with a pack on her back and her arms full of skis and poles. When I asked if she was coming to Women's Day, she answered, 'I saw the signs, but I wasn't sure what it was about. Is it a race?' I described the day, and she wondered if a trail pass came with entry fee. After hearing that she could go to clinics, eat lunch, and ski on the trails, all for $30, she exclaimed, 'I'm signing up! I left my husband and kids at home, and this is MY weekend!' Later I saw her at lunch chatting happily with a group of women. She said, 'Are you the one I saw in the parking lot who told me to come? Thank you so much!'" Heller was joined as an instructor by an impressive list of New England women, many of whom can be best described as leaders, pioneers, and legends of womens skiing in the United States. They included Hosmer, Martha Rockwell, Sue Long Wemyss, Nina Kemppel, Leslie Krichko, Jen Caldwell, Amy Patenaude, Mary Lou Lowrie, Candy Armstrong, Donna Smyth, Jane Banks, Kathy Maddock, Mary Heller Osgood, Nancy Davis, Natalie Cartwright, Alex Jospe, Tracey Cote, Ruth Hall, Sally Swenson, Maryanne Lucy, and members of the Colby College women's team, Jenny Brentrup, Rose Long and Cathaleene Maynard. The event was lucky to have another pioneer of womens athletics, Joan Benoit Samuelson, join in for Womens Day once again. Samuelson participated in the days events, helped hand out awards, and spoke briefly at lunch, encouraging participants to take advantage of the opportunities provided by cross-country skiing. Record numbers signed up for this years relay event. Co-director Hosmer was thrilled to see the crowd at the starting line and sees it as a testament to the good work of the instructors who gave them the confidence and courage to participate in this fun end of the day event. When I asked on the starting line for how many was this their first race ever, the majority of hands went up. The Jackson Ski Touring Foundation and Jackson Village proved to be an ideal host for this event. From the amazingly helpful staff and well-groomed trails at the Touring Center to the tasty lunch and hospitality provided by the Wentworth Inn, participants were treated to the best of this picturesque village and its intertwined cross-country ski trail system. Every year, Womens Day also serves as a fundraiser for a local charity aimed at providing services to women. This year raised money for Starting Point, a non-profit organization in Carroll County, N.H., that began in 1981 as a grassroots response to a pressing community need for services to domestic violence victims. Starting Point strives to affect social change in our communities through community and in-school educational programs, direct services to victims of domestic and sexual violence, and perpetrator accountability/education.

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