HUNTSVILLE - An organization that was built on cold, hard snow is now winding up its affairs by doling out cold, hard cash.
The Huntsville Ski Club presented the Arrowhead Nordic Ski Club with $40,000 during a ceremony last week at the River Mill Park. taking part in the presentation were (left to right) Bob Hutcheson and Bud Giaschi of the Huntsville Ski Club, Ken Parsons and Mike Derbyshire of the Arrowhead Nordic Ski Club.
The Huntsville Ski Club handed out $90,000 to two organizations last week. It presented Hospice Huntsville with $50,000 to help with its Algonquin Grace facility and $40,000 to the Arrowhead Nordic Ski Club.
Ken Parsons of the Arrowhead club said the group has created a committee to decide what to do with the money.
“There are some stipulations that the Huntsville Ski Club has asked us to abide by … it has to be a permanent memorial to their club, something physical with some sort of plaque on it dedicated to the club. We haven’t figured it out yet what we are going to do,” he said. “We have some plans but we haven’t come to a final decision.”
The Huntsville Ski Club is winding up its business, after being a quiet entity in the town for the past few decades.
The club opened in 1933 and during its peak in the late 1940s, the club offered five runs to its membership, which had more than 150 people at one time. The club had its operations located three miles south of town on a 100-acre parcel, which is now privately owned, according to club member Bob Hutcheson.
Hutcheson’s grandfather, Robert James Hutcheson, was the first honourary president of the club.
But interest dwindled in the club in the mid-1960 when the Hidden Valley Ski Club opened its doors and offered a chair lift system to its clientele, as opposed to the T-bar method used by the Huntsville Ski Club.
The money that the club has given over the years, according to Hutcheson, comes from the initial investment of $15,000, which it accumulated when the club was sold back in the mid-1960s to a group from Bracebridge.
“We sold it after Hidden Valley got up and going,” he said. “People decided then that they didn’t want to ski at a ski hill that didn’t have a chair lift. Then we were able to manage the (sale) money well at times and it climbed.”
Now the club is focused on disbursing its assets, mainly the money it has earned over the year through its investments with the original sale money.
“We have given about $200,000 to various athletes and charities over the years,” said Hutcheson.
“We have a little bit left,” added club member Bud Giaschi.
“We have a dribble left,” joked Hutcheson, saying that there were a few thousand dollars left and that would be disbursed within the next couple of weeks.