All 187 steps to the take off at the Harris Hill Ski Jump-and 10 more at the very top, where jumpers begin their courageous flight-now have bright, yellow numbers painted on them so the people who have "purchased" a step will know which one is theirs.
This recently completed project is the final touch to acknowledging the generosity of the many people who have bought a step for $1,000 as part of the very successful "Step Up and Soar" fundraising campaign to raise money to rebuild Brattleboro's beloved ski jump. "The numbers on the steps correspond to the donors' names listed in the new kiosk which stands prominently at the bottom of the hill," explained Liz Richards, co-chair of the fundraising campaign. "
Those of us who are less ambitious can see their name and the number of their step at the bottom of the hill. The more ambitious can find their name at the bottom then climb the stairs to see just where their step is."
The campaign raised $600,000 to re-build the jump, which was completed in time to host a competition in February 2009. Spectacular weather and publicity boasting the newest, 90-meter, Olympic sized ski jump in the East, brought over 6,000 spectators and jumpers from across the U.S. as well as Austria and Slovenia to the competition.
"We still have 82 of the 187 steps for sale, so people in the community, businesses and groups that want to be part of this amazing story still can," explained Pat Howell, fundraising co-chair along with Richards. "Liz and I made a pact while we were painting the numbers on the steps in August, dodging hornets and the hot sun. We promised each other we'd continue to fundraise until all the steps were sold," Howell added.
Brattleboro can boast the only 90-meter jump in New England. "We have a facility with so much new potential for hosting international ski jumping events as well as multi-purpose uses to consider," said Richards. "With more donors, we could work on the wish list of projects to make the hill more efficient to run during competitions and more cost-effective manage and maintain."
Learn more about the Harris Hill Ski Jump at harrishillskijump.org.