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New fundraiser for Black Mountain
RUMFORD -- A new fundraiser has been announced to assist Black Mountain of Maine in their funding crisis.
On Saturday, July 20, a fundraiser will be a five-acre garden and landscape tour from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Tom Carey's residence at 228 Isthmus Rd. in Rumford.
Carey said the event, which includes flowers, shrubs, vegetables, orchard, berries, vines and unique garden design, will offer guided tours on the hour or you can tour on your own.
Admission is $10; the gross will be matched with all funds donated to Black Mountain of Maine. Questions can be addressed to email@example.com, or 364-7826, 369-9434 or 357-5675.
At the selectmen's meeting Wednesday, Roger Arsenault, president of the Black Mountain Board of Directors, said the ski area is scheduled to close by month's end unless $150,000 is raised by that time.
The ski area is owned by the Maine Winter Sports Center, which is funded by grants from the Libra Foundation. However, the Libra Foundation decided to stop funding Black Mountain.
Since learning of this development, Arsenault said he has been in meetings with the foundation to decide how to structure the ski area in order to close out vendor accounts.
He noted there are a great number of fundraisers taking place which have currently raised more than $60,000 over just the first six days. Meanwhile, Andy Shephard, the chief executive of the sports center, is currently trying to find a nonprofit buyer for Black Mountain. Additionally, the sports center has provided funding for the ski area's employees for 30 days.
Arsenault said the fundraising efforts will show broad support for the ski area to a potential owner and hopefully attract a buyer. He said that if they cannot find a buyer, the money raised through donations will be returned to the donors.
Brian and Malinda Gagnon, who skied for high school teams at Black Mountain in the 1990s, launched the "Friends of Black Mountain of Maine Fund" at www.crowdrise.com/bmom. "Crowdrise" is an online fundraising platform.
Brian, CEO of Boston-based BMG Partners, said his business "adopted" the ski area as its featured charity. By Monday morning, the Crowdrise site had collected $7,835 of the fund's goal of $55,000 in donations.
Shepard created another fundraising effort, the Black Mountain of Maine Fund at www.gofundme.com/3eyo8c using the Internet fundraising platform "gofundme.com."
"We budgeted to have an $85,000 loss, so if we raised $150,000, we could run the business as a nonprofit ourselves. But, if the weather goes south and we have a $200,000 loss, we're done," said Arsenault.
"Closing is not an option. We've got to do something to save this mountain for this community," he added.
Arsenault announced that if anyone has questions about the ski area, they may call him at 357-3719.