The Mountain Times

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KMS sets record for fundraising, misses goal but optimistic

KILLINGTON - In just five weeks leading up to August 31, KMS raised $170,000 setting a new record for the school. "This is an unprecedented tally for KMS fundraising," said Tao Smith, head of school, in a letter to the KMS board. "Thank you for sharing the vision!" Smith was in high spirits, despite the fact that they missed the goal of raising $250K in matching funds by an anonymous donor if raised by the end of August.

"The good news is that our matching donor is as excited about the project as we are, and has already sent in his $170,000 to match what we raised. This means our total intake for the month of August was $340,000," Smith said of the generosity extended to the school for this effort. Adding "We have several major donors still considering gifts plus the golf tournament on September 20, so I expect that number to rise above $400,000 by the end of September."

Due to time and money constraints, KMS has decided to alter the trail plan slightly. The mogul venue will now be merged with Highline to be one, larger trail, and the construction will be focused on the lower half of Highline, with plans to finish the upper segment in the spring.

"Because of timing and unanticipated environmental hurdles, clearing a new mogul trail where we had originally sited it would have cost an additional $400,000 and required relocating around a huge wet spot that the state wanted left undisturbed," Smith explained.

"Honestly, I think that the new plan is better for several reasons," wrote Smith to the board. "1) We will be able to combine snowmaking and lighting into one venue, which will create a lot of efficiencies. 2) The competition venue is now visible from the base lodge. 3) We will be able to combine more of our different "sports" into one training venue, offering better options for all."
The combined training area at Highline is expected to provide enough space to include the bag jump (KMS purchased two bags this summer), as well as the snowboarding training venues.

"Next spring we will pick up where we left off by finishing the upper part of Highline, and completing the bag jump ramps," said Smith. "We will continue to aggressively fundraise over the winter adding to our reserves, in hopes that we will be able to move toward lights and a surface lift as soon as possible."

Craig Mosher started cutting trees on Highline on Saturday, Aug. 31 and has cleared the looker's-left side of the trail up to about the old ski bum start. His plan at this point is to continue the cut up to about Racer's Edge, and then start moving earth and blasting the knoll at the top of Highline if time allows.