Local News

Vermont Adaptive announces 2014 Volunteer of the Year award winners

KILLINGTON—Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports recently announced that Laura Schutz of Burlington and Frank Kelley of Chester are the 2014 recipients of the organization’s annual Jim Hutchinson Volunteer of the Year Award.

“These two volunteers exemplify what Jim Hutchinson stood for when it comes to being a volunteer,” said Executive Director Erin Fernandez. “They tirelessly offered their time and talent to the organization throughout the year and truly stood apart with their willingness to learn and execute many aspects of our programs and fundraisers. They go above and beyond what a volunteer is asked to do and for that we are grateful.”

The Jim Hutchinson Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award honors the exemplary efforts of outstanding individuals. Jim Hutchinson embodied the meaning of volunteer with his tireless dedication, strong leadership and big heart. Not only was Hutchinson a stalwart volunteer, he served as the organization’s president. Each year individuals are nominated for the annual volunteer of the year award in his honor and names are added to a memorial plaque hanging at each program location throughout the state.

Schutz has been involved with Vermont Adaptive as a volunteer since 2006. He volunteers at the organization’s program location, Sugarbush Resort, in the winter, and in Chittenden County during the warmer months. She is PSIA-Level 1 adaptive certified. She volunteered more than 100 hours with Vermont Adaptive in 2014.

“Many people see her positivity, passion and dedication shine through when she teaches lessons, but Laura goes above and beyond to help Vermont Adaptive grow behind the scenes,” said Heather Timins, program coordinator for Vermont Adaptive. “She helps at year-round fundraisers, writes grants through her work, recruits new volunteers, and helps mentor new volunteers as well.” In 2014 Schutz  wrote and submitted a grant application to IBM’s community grants program, and as a result, Vermont Adaptive was awarded a $1,000 grant.

Kelley’s entire family has been participating and volunteering with Vermont Adaptive for at least 10 years. His enthusiasm for his family, his teaching career and Vermont Adaptive is tireless. Kelley has mentored countless volunteers in numerous locations on a year-round basis.

“His positive, friendly outgoing nature is only matched by his willingness to help out any way possible,” said Tom Alcorn, senior program coordinator at Vermont Adaptive. “You’ll see Frank on the slopes, you’ll see Frank in the parking lot at 5 a.m. at the Long Trail Century Ride or the Vermont 50 parking cars or helping at an aid station, and then you’ll see him two hours later riding in the event, with a whole team of people from his home town he recruited, and then you’ll see him help clean up, and maybe having a beer.”

Kelley also is known for his innovation, always looking for creative ways to make the experience an amazing one for his athlete. He believes doing something differently allows for instructors to push the envelope in a safe way to fine tune what is needed for the athlete.

“If a guy can do it with one leg, I can do it with two,” said Kelley. “I look forward to it. It’s a family endeavor. We all pitch in in different ways.”

Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports is the largest year-round disabled sports non-profit organization in Vermont. Winter locations are: Pico Mountain at Killington; Sugarbush Resort in Warren; and Bolton Valley Resort in Bolton. Summer programs are provided statewide. For more information, visit www.vermontadaptive.org.

Mountain Times Newsletter

Sign up below to receive the weekly newsletter, which also includes top trending stories and what all the locals are talking about!