The Mountain Times

°F Mon, April 21, 2014

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Irene Reflections : Killington

On Aug 27, 2011 I was on my way to Boston. People told me I was crazy because I was driving into the storm. But as we now know, that was not the case. I woke up Sunday morning to a rain storm and parts of Boston without power. Facebook began to blow up with stories and pictures of the Killington area and I felt saddened because I could not be there to help. I was not able to return home until August 30 because there were no roads to get me there. I woke up early Wednesday morning eager to help in any way I could.
Will Spanos, Steve O'Neil and I hiked through the woods of Mendon with a cart full of supplies like gas, water, food, flashlights, etc. We delivered the supplies to people in Killington and Pittsfield. My heart sank and I became teary-eyed when driving by the devastation. I feel the same way now when writing this and remembering those days.

The thing that picks me up is seeing how this great community came together. When we drove to Pittsfield and saw the whole town helping out at the fire station, it was incredible. It was the same way in Killington as everyone was willing to help. I made that hike every day until Route 4 was open again. Whatever I could do, I did. We were treating Killington Island like the TV show Survivor; everyone was allowed one luxury item. Some it was cigarettes, a fantasy football magazine or lipstick so they would look good on TV. Whatever it was, it brought people a little joy and that's what was important.

Sometimes we helped by getting people off the "Island." People would hike over to us and I would drive them to Rutland for supplies.

I've never seen people so excited to be in Rutland before. They were thinking "I'm free" and even if it was just for a half hour, it was great for them.

I've been in Killington for 16 years now and what I love best are the people that make up this community. Whether it be a benefit for someone sick or passed on, a fire to a home or a natural disaster, everyone here comes together. The support came from all over and that was special.

In November, I hosted a benefit over a hundred miles away in Connecticut, raising money for the Irene victims, and the support was overwhelming. Killington has that effect on people.

Now, one year later, we have the chance to help again. Please come to Charity's Wednesday August 29, 5-9 p.m. for the Killington Island Luau. Island attire is encouraged. It's a celebration of the post-Irene progress and to raise funds for those still in need. A $10 donation includes a lawn party with games, DJ and BBQ. Raffle tickets will be for sale to win great prizes. All money raised goes to the Killington Community Fund which helps out those still in need.

Tagged: Hurricane Irene, Reflections, killington