MARS HILL, Maine — An Easton company has challenged donors in and around Mars Hill to step up to the plate to support the mountain by plunking down a $5,000 donation and pledging additional money if more donors come forward.
Officials from Huber Engineered Woods announced news of the donation to Friends of Bigrock on Friday, ten days after Maine Winter Sports Center’s announcement that it was ending its relationship with Bigrock Mountain.
As part of its commitment, starting Sunday, Aug. 18, Huber will be donating $5,000 to Big Rock and is challenging the public to match their $5000 donation.
Maine Winter Sports Center announced on Aug. 6 it was ending its 13-year relationship with Bigrock. Earlier this summer, the organization also announced it was stepping away from Black Mountain in Rumford after 10 years of ownership. Rumford-area community members have already raised the necessary funds to take over operations of Black Mountain, Andy Shepard, president and CEO of Maine Winter Sports Center, said last week.
Shepard said in the Aug. 6 release that MWSC always envisioned turning the mountain over to “a nonprofit, community-based ownership.” He added that after 13 years of ownership, that time had now come.
Bill Getman, general manager of Bigrock, said Friday that he was not surprised by Huber’s generosity, as they have always been supportive of the mountain.
“Huber has donated supplies, sponsored a corporate free ski night, and this is just another example of their generosity and commitment to the area,” he said. “Our fundraising has really started to get traction, and we think this will be one of many exciting announcements that will be made as we move toward reopening Bigrock.”
The goal of Friends of Bigrock is to assist with raising a minimum of $150,000 that will be needed to open the mountain this winter. On Wednesday, more than 100 people attended a town hall meeting at the Bigrock Mountain lodge that was used as a forum to inform the public about the status of the mountain and to solicit ideas and support. The Friends of Bigrock has raised more than $16,000 to date.
Founded in 1883, the J.M. Huber Corp. is one of the largest family-owned companies in the U.S., with approximately 4,000 employees in more than 20 countries.
Donations can be made at the Bigrock fundraising website, www.gofundme.com/save-BigrockMountain.