From the community

Lead biathlon event partners and Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce hold Snowman and Snow Sculpture Contest to Welcome the World to The County

Posted Feb. 11, 2014, at 1 p.m.

The lead partner organizations for the 2014 IBU Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships and the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce are teaming up to challenge the community to be creative and get outside to build snowmen and snow sculptures as visitors from around the world descend on The County for the ICU World Youth/Juniors Biathlon Championship.

“The Chamber is happy to collaborate on the snow sculpture competition with the lead organizations supporting the upcoming Junior Biathlon World Championships,” said Theresa M. Fowler, executive director of the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce. “We see this as a way to enjoy the beautiful snow we receive, enhance properties with individual and group works of art, and roll out a warm Aroostook County welcome to our visitors from around the world.”

In honor of the mass of visitors to The County during the second half of February, the snowman and snow sculptures should represent the theme designated – “Welcome the World.” Judging for the event will take place on Wednesday, February 26 in the afternoon and prizes will be awarded for the first, second and third place winners, including a grand prize package valued at an impressive $500. All entries will be judged in the condition the creations are in when the panel of judges arrives on site.

The Biathlon championships will bring people from all over the world to the region and the snow person and snow sculpture event will help to create a festive and welcoming atmosphere for those visitors.

“We wanted to encourage people to build snowmen that would incorporate the lifestyle and culture of other people, especially those that will be coming to Northern Maine for this event. This is really an occasion where individuals and families can learn

about other cultures. In addition, it promotes understanding as well as an appreciation for diversity in life. Diversity and variety is really the ‘spice of life.’ It makes it more interesting,” said Eugene Curtis, director of support services at TAMC, one of the partner organizations collaborating to make the contest possible.

Anyone can participate, from families and individuals to business members, in the communities of Ashland, Blaine, Castle Hill, Chapman, Easton, Mapleton, Mars Hill, Masardis, Oxbow, Portage Lake, Presque Isle, Washburn, and Westfield, all towns served by the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce. In addition, the contest is open to businesses, organizations, and residents in Fort Fairfield and Caribou, where TAMC Health Centers are located along with Presque Isle, Mars Hill and Ashland. Registration forms are available at the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce and on the TAMC website www.tamc.org. The deadline to register is noon on Monday, February 24.

Vicki Smith, senior vice president of marketing and communications at Katahdin Trust Company, said, “Katahdin Trust is proud to be a gold level partner for the upcoming biathlon. Our employees are getting excited to welcome the biathletes, coaches, support staff and visitors that will be arriving in our community for the Biathlon and all the various festivities associated with it. Several employees will be joining together to make a snow sculpture, which will be very visible to folks attending the Biathlon as the sculpture will be located at the Katahdin Trust office at the corner of Main and North Streets in Presque Isle.”

A snowman and snow sculpture event has been a part of Winter Carnival activities at TAMC for the past few years. Winter Carnival at TAMC promotes health and wellness for TAMC employees, and all of the activities share the goal of providing an opportunity for fun physical activity and wellness education. Because the hospital is so involved in the communities it serves, it made sense to open some of the healthy fun to the public.

“The Total Health Team at TAMC is committed to encouraging a healthy lifestyle not only for the employees at TAMC, but also for the public that we serve,” said Curtis. “Winter can be a time when we stay indoors and become less active, so we are endeavoring to encourage people to get outside, be active, and enjoy the beauty of our northern Maine winters. Snow sculptures can be a lot of fun and working on them with friends, family, or co-workers can bring the added benefit of building healthy relationships, thus increasing our joy of life. TAMC is not only committed to help people to get well but to also showing them how they can live well. Our goal is to help our neighbors lead healthy, happy, and long lives. We need to enjoy the journey.”

Other event sponsors include MMG Insurance, Daigle Oil Company, Key Bank and Dead River Company.

Information and registration forms are available by calling the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce at 764-6561 or on-line at www.tamc.org.

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