PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A Presque Isle native has swooped in to help save Maine Winter Sports Center. Based in Aroostook County, this program helps train athletes in skiing and winter sports state-wide in many communities.
A private donor, Mary Smith is giving a $100,000 gift and additional $400,000 in matching funds to keep the organization running. The gift from Smith, who now lives in California, could generate up to $900,000 in funds.
Andy Shepard, CEO of Maine Winter Sports said, "when you have the kind of impact that our staff has had in Maine for 15 years the thought that all of this could go away is hard to take. But this has also given me confidence that a result of that it wouldn't."
For these athletes to reach their goals, this program needs to match their funding grant. So representatives are asking the community members to donate to keep this program alive. It was three weeks ago, the Libra Foundation, known for being the sports center primary funding source, pulled the majority of their money from the program.
Besides teaching winter sports and providing outreach, The Maine Winter Sports Center also recently helped train Maine Olympian, Russell Currier, who competed in the Biathlon in Sochi, Russia.