Was this the night a new U.S. Olympian was born? For most of the 39 kids from Hartford’s Police Activities League (PAL), this was not only the first time they put on snowboarding and ski equipment, it was the first time they saw a ski mountain. Sounds of “wow” and “awesome” greeted the 30 Ski Sundown instructors when the PAL kids stepped off the bus and caught the late afternoon sun going down on the mogul run.
The City of Hartford and the Hartford Police Activities League (PAL) teamed up with Ski Sundown in New Hartford for its 3rd annual Ski Sundown night last Wednesday (March 6) — giving Hartford’s youth the opportunity to hit the slopes. In past years, the PAL kids learned snowboarding. This year, Ski Sundown added skiing to the program offerings. When asked which sport she liked better, snowboarding or skiing, 9-year old Angie Grados said, as she zoomed by, “Skiing, because it’s faster.”
“Programs like Ski Sundown helps us keep kids out of trouble. Keeping them on the slopes instead of the streets is a good thing,” said Hartford PAL Officer Hector Casablanca.
While there was a moan or two of “I want my toes back” smiles like the one worn by 8-year old Ja’Den Jesurum were endless.
To make the trip up the mountain as enjoyable the one down, the PAL kids got a new treat this year—Ski Sundown’s new 300-foot conveyor ‘carpet’ lift in the learning area.
Thanks to all that contributed and provided support: Ski Sundown; City of Hartford; Dattco Bus; Hartford Police Activities League; CTLatinoNews.com; New Britain Rock Cats and Elkinson & Sloves Marketing.
“We truly appreciate the generosity of Ski Sundown for hosting the PAL kids,” said Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra. “This past winter, Winterfest in Bushnell Park let our children experience the joy of skating. Now, it has expanded to show kids the joy of going downhill,” Segarra said.
“We always enjoy hosting this group and are eager to share our love of skiing and snowboarding with them,” said Bob Switzgable, President & General Manager, Ski Sundown. “Frankly, I’m not sure who was more excited—the PAL kids or our instructors.”