|February 2015, 2nd edition
Master's Race Program
by David Blampied, Master's Coach
The Master's Program at FSC is very flexible. We cater to all racing abilities. We have athletes who have never raced before to ones that have competed at the US and Swedish National team levels, and even the Olympics. We even have a past masters national overall three time champion! We have had a very successful season this year. Through our first three training sessions we have averaged about twenty racers per session.
We train Saturday mornings with gates, 9:00 to 11:00 alternating weekends with SL and GS. The program goes through March. We post our schedule on the FSC Website under the masters section. If you would like to join us, you can sign up by the day $40, a six pack $210, or $380 for the season.
We have a dedicated staff of four coaches; Dave Blampied, Mike Keane, Scott Bassette, and Jim David to help you perfect your technique. We give individual attention and video analysis after each session.
We have one more SL session before the prestigious Hochgebirge Masters SL Race, scheduled for February 21st. We would love for alumni to dust off that old slalom gear and join us in all the fun. Perhaps you have raced the Hoch Challenge Cup in the past or always dreamed of participating in the oldest ski club race in America!
If you are a college student and are racing for your club team, we encourage you to put a team of four together and join us!
Come join us, meet up with old friends and make new friends!
Can you name these FSC kids, circa 1980?
FSC Fundraiser "Casino Night"
by Lyn Agostinelli, Fundraising Committee
In mid- January, FSC held a Casino Night and Auction, a.k.a, “A Great Night Out”. The main purpose of the event was to raise money to offset training costs for the athletes currently enrolled in the program. Although, the opportunity for FSC coaches, parents and others in attendance to have fun and socialize without their children in attendance, was certainly an added benefit! The start of the night featured casino tables sponsored by local companies. FSC coaches acted as dealers and much fun was had by all placing bets and winning or losing the free chips they received at the door.
During the course of the evening scrumptious food was served, a live band was playing and 40+ silent auction items were available. These items were graciously donated by local merchants. Once the “gambling” was complete, a live auction was conducted and items donated by members and coaches alike were sold to the highest bidder! The evening continued with much dancing by all until the band finally stopped after 2 or 3 encores.
The night was a success and through the ticket sales and auction items a sizable amount was raised. Many stories have been exchanged over the following weekends about the night and the great time so many enjoyed. The event is organized by a group of current FSC parents and a big thanks goes out to them for all of their hard work.
U14 Coach Vince Bell, Head Dealer at the Roulette Table!
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Welcome to the FSC Alumni Newsletter
by Sylvia McCarthy, Alumni Development Chair
The Franconia Ski Club has a long history of ski racing in New Hampshire and around the globe. The ever-growing ranks of FSC alumni are an integral part of our past and an important part of our future. We are committed to helping you stay connected with each other and with your Alma mater.
Several times during the year, FSC holds events that are open to alumni that offer a chance to meet old friends, visit former coaches, and develop new contacts. We encourage you to use our online Alumni Update Form to stay connected and let us know of the milestones of your life’s journey.
Growing Up FSC and Remembering Ronnie
by Paige Roberts, FSC Alum and U12 Coach
Photographs are special and interesting in many ways, but I especially appreciate them because although they give the same visual representation to everyone, each viewer’s feelings are unique and individualized. Old skiing pictures are a favorite of mine. Each one captures a little piece of history from the equipment, to the ski area, to the athlete. Among the many photographs I’ve seen of myself as a child, one in particular completely melts my heart.
The picture was taken at Loon Mountain. The athletes featured in it are all Franconia Ski Club alumni — myself, Shannon Quinn, Chris Bunker, Ronnie Berlack, and Ben Becker. We are standing in front of our coach at the time, Leigh Quinn, during one of our first races.
The recent tragedy of losing one of my oldest and closest friends, Ronnie, has given me inspiration and motivation to connect with the people in my life who are very dear to me, as well as my old friends I made through FSC. This picture surfaced shortly after news of Ronnie’s passing. It was sent to me by Shannon; a hidden gem uncovered by her mother.
Reminiscing on the fun we had during FSC, and sharing memories of Ronnie, I asked Shannon, Chris, and Ben to share how ski racing has impacted their life today.
SQ: Ski racing has had an enormous impact on my life. Skiing has given me more than I could have ever imagined. It taught me time management, how to cope with failure, and personal responsibility. (Shannon was a part of FSC from 2000-2006. She went on to race for BBTS at Waterville Valley throughout middle school and high school and also spent three years on the Boston College ski team. Although she is no longer racing, she is still highly involved with the BC ski team.)
CB: I've learned a lot of lessons through ski racing, mainly how much hard work, diligence, and perseverance pays off, which is applicable anywhere in life, not just sports. (Chris was a part of FSC during the years 2000-2011. He now attends George Washington University in Washington D.C., but still loves to come and ski Cannon during the winter months.)
Ben was a part of FSC until his sophomore year in high school, and remembers being an FSC kid from a very young age.
BB: My dad enrolled me in FSC at only 5-years-old as a first year J6, a very exclusive group with a need for speed but were not yet old enough to enter the actual racing program. The group was only comprised of 5 kids and we were like our own little family, separate from the rest of the club.
In particular, he recalls a very special friendship he formed with his teammate, Ronnie Berlack.
BB: Ronnie Berlack was one of the most loving, caring, energetic, excited… I could go on, but you get the point! He had one of the purest souls and most definitely the best spirit I have seen to this day. Unfortunately Ronnie didn’t stay at FSC for very long. I remember the day he told everyone he was going to be skiing at Burke the next season. As cool as I thought that was, the news was still somewhat devastating to me, as I was losing my partner in crime. You don’t really think about how much of an impact someone had on your life until they aren’t here to impact it anymore.
Chris and Shannon remember Ronnie as well when they think back on their early years spent at FSC.
CB: I skied with Ronnie for probably 8 years and went to tennis camp with him. I'm sure [as an adult] he was still just as goofy and friendly as he was as a little kid — in his holographic alien goggles of course. I skied with him before he broke out of his shell and became a top skier, so seeing him make the [U.S.] ski team blew me away, and really showed how motivated and determined he must have been.
SQ: Ronnie was a member of my first ski “group” at FSC. I remember Ronnie always wore a green/turquoise neckie and was full of life. I remember our hikes up Mittersill and free skiing around Cannon Mountain. Our group loved mogul skiing, hitting the jumps, and skiing the river bed at Cannon. Back then all we cared about was having fun. Ronnie was always smiling and truly loved to ski. I am genuinely grateful to have started my ski racing career with such an amazing group of kids and will always remember Ronnie for his vivacious personality.
As a coach, it’s so special and rewarding to still be apart of FSC, and watch the younger athletes not only become better skiers, but form the beginnings of life long bonds with one another. There are no better friends than the ones we make skiing. Ronnie was certainly one of a kind, and my friendship with him is something I will cherish forever. I think I speak for anyone who was lucky enough to know him when I say he will be truly missed.
by Erin Sweeney, FSC Scholarship Fund Committee Chair
This year’s FSC scholarships have been awarded, and four local families are settling in to the joyful morning chaos at Ernie’s Haus and the spectacular beauty of the Cannon Mountain slopes. Four children were selected from surrounding communities: one child from each Franconia, Bethlehem, Littleton, and Lincoln. Two recipients have joined coach Bob Ganley in the U8 Mountain Rippers Program. One recipient has joined the U10 Program, and one experienced skier has jumped in at the U12 level. All of these winners distinguished themselves from the many applicants with stories that conveyed a passion for skiing and a willingness to work hard. After the first few weeks of the U8 program, Asa Toms from Franconia said, “"I love it! I like that I get to ski all the time and that I get to train gates. I just love everything about it. I'm really thankful that I got the scholarship."
Cannon Mountain provides the season’s pass for the recipients and our scholarship fund supports the four free tuitions that introduce local kids to ski racing. The fund, supported with monies raised at the Virgin-MacLeod Memorial Golf Tournament in September, also supports our financial aid program that keeps these committed skiers coming back. To build our scholarship fund, we will be adding a family team triathlon on Fit Day weekend this year. For a $150 entrance fee, families can come together and participate in some friendly competition featuring a short mountain bike ride, a mile run, and an obstacle course. We will finish the day with a BBQ at Ernie’s Haus. Join us! For more information, contact Erin Sweeney, Scholarship Fund Committee Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org.