The 49 Degrees North Ski Patrol and Mountain Hosts held their annual awards banquet on Saturday night, March 31, at the resort’s Calispell Creek Lodge The evening allowed over a hundred employees one last get together prior to the 2011-2012 winter season end. They celebrated everyone’s contribution to the safety and education of the skiing and boarding public, as well as some special and specific individual awards.
The banquet theme was Disco Night, which included music from the Bee Gees and others, a disco ball, decorations, and a slide show of this year’s events both on and off the mountain. Some patrollers sported very ugly sweaters as part of the party contest, while others were more in theme, parading in original 70s textiles from the back of their closets, or some with a little help from Value Village, adding to the authentic atmosphere.
With a break in the music and laughter, the evening began with an update from Resort Owner John Eminger. He gave an overview of this season and all the exciting things that are anticipated on the hill, including installation of the Angel Peak chairlift this summer, as well as the tantalizing prospect of the new Mid-Mountain Lodge.
New patrol officers were elected and announced. Cynthia Capello (secretary), Kim Bailey (member at large) and Steve Pietroburgo (hill captain) will be returning for two more years. New members elected to the Board are Josh Westerman (member at large) and Anna Beattie (member at large). Continuing members of the Board are Danial Baker (volunteer director), Walt Seidel (treasurer), Eric Zawadzki (hill captain), Ron Tilley (member at large), and Gary Deaver (ex officio).
Patrollers and Mountain Hosts were recognized with the following awards:
Instructor of the Year – Kelli Piper
Candidate of the Year – Jim Kiefer
Patroller of the Year – Brad Harr
Paid Patroller of the Year – Kelvin Throgmorton
Auxiliary Patroller of the Year – Marianne Becker
Student Patroller of the Year – Cody Peters
First Year Patroller – Josh Westerman
Mountain Host Award – Chuck Kriegh
Bent Shaft Award – Rose Brown
One of the highlights of the evening was the distribution of the Service Recognitions Awards. Stephanie Dawson, Dale Franzen, Laurie Franzen, Val Love, Rachael Nardo, Ron Tilley, Eric Trimble, and Kristi Winther were recognized for 5 years of service; Anna Beattie, Dave Benson, John Jones, Vern Rozelle for 10 years of service; Shane Nelson, Tony Peters, Kelvin Throgmorton, and Eric Zawadzki for 15 years of service; Donna Palagonia and Amy Kegel for 20 years of service; Clark Ashworth and Jae Erdman for 25 years of service; and Hank Steiner for 40 years of service. The total years of service to the skiing and boarding public by these 21 patrollers is 270 years! Charles Minot “Minnie” Dole, the person who organized the National Ski Patrol in 1938, would be proud of this accomplishment.
In this photo: Jim Kiefer, left, of Chewelah, receives a plaque recognizing his contributions as “Outstanding Candidate of the Year” from 49 Degrees North Volunteer Patrol Director Danial Baker. Mr. Kiefer completed the 60 hour Outdoor Emergency Technician course in November, did an additional 10 days hill training before Jan. 1, and has since patrolled 40 days at the ski hill this season. Sue Baker photo