Here's a splash of good news from our recently beleaguered friends at Spectrum Youth and Family Services: In response to all the recent press coverage about Spectrum pulling out of the Burton-sponsored Chill Program, which teaches underprivileged kids how to snowboard, Executive Director Mark Redmond reports that there's been a huge show of community generosity to get his kids on the slopes again this winter.
Thus far, donations to the Burlington nonprofit have included eight free snowboards, boots and bindings from the Alpine Shop, two rooftop snowboard racks for the Spectrum vans donated by a local Thule rep, and a "nice enough arrangement" of lift tickets from Bolton Valley. In recent weeks, individuals have also dropped by to donate helmets, gloves and goggles for the kids.
Though Redmond insists he has nothing against the people at Chill personally, he says he couldn't in good conscience allow his kids to ride Burton equipment this year due to the company's insensitivity over the issues of pornography and self-mutilation. And thus far, Redmond says he's received "tons" of letters, phone calls and emails from adults and kids who support Spectrum's stance on the issue.
"The outpouring of support has been unbelievable," Redmond tells Seven Days. "It's a nice story about the goodness of the people of Vermont who don't want to see these kids lose out."