To Fundraise, a Vermonter Will Let Donors Choose Her Middle Name | True 802 | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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To Fundraise, a Vermonter Will Let Donors Choose Her Middle Name


Published October 14, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

  • Courtesy Of Jacqueline Stout
  • Kaitie Eddington

For 25 years, Kaitie Eddington has gone through life without a middle name. Now, thanks to a creative fundraising scheme, that is about to change.

Eddington is auctioning off the naming rights for an as-yet-unchosen middle moniker as part of a fundraiser for the Upper Valley Trails Alliance, a nonprofit that "advocates for the use, maintenance and development of trails," she said. 

Eddington, who has worked as the org's program manager for about two years, always wanted a middle name and even adopted one as a child: "Satin," in homage to the fabric preferred by characters in the movie adaptations of Jane Austen novels. 

"Being an 8-year-old, I thought that, to make it official, all I had to do was write it on my homework," Eddington said. "This resulted in a phone call home from my teacher because I'd been writing S-A-T-A-N on my assignments."

An embarrassed Eddington ultimately dropped her quest for a middle name — only to resume it in adulthood. Though she's banned "Satan" as an option, other proposals were similarly wacky: Andromeda Quesadilla and Humuhumunukunukuapuaa, the state fish of Hawaii.

"I think I would have been low-key devastated if that had won," she said of the 21-letter name.

Those two and several others have been eliminated from the contest, leaving four finalists: Hike-ity Hike Hike, Danger, Lark and Marie. Voters pay $10 to choose their favorite. Two more will be eliminated before the winner is announced on October 31.

Thus far, the alliance has raised about $1,500, and an anonymous donor is matching up to about $1,000 until the finale on Halloween.

And yes, Eddington says, she will legally change her name to include the top vote-getter — even if it's Hike-ity Hike Hike.

"I like the idea of being an old woman and having my middle name as 'Danger,'" she laughed. "But honestly, whatever the public chooses, I'll be really excited."

The original print version of this article was headlined "Stuck in the Middle"