Check out all the Rail Jam photos on Flickr
I love to shred. I love to go ride with my buddies, especially when the snow is good, but it’s truly magical when conditions also include a picture perfect bluebird day and 40 degree temps. Life doesn’t get much better than when you’re riding the double chair at Smuggler’s Notch and the sun is cooking down on top of you. That was the scene on Saturday when Smugg’s welcomed the Molly Fund with open arms and provided a classic dose of good ol’ Vermont hospitality as they played host to the Forth Annual Molly Rail Jam.
For those of you that are familiar with the scene, then you can certainly agree with me when I say that the Molly Rail Jam thrives because of the Manning family. We are indebted to these beautiful folks because without their expertise the Molly Jam would not be the blessing as it is and we’re so thankful to have the Mannings running point on the event. Paige and Emmet organize and manage the chaos, Keegan and his posse of judges spend all day on the hill judging the grommie athletes, and this year we were stoked that Connor Manning (Professional World Cup judge) took time out of his busy, world traveling schedule in order to road trip it to Smugg’s and Connor spent the day entertaining the crowd on the microphone. Poor Nate Dugan will be scarred for life. The youngest Manning, Finch, brought her wonderful energy to the event and she helped brighten the day even further. As you can see from the photos, it was such an incredible day and I’m certain that Molly ordered Mother Nature to deliver the radiant sunshine and the warm weather. Thank you, baby…..
Many thanks to Chuck and Tara White for driving 8 hours, from the bowels of Philadelphia, to help all of us create the magic of The Molly. Chuck, Tara, and I had a chance to shred Stowe on Friday and it was so good to be able to spend some quiet time on the hill with my pals. Meg and Jen were goddesses for wrangling the Rowlee and White kid’s through Ben & Jerry’s while we spent the morning getting our shred on at Mt Mansfield. Huge props and thank you to Chuck for taking all of the photos during the event, and thank goodness we had Tara helping coral the chaos with the raffle. We raised over $900 during the raffle (whooo hoooo!), and many thanks to Emmet for the Burton and Anon swag, good ol’ Uncle Danny Clayton for the Spyder and Quiksilver product, and Nelson Wormstead for throwing down all of the Oakley loot. The kids were stoked on the raffle items and so many wonderful parents generously bought a ton of raffle tickets in order to spread the “aloha.”
With that said, it’s amazing the sort of magic that The Molly Fund inspires. Over the years, I have had kids hand me $5 that they earned by selling lemonade in order to raise money for the Molly Fund. I have countless stories that depict that image, but I’m always in awe of these kids because they’re inspired to lend a hand. I never ask them why. I never ask these kids if their parents encouraged them, but I am constantly humbled by their thoughtfulness and so very appreciative and thankful for their efforts. We had a few of these kid’s at Smugg’s the other day and I was completely blown away with their FUNraising. A few weeks ago, Liliana and Keegan Hosefros spent the day at Sugarbush Resort and hawked their wares, set up a bake sale, and these kids’s handed me a tin can loaded with over $400 in cash, coins, and Canadian currency….all of the money smelling like chocolate chip cookies!! Epic! Thank you, both.
Harper Oliver is a lil’ shredder and she’s absolutely amazing. Harper must be the best underage salesperson on the planet because she presented us with donations that she was able to FUNraise which totaled over $1,600!!! You can buy a used car for that kind of dough. You can book at day on a heli trip in Whistler with that type of moola! All three of these groms are next level, thank you guys, and huge props to the parents of Harper, Liliana, and Keegan because it’s obvious that these kids have huge hearts because their folks are great people.
The action on the hill was insane! Smugg’s was gracious enough to allow the rail jam to set up next to the T Bar in the absolute prime location, and many thanks to Rick for building and setting the features. With all of the killer little rippers, we needed some serious judging and Keegan Manning, Andrew Godek, and Matt Malinski bathed themselves in sunscreen and spent the day on the hill tallying up the heat sheets. Thank you, boys! Ray Wells was dressed appropriately, in his Molly-esque Hawaiian shirt and shorts, and Ray and Bob Parker kept the groms organized on the hill so they wouldn’t stampede one another during the jam format. Huge help and thank you, fellas!
While all of the action was taking place beside the T Bar, the mini shredders were getting their groove on and sessioning the Riglet park that EM and his crew set-up that morning. Little Milo Griffin and The Smalls®(Elly White) were battling for supremacy and, of course, we had lil’ trophies for those kids as well. But the older groms were lighting the hill on fire and it was obvious that the next generation of USASA Northern VT shredders will soon leave their mark on the “sport.”
Chuck White always comes through with the most rad, very sophisticated trophies for the kids and Chuck didn’t disappoint this year. We presented Harper Oliver with the trophy for the Top FUNraiser, and we also offered up Best Trick trophies for the boys and girls division. Keegan Hosefros, because the kid was armed with an incredible amount of “good karma” points, earned Top Trick for the boys and Lucy Hill took Best Trick for the girls division. Every athlete that participated charged! We were fully stoked with the level of riding but there has to be a winner in every division. Hans Huber impressed everyone with his steeze and the kid was straight up killing it! Hans won the U9 division and Keegan Hosefros won the 10-13 age group. Colin Bourgeois took first place in the over 14 skier’s division, John Lohnes won the skier’s 10-13 division while Oliver Ogden won his U9 age group. The girls were killing it! Acy Craig won the snowboard girls 10-13 group and Dylan Walker took the gold in the U9 division. Kate Kostyra won the women’s snowboard division, and William Vear took first in the over 14 snowboard division. The Open class was a fierce battle and John Hancheck ended up taking home the gold and sealing the big win. Thank you to all of the riders that participated in the event. What makes this Molly Jam so incredible is that the riders are super excited to be a part of the event because of the festive atmosphere. You can sense the wonderful energy. The kids are smiling throughout the day, everyone is having a ton of fun, and the vibe is…..simply awesome. Thanks to everyone that made Saturday such a success. It truly does take an army to rally and drive money into The Molly Fund. When I say, “we,” I mean every single one of us that supports The Molly fund in some way shape or form and “WE” have made a huge difference in the lives of so many families that have children battling cancer at Children’s Hospital – Boston. The Foundation supports parents that need an extra few bucks to make a mortgage payment, put food on the table, and pay a utility bill or two. Our goal, when we decided to continue with The Molly Fund after Molly had passed, was to pay it forward – give back and help keep Molly’s legacy alive. “WE” have made a positive difference in so many families’ lives and “WE” should feel proud to be able to lend a hand to those that need some help. Meg and I thank you all for the continued support. It takes an army and thank God “WE” have an army of pals to help fuel the fire.
This weekend was pretty spiritual, as I always find this to be the case when “WE” throw down Molly events, and I’m humbled when I see friends drive four, five, and even eight hours in order to attend the Molly Jam with their families. That is pretty special and we’re so thankful and blessed to receive that type of support. But this weekend I had a chance to meet a guy, a random acquaintance, and I learned that his little girl had been battling Leukemia for over five years and she was finally diagnosed to be cancer free. I had chills running throughout my body when I overheard the news and I silently thanked God for sparing this man’s little girl. Miracles do happen, kids do beat cancer, and “WE” are raising money for parents that will enable them to survive financially while their child BEATS cancer. Say a prayer for our little warriors and their parents tonight and keep them in your thoughts. We are truly grateful, and very thankful to Smuggler’s Notch for allowing us an opportunity to set up the Molly circus this past weekend, and we hope to see ya’ll on the beach this summer for the Molly Surf Celebration here in Hampton. Come surf with us!
Hugs and high fives!
Buck, Meg, Kieran & TJ……..
The following people and companies are the foundation of our community that have helped build The Molly Fund to where it is today, through generous donations of money, product, and services.
Brian Nevin's Photography
Nick LaVecchia Photography
Brickhouse Surf & Skate
My First School
Blue Water Mortgage
Sankey Rodeo School
Ink Floyd Screenprinting
Lucky Sign Shop
Iskra Print Collective
On Demand Imaging
Secret Spot Smoothies & Burritos
Bella Rose Pizzeria
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