SMS Hosts 50th Anniversary Winter Ball

Ashlee O'Hara
Stratton Mountain School raised over $210,000 during its virtual Winter Ball in support of the Stratton Mountain School Finacial Aid Fund!
STRATTON- Stratton Mountain School, an independent boarding and day school that focuses on college preparatory academics and competitive winter sports, raised over $210,000 during its virtual Winter Ball in support of the Stratton Mountain School Finacial Aid Fund, which provides need-based financial aid and educational resources for nearly 45% of the school’s student-athletes. 

This year’s event, Celebrating 50 Years, took place on January 29, 2022, and kicked off the school’s Golden Anniversary. The international broadcast was co-hosted by Head of School, Carson A. Thurber ’02, and Alumni Coordinator Morgan Taylor for the second year in a row due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. 

“Reaching the 50-year mark is an extraordinary milestone, and it is one that we could not have achieved without the support of our community, ” said Thurber. “This year’s Winter Ball was a celebration of every student-athlete, staff member, and community member who has helped SMS to become the institution it is today. But it is also a promise that we will continue to help talented student-athletes prepare for the future and have the chance to experience SMS!” 

The Winter Ball, formerly known as the Ski Ball, first took place on March 15, 1969, in the base lodge on Stratton Mountain. In those days, local homeowners hosted the fundraiser each winter in support of the Stratton Mountain Ski Educational Foundation, which would become Stratton Mountain School in 1972. 

“For 50 years, our community has been the backbone of Stratton Mountain School. Our community has supported us from our days as a fledgling winter tutorial program taught around kitchen tables to the academic and athletic powerhouse we are today. The overwhelming support shown to SMS at this year’s Winter Ball is a vote of confidence in our past, present, and future,” said Stratton Mountain School’s Board Chair, Robert Stevenish. 

The program featured an online Silent Auction with over 120 one-of-a-kind items experiences and a host of live raffle drawings, including a gear and tuning package from Equipe Sport, an inflatable paddleboard set donated by the Norse House, a South Sea Pearl Necklace by Von Bargen’s, and a “Golden Raffle” for a custom-built 10x14 barn thanks to donations by Vermont Barns & Wadsworth Design, ACK Design, Hunter Excavating, Vermont Plank Flooring, and rkMiles. 

The event also featured a cash call for improvements to the Stratton Mountain School tuning and storage areas located in the Burtscher Field House, including brighter lighting, better ventilation, top-of-the-line tuning equipment, and more thoughtful use of space overall. The school received $15,000 in matching funds to help reach their $50,000 goal, which quickly surpassed thanks to the SMS community’s generosity.  

“I am often taken back by this community’s benevolence,” continued Thurber. “It’s thanks to them, as well as partners like Stratton Mountain Resort and the dozens of donors, sponsors, and volunteers that contributed to this year’s event, that we can continue to deliver on our promise.” 

Stratton Mountain School would like to extend a special thanks to its 50th Anniversary Platinum, Platinum, Silver, and Gold Sponsors who helped make this year’s Winter Ball a reality: Stratton Mountain Resort, Laure Sudreau and Jeffrey Bennett ’87, Alexa and Fernando Maddock, Ellen and Gary Davis, Kathy and Ben Needell, Christine and Jonathan Needell ’88, Jessica ’93 and Shane Baron, Pam Fletcher ‘81 and Steve Tomlinson, The Geoghan Family, Morton Saunders, and Gary and Sally Simpson. 

Learn more about all of the event supporters by viewing the full program: https://issuu.com/strattonmtnschool/docs/sms_wb_program_2022-newnew 
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Stratton Mountain School is an independent boarding and day school that focuses on college preparatory academics and competitive winter sports. Located at the base of Stratton Mountain, SMS is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools.