L.L.Bean

OUTDOOR HEROES

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Mary Anne Levins - New England Nordic Skiing Association

A bundle of energy dedicated to kids and Nordic skiing

For Mary Anne Levins of Rutland, Vermont, volunteering is part of being a good citizen. Fortunately for New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA) and many kids, Mary Anne has directed her considerable talent and energy to bringing families to the sport of Nordic skiing.

For more than a decade, Mary Anne has been a driving force in NENSA. She serves as the volunteer chairperson of the New England Bill Koch League (BKL), which has over 2,000 members ages five to 14. A NENSA board member describes it as "the little league of cross-country skiing."

Under Mary Anne's enthusiastic and dedicated leadership, the annual two-day BKL festival has become a marquee winter event in New England, drawing over 1,000 spectators and participants. Mary Anne's impressive organizing skills, passion and "volunteering a ridiculous amount of hours" have been key factors in the eventís success.

Along with her continued efforts to encourage and promote competitive Nordic skiing, there is something else Mary Anne is known for. Her ideas of success are not based on finish place or time, but on the experience and the joy. It is part of what accounts for her success in motivating skiers to improve their skills and emerge from programs with a desire to remain in the sport for the rest of their lives.

Somehow, Mary Anne also finds the time to help out with a high school mountain bike team; support the Chittenden, Vermont, Mountain Top/Tippman Paintball Biathlon (which she established) and play crucial roles in area ski races. Her commitment to kids and the sport of cross-country skiing is remarkable. She's inspired thousands of youngsters to love skiing and encouraged them to pursue healthy outdoor lifestyles. Every sport needs someone like Mary Anne, and ski families across New England have benefited greatly from her dedication.

For more information about NENSA, please visit www.NENSA.net.