LUDLOW, Vt. – The Ludlow Rotary Club recently hosted their 28th annual Youth Exchange ski weekend at Okemo Mountain Resort, thanks to the generous support of a Vail Resorts EpicPromise grant.
Ludlow Rotary hosted 22 international exchange students from 17 countries in a weekend of staying with local host families; skiing and riding at Okemo; sharing companionship and stories; building life-long, international friendships and understanding. The students from countries as varied as Indonesia, Brazil, India, and Europe, skied, snow tubed, rode the mountain coaster, and played in snow, some for the first time in their lives.
Students from tropical environments were hesitant to put on all that clothing, boots, helmets, and gloves to go out in the snow. Those who are expert skiers encouraged the others.
Vail Resorts provided tickets, lessons, and equipment for students; meeting areas for meals and a dance, resulting in an amazing opportunity for all participants to enjoy the fabulous fun that being at a Vail resort offers. The laughter, singing, and stories that ended in hugs and tears at the close of the weekend were proof of the success of putting the students in a challenging but fun environment to build camaraderie, self-esteem, and life-long friendships.
Without the generous support from Vail, local host families, and the community, such incredible experiences would not have been possible.
Of the grant, Vail Resorts says, EpicPromise is how the company embodies its foundational value – Do Good. By supporting the health of our communities through local grants and employee volunteering, the wellbeing and development of our employees through the EpicPromise Foundation, and the resilience of our environment and global climate through our bold Commitment to Zero, EpicPromise helps create a more promising future for generations to come. Annually, Vail’s EpicPromise donates $14.5 million in product and cash contribution to more than 350 nonprofit organizations.
This Rotary International program increases worldwide understanding and peace. These young people will be the future leaders in their home countries. They cherish their experiences in the United States and the fellow students with whom they shared those days. Hopefully, those memories will lead to a better understanding of complicated international issues as future decision makers guide their nations.