Pinkham Notch, NH—On Saturday, March 12, Great Glen Trails hosted the Carl Johnson Memorial Ski-A-Thon and raised more than $2,000 for the ALS Association of Northern New England.
Carl Johnson, a great friend to Great Glen Trails and a lover of all things skiing, passed away in 2006 of ALS. Since 2007, Great Glen Trails has held this event in his honor. With the ski-a-thon format, skiers skied a 5-kilometer loop as many times as possible within the 3-hour time limit. All entrants obtained pledges based on how many times they hoped to ski the loop, so the more they skied, the more money they raised. All proceeds go directly to the ALS Association.
In addition to the money raised through pledges, Great Glen Trails also offered a raffle for two hand-turned wooden vessels made by Great Glen Trails Ambassador Ed Good and 15-year-old Great Glen Trails skier Sean Doherty. Under Good’s tutelage, Doherty is learning the fine art of woodturning, and both artisans made their items from a tree from Carl Johnson’s property.
For years, Carl Johnson was a fixture as a timing volunteer during Great Glen Trails’ weekly cross country race series, Nordic Meisters. Carl would tirelessly man the stopwatch from the timing shack offering words of encouragement to each and every racer, and, in time, he became the face of Nordic Meisters. In his honor, Great Glen Trails has renamed Carl’s post the Carl Johnson Memorial Timing Shack. A plaque was unveiled before the Ski-A-Thon to mark the occasion.
The Carl Johnson Memorial Ski-A-Thon also features prizes for most laps skied, most pledges raised and, in Carl’s spirit, wackiest tights.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. Yet, through it all, for the vast majority of people, their minds remain unaffected. There are currently no treatments that fully reverse the affects of ALS nor is there a cure.
THE ALS ASSOCIATION
The ALS Association is the only non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.
Learn more about the ALS Association at www.alsanne.org.
Carl Johnson’s widow Christine Fleming skis in the Carl Johnson Memorial Ski-A-Thon at Great Glen Trails.
Good times at the Carl Johnson Memorial Ski-A-Thon at Great Glen Trails