Regarding the last Ridge-A-Thon: The family believes that Ben would have been very pleased to have seen some of the changes. While I understand that some of the Ridge diehards may have been sorry to see the event opened up to beginners, or nonskiers, understand this: Ben was very inclusive. The first thing Ben’s wife said, when she heard about the changes, was that Ben was very inclusive.
While skiing in Santa Fe, he would sometimes spend the day skiing with a fellow who had special needs. Ben and I referred to him as a boy, but later found out that he was around 30. People with Downs Syndrome sometimes appear younger than they are. The “boy,” as Ben and I referred to him, just loved skiing with Ben…and Ben loved skiing with him. The boy couldn’t keep up with Ben, but he wasn’t a bad skier. Few were as good as Ben. But the times they skied together weren’t about being the best, they were about a boy, with some special challenges, spending time with a skier that he really looked up to. It meant a lot to Ben that it meant a lot to the boy.
Not everyone can ski a double black diamond run. Not everyone can run up the Ridge. Ben would have been pleased to see lesser skiers included in the event that bears his name. He would have been pleased that anyone had a chance to participate.
One young skier came up to me at the last Ridge-A-Thon. He seemed to want my approval regarding the charity he had chosen. I was pleased that he chose the Emergency Medicines Fund, but I would have been pleased had he chosen any of the charities. I was pleased that he showed up, that he cared enough to participate in any capacity. Supporting a charity can be very personal. I think that Ben would have thought it was great that, again, other charities are now included. They are all great charities. They all represent things Ben loved, whether it be kids, or land, or art, or people in need of housing, or people who need medical care. Those are all great things.
I usually see you at the Ridge, but I may not make it this year. I have spine surgery in January and may not be healed enough to get there. If I’m not there, have some great runs for Ben. Understand that the family can not always be physically present, but we are always mentally there.
Regards, Eva (Ben’s sister)