Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 6858 | Snowmobile VERMONT Why I Volunteer It has been said that individuals volunteer strictly for altruistic reasons. There is the Good Samaritan that goes out of their way to aid a stranger or the solider who goes back to save a fallen comrade. It is a noble thing for someone to lend a hand for the greater good of mankind. People help those in need for no reward, favor or any grand show of gratitude. Year after year, the wonderful volunteers that make the over 4,700 miles of the VAST trail system possible, respond to an endless task. They do this with little to no reward or gain, as we normally would think one would receive for the work being done. This issue, we are pleased to share the stories of two of our hardworking volunteers. Without the many duties being completed by volunteers statewide like Jim and Jason, we could not enjoy the endless miles of pleasure we all share. Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer. You can find Jason many days with his chainsaw clearing trail where needed. Jason Quick, Volunteer Tweed Valley Travelers  Our flatlander family had been coming to Pittsfield, Vt. from N.J. since I was 8 years old. When I was in college in Burlington, the family sold the house in 1988 because it was not getting used. I knew I had to get back, so I bought my place in Pittsfield in 1999 and became hooked on snowmobiling shortly thereafter. Taking for granted that the trails were magically prepared for my use each season, I rode carefree for many years. I then began to wonder about the mechanics and economics behind the trail system. I soon figured out that it was far from a free-for-all. I began to ask questions and read articles. I realized that the backbone of our VAST trails system is a network of clubs, whose lifeblood is the volunteers who dedicate their efforts to make the system work. It was eye- opening when I learned that a huge contributor to our club, Tweed Valley Travelers, was an older woman who still did much of the “heavy lifting.” She is now 80 and still cuts trees off the trail, rebuilds bridges and more. Ironically, this same dynamo happened to coach both of my sisters in high school in New Jersey before she settled in Pittsfield. It’s a small world! I began to ask what could I do, because that was the way I was brought up. Hard work first, no free lunch. Wow, what a list! Then came Irene. Pittsfield was extremely hard hit, and our trails and infrastructure were severely damaged. To see the people of this town working together to rebuild their lives and our trails was inspiring. Since then, I have made it a priority in my life to help others. I really do enjoy trail work! Spending time in the mountains, meeting new people, achieving goals and having fun doing it, makes it all worthwhile. Seeing the results of your work while riding is also very rewarding. I drive 300 miles each way to physically abuse myself, and I too am very busy with my business, coaching kids and family matters. But, I make the time to do what I can to help our club because it is a heavy burden on those other club members who do most of the work. They are called “five percenters.” Only five percent of members do 100 percent of the work to make the trails what they are today. The clubs have aging members, and new, young people are needed to keep the spirit of volunteerism going forward. I wish I could figure out how to get more people involved. We need help, not excuses. I would ask this simple question to those who have not lent a hand to their club. If you have the time to ride, how come you can’t offer four hours of one day to aid your club? It helps! By William Thomas Sr. & Fellow Hardworking Volunteers