By Jason Parent
Aroostook County – With less than two months to go before the Nordic Heritage Center hosts International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup 8 at the world-class Nordic ski and biathlon venue in Presque Isle, officials with the center and organizers with the large-scale event are honoring three local organizations who have stepped forward in lead roles to support both.
At a Holiday Season gathering at NHC on December 21, World Cup and center volunteers came together to show appreciation for three partners: MMG Insurance, Pineland Farms and TAMC, each of which has committed to supporting the future of the facility and activity for youth and adults at the center in the months and years to come.
“During this season of giving, we could not be more pleased to recognize those who support the Nordic Heritage Center, and our partners in the effort to ensure this tremendous resource continues to be here for the people of the region to enjoy and the world’s top Nordic skiers and biathletes to compete,” said Paul Towle, NHC president. “We are very fortunate to have the support of MMG Insurance, Pineland Farms and TAMC, as well as the Libra Foundation, and numerous other businesses and organizations that support the outstanding work of many volunteers who give of their time, talent and treasure.”
The upcoming 2016 event will mark the first large-scale event hosted in The County since the Nordic Heritage Center has operated independent of direct support provided by the Maine Winter Sports Center. The operation and maintenance of the four-season sports facility, located just off the Fort Fairfield Road in Presque Isle, are supported in large-part by the Libra Foundation. Donations from several local partners, including the top three honored at the December 21st event, as well as other contributions, club memberships and revenue generated by events, including those sanctioned by the International Biathlon Union, are now sustaining the center.
“I travel all over the country for business and there is no better place to be than right here in Aroostook County,” said Rodney McCrum, president and chief operating officer of Naturally Potatoes. “Events such as the upcoming Biathlon World Cup and facilities like the Nordic Heritage Center provide us with the great opportunity to showcase just how great a place this is to live, work and do business.”
IBU World Cup 8 will be hosted in Aroostook County by the Nordic Heritage Center as the next to last in a series of nine stops on the 2015-2016 international circuit, and the only stop in the United States. Teams and visitors from the participating nations are expected to arrive in Aroostook County in early February and depart the region on February 15.
“These three outstanding partners will each be recognized for their sustaining support of this venue and the many community activities and events hosted here year-round when the World Cup comes to The County in just 50 days,” said Jane Towle, 2016 IBU Biathlon World Cup event director. “Beyond that the support of MMG Insurance, Pineland Farms and TAMC will be recognized for all who visit the Nordic Heritage Center in the coming years, by having their logos prominently displayed on the main lodge outdoor chimney.”
Joined by leaders of the three partner organizations, Paul and Jane Towle unveiled the logos that will adorn the chimney in time for the World Cup event. They also spoke about the significance of the support and how it is not only helping to keep the Nordic Heritage Center viable, but community programming, like the Youth Ski Program and others, going. Those comments were echoed by leaders of the three major partners recognized.
“TAMC has been pleased and proud to support the Nordic Heritage Center for more than a decade and we couldn’t be happier to continue that relationship,” said Sylvia Getman, TAMC president and CEO. “For us, this is about supporting the world class events that allow us to showcase our area to the world, but it’s about more than that. It is about community health. We are part of this community and are committed to making this a healthier place for all of us. Our commitment to youth ski programs to get kids up on skis and adults as well, is a key part of our partnership with the Nordic Heritage Center, and we thank all of the dedicated volunteers for their work to ensure this happens.”
“We couldn’t be more pleased to be a part of what is happening here at the Nordic Heritage Center,” said Larry Shaw, MMG Insurance president and CEO. “This is truly one of those unique community assets that we have. Events such as the coming Biathlon World Cup are great opportunities to welcome the world and show off our area. It also impresses me how the community comes together around this facility and the events hosted here. I feel, as a community member, that this spirit carries well beyond the event and enhances our quality of life beyond measure.”
Jane Towle also updated those gathered about progress on the coming IBU World Cup Event as the countdown continues. Competition is set for February 11 through 14, 2016.
Upwards of 300 of the world’s top male and female biathletes, ages 20 and over, from more than 32 countries are expected to be in Aroostook County for the competition. The biathletes will participate in six competitions at the Nordic Heritage Sport Center venue: sprint, pursuit, and relay in both men’s and women’s divisions. Recruitment of volunteers is among the major areas of focus as just weeks remain.
The volunteer section of the event website is now open to take registrations. Interested individuals are encouraged to visit the site: http://biathlonmaine.com and click on the “volunteers” link to get registered. For more information on volunteer opportunities with the 2016 IBU Biathlon World Cup event coming to Aroostook County in early February, contact Volunteer Coordinator Nancy Fletcher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Officials representing the three gold partners of the Nordic Heritage Center and coming 2016 IBU World Cup Event on the deck of the NHC immediately following the unveiling of the partner logos now prominently displayed on the chimney of the main lodge of the facility.