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Saving Cash Before Hitting the Slopes

  • Luke Cramer, 6, of Union Village, reacts as he begins to lose balance while his father, John, helps him size a new pair of ski boots yesterday during the annual ski and skate sale at Thetford Elementary School in Thetford. At right are Luke’s brother, Jack, 6, mother, Pam Podger, and Cyrus Pejouhy, of Omer and Bob’s Sport Shop in Lebanon. (Valley News - Ryan Dorgan)

    Luke Cramer, 6, of Union Village, reacts as he begins to lose balance while his father, John, helps him size a new pair of ski boots yesterday during the annual ski and skate sale at Thetford Elementary School in Thetford. At right are Luke’s brother, Jack, 6, mother, Pam Podger, and Cyrus Pejouhy, of Omer and Bob’s Sport Shop in Lebanon. (Valley News - Ryan Dorgan)

  • Alex Ussler, 14, of Fairlee, tries on a pair of ski boots at the annual ski and skate sale. (Valley News - Ryan Dorgan)

    Alex Ussler, 14, of Fairlee, tries on a pair of ski boots at the annual ski and skate sale. (Valley News - Ryan Dorgan)

  • Daniel Jaccaci, 9, of Thetford, checks out a sled that he was interested in buying at the annual ski and skate sale. (Valley News - Ryan Dorgan)

    Daniel Jaccaci, 9, of Thetford, checks out a sled that he was interested in buying at the annual ski and skate sale. (Valley News - Ryan Dorgan)

  • Luke Cramer, 6, of Union Village, reacts as he begins to lose balance while his father, John, helps him size a new pair of ski boots yesterday during the annual ski and skate sale at Thetford Elementary School in Thetford. At right are Luke’s brother, Jack, 6, mother, Pam Podger, and Cyrus Pejouhy, of Omer and Bob’s Sport Shop in Lebanon. (Valley News - Ryan Dorgan)
  • Alex Ussler, 14, of Fairlee, tries on a pair of ski boots at the annual ski and skate sale. (Valley News - Ryan Dorgan)
  • Daniel Jaccaci, 9, of Thetford, checks out a sled that he was interested in buying at the annual ski and skate sale. (Valley News - Ryan Dorgan)

All was quiet yesterday as the line leading to the Thetford Elementary School gym for the annual ski and skate sale began to wrap around the corridor and back out the door.

“It’s the hush before the storm,” said Alex Jaccaci, who has volunteered for the sale in the past, but just came for the gear this time.

The sale yesterday drew more than 50 people looking for discounted ski, snowboard and ice skate equipment for hobbies that have grown increasingly expensive.

Jaccaci said that, aside from the cheap prices, people participate in the yearly tradition to pay homage to the “notion of swapping,” especially those with growing kids.

When the doors opened at half past noon, all signs of tranquility vanished as the hallway crowd sifted into the large auditorium — where ski boots were laid out on large blue blankets and propped-up snowboards lined the gym walls.

The town’s recreation department, which hosts the event, receives one third of the proceeds from the sale.

Thetford Recreation Director Kathi Meyerson said that the sale last year drew about $3,300 in revenue for the recreation department, which she said is used to run the department’s programs, as well as fund scholarships for kids who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford skiing.

“We charge $70 a season for six weeks of skiing at the (Dartmouth) Skiway,” said Meyerson. “(The revenue) helps us cover busing and extra instructors, things like that.”

Hilary Linehan, who used to oversee the event as the town’s former recreation director, said the annual tradition stretches back about 30 years.

“It’s usually a mob scene,” she said, “The last chance to get something at a good price.”

Hugh O’Donnell emerged from the “mob scene” with a pair of ski boots, snowboard boots and a set of ski poles.

“I’ve got three kids, and every year we have to buy stuff, so it works out pretty well for us,” he said. “We’ve always had good luck with it.”

Owen Marshall, a senior at Thetford Academy, said he usually rents his skis from Henderson’s Ski and Snowboards in Quechee, but he decided to buy a pair this year, since he’s planning on doing some skiing in his free time as a freshman at the University of Vermont next year.

Norm Marshall, Owen’s father, was especially excited at the price of the Fisher skis, which he purchased for $24. He estimated that the skis were about $300 new.

“Obviously, they’re not new,” Norm Marshall said. “They have to be tuned up, but hey, 24 bucks.”

Ben Conarck can be reached at bconarck@vnews.com or 603-727-3213.


CORRECTION:

This article has been amended to correct an earlier error. The following correction ran in the Tuesday, Dec. 4 edition of the Valley News:

Alex Jaccaci is a Thetford resident who used to volunteer for the recreation department's annual ski and skate sale. A story in yesterday's Valley News misspelled his last name.