‘Danger’ is her middle name after online fundraiser

  • Kaitie Eddington, of Wilder, was not given a middle name on her birth certificate, and is allowing donors to vote on a name she will adopt as a fund raiser for the Upper Valley Trails Alliance, where she is program manager. When the votes are tallied on Oct. 31, she will legally register the winning name from the list that includes - Marie, Danger, Passport, Hike-its Hike Hike, Peach!, and Lark. “The names with the highest votes right now are pretty normal,” said Eddington. “I think people want to be nice to me.” (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/5/2020 10:06:59 PM
Modified: 11/5/2020 10:06:46 PM

NORWICH — There are a few catch phrases that anyone can say, but only in jest. No one, it’s worth noting, was ever “born ready.”

But Kaitie Eddington can now say something that’s been said countless times, and it will mean something to her that it doesn’t mean to many other people.

“Danger” really is her middle name.

A monthslong contest to choose a middle name for Eddington — a contest that doubled as a fundraiser for the Upper Valley Trails Alliance, where Eddington is a program manager — ended last weekend with a surprising result. Danger emerged as the winner, with 97 votes of the 265 votes cast in the online election/fundraiser.

“We had a top three, because they were really close,” Eddington, 25, said Thursday. “Then Lark and Danger pulled far ahead of Marie.”

The naming contest brought in $4,580 for the Trails Alliance. The organization had to cancel some of its usual fundraisers because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the donations from the contest, which included a $1,000 matching grant from an anonymous donor, helped close some of the gap. When contributions met the matching goal, the donor gave another $500, on top of the pledge, Eddington said.

Now, Eddington has to follow through and make Danger her legal middle name, something she had pledged to do. When she was married, in her native Utah, and took her husband’s name — replacing her family’s surname Woodmansee — the process was simple: She showed her marriage license, paid a $50 fee, and that was that.

The process to add Danger to her name is a bit more complicated. Vermont requires a form and a $150 fee, and a probate judge must sign off on the change. It’s up to the judge whether to hold a hearing.

“I never thought in a million years that I would have to go before somebody and say that I’m changing my name to Danger,” Eddington said. “I think I have a good case,” she added. “I’ve got 265 votes and a good story.”

The experience of asking the public to give her a middle name has been a fun one, she said. People have sent her messages, including one that said, in essence, “Thank you for letting me into your life.”

The quest for a middle name has been definitive for Eddington, who started the contest at the urging of members of a trail crew. She had told them the story of how she’d tried to give herself a middle name in the third grade, choosing the name Satin from a book spine, and of how her attempt had gone astray.

“Now, a lot of New England knows that I accidentally named myself Satan when I was 8 years old,” Eddington said. “I think it’s very sweet that some people feel a connection to me and to the Upper Valley Trails Alliance because of this experience.”

Alex Hanson can be reached at ahanson@vnews.com or 603-727-3207.

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