The 25th Annual Special Olympics Ski Trip was a memorable one and by far one for the books. 

Owners Bob Mercer and Pam Parent, alongside the entire crew, raised over $35,000 from local business supporters and individuals; $35,482, to be exact. Every penny went to the Special Olympics of Southeastern Massachusetts so that athletes can participate in competition and games without the costly burden to their families. 

Every $250 raised from Bob's ski trip allowed one athlete to perform in the Special Olympic games for a year. The money that was raised helped over 150 Special Olympic athletes, so they can participate in the next upcoming games.

What a day it was, and to paint a picture, here's how the trip went down:

On March 3, Bob's Sea & Ski embarked along with five completely full buses from Fairhaven around 5 a.m. and arrived at Loon Mountain in Lincoln, New Hampshire just before 8 a.m.

Sitting about 10 rows back, I was well-rested and ready to take on the day alongside my girlfriend and a packed bus, ready to hit the mountain. On the ride up, each bus had about $1,000 worth of brand new merchandise from Bob's ski shop (a total of $5,000) that was raffled off, and let me tell you this, the raffle prizes were nothing less than awesome.

Once we arrived at Loon, the sun was shining bright, the temperatures were comfortable and not too cold and the conditions were absolutely perfect. We unloaded the bus and our skis and snowboards and headed on into the Governor's Lodge, where we were greeted by back-to-back tables covered from end-to-end with more donated merchandise, coming in at a total of $20,000, ready to be raffled off towards the end of the day.

After hitting the slopes for a few hours, we then headed back inside to the Governor's Lodge where an awesome Bavarian band (believe it or not, just take my word) was setting up to perform around lunchtime, where the food was delicious and the music was even better. As we were hanging out, enjoying the company of good friends and family, we were gifted by the presence of Melissa Riley, a Special Olympics athlete from Brookline who was nothing less than extraordinary and an inspiration to all.

At the end of the day, as we gathered our belongings and loaded back onto the buses, Stafford and Company Insurance of Fall River provided every bus with Italian grinders from Marzilli's bakery and chocolate chip cookies for the ride home. 

Overall, it was a great time with family and friends, getting together to support a wonderful foundation that supports the Special Olympic Athletes of Southeastern Massachusetts.

I highly recommend taking this trip next year. Bob and Pam's goal for 2020 would be to help and support at least 200 or more athletes, so the more people who participate in the trip, the better it helps the organization. 

Kudos to everyone who helped make this year's Special Olympic Ski Trip a successful and memorable one.