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Joyce Endee

Jericho Warming Hut dedicated

October 20, 2011
BERLIN –The White Mountain Ridge Runners opened their new warming hut with a ribbon cutting celebration on Sunday at the Jericho Mountain State Park. Around 50 people braved the brisk-winds, high altitude (2400 feet) and half-hour ride up Jericho Mountain to enjoy a brief program, piece of pizza and cold drink.

"This is been a whole group effort," said Jerry Gomes, assistant trail master and chief-organizer, the warming hut "will become a destination." At the brief ceremony, he thanked all the people and businesses and organizations who contributed to building the log structure.

The total costs to build the hut were $58,000. Gomes and his wife, who is a fundraising professional, came up with a creative plan – where each $100 contributor bought a log and got their name on a permanent plaque inside the hut. So far, 114 Founders have pledge their financial support along with donations of materials from several corporations and hundreds of hours of volunteer time. The club has received a grant from the Neil and Louise Tillotson Foundation. The club broke ground on the project on June 15, and the building exterior was completed on Sept. 25.

Gomes said the inspiration for a warming hut came from one that he saw in Jefferson. He also credited the state's Bureau of Trails for helping work through this partnership. Since the land that the hut sits on belongs to the state, the club will sign a long-term lease.

"Everything went smoothly," said Clint Savage, district supervisor for the state's bureau of trails, there will be "many years of enjoyment here." A video of this story is at www.WhiteMtNews.com.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
Garnett HIll
Varney Smith
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