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Originally posted by The Villager, by Jessica Schultz, Feb 2021 

It’s been a beautiful winter so far! Days of lovely powdery snow, not too extreme, and great for outdoor winter activities like snow shoeing, sledding, cross-country skiing, even just making a snow man with your children. Though we are still living through the pandemic and a lot of regular events are postponed or sitting in limbo, have no fear, Holiday Valley and the Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program are still bringing the Penguin Paddle to 2021. It’s just a little different this year.

The Villager got the chance to speak to Bill Bredenberg in regards to the newly modified event.

The Villager (V): How did you decide to move forward with the Penguin Paddle this year?

Bill (B): “With the COVID social distancing and crowd gathering restrictions, we reimagined the Penguin Paddle to be a week-long online event running Saturday, February 20 – 27, 2021 at The traditional Raffle and Silent Auction will move forward as in years’ past, only virtually. The beloved Penguin Slide has been modified this year with a socially distant and family-friendly “Penguin Challenge.”

V: What precautions will you be taking against Covid-19?

B: “The annual event is now a virtual fundraiser, rather than in-person. We encourage our supporters to engage with us on social media to show their support and build awareness of the virtual 2021 Penguin Paddle.”

V: Do you feel that this event will be good for the community to participate in?

B: “Absolutely. While the Penguin Paddle is virtual this year, the event relies completely on community participation to make it successful. As always, our generous local merchants have donated raffle prizes and auction items. We invite the local and Western New York communities to get involved by bidding on items such as Groomer Rides, Gift baskets, Ski Gear, Private Ski Lessons, Home Decor and more! Raffle prizes include a Holiday Valley season’s pass, high performance skis from The City Garage and $100 gift card to Lowe’s Home Improvement. Children (and those who are a child at heart), are encouraged to join the Penguin Challenge on social media.”

V: Do you have any other events in the works?

B: “Veterans Ski Day.”

V: Anything else to add?

B: “The money raised from the Penguin Paddle finances scholarships, specialized adaptive equipment for sit-down and stand-up skiers as well as training and certification to improve the skills of our pool of 100% volunteer ski instructors. This year has been challenging for everyone involved and there is no doubt that we have had to adapt our fundraising to match the changing climate of the pandemic. We would like to thank Holiday Valley for their amazing amount of support in making this virtual event possible.”

Here’s how to do the Penguin Challenge: 1. Make like a penguin and slide down a hill, slide, snow, or sand. Be creative and have fun! 2. Take a picture, share it on social media with #LASP #penguinpaddle #penguinchallenge. Tag “@LounsburyAdaptive” on Facebook & Instagram 3. Make a Penguin Challenge donation on the Lounsbury site or send a check to: Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program, Holiday Valley Resort, PO Box 370, Ellicottville, NY 14731

Follow @LounsburyAdaptive on Facebook and Instagram for more information and updates.

Thank you, Bill, for taking the time to speak with us and thank you to both Holiday Valley and the Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program for helping keep the winter season fun for the community during this ongoing situation.

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