Chester’s Frank Kelley named Volunteer of Year at Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports


Frank Kelley/photo by shawn cunningham

Frank Kelley Telegraph Publishing photo

Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, the largest year-round disabled sports non-profit organization in Vermont to offer programs on a daily, year-round basis, has announced that Frank Kelley of Chester and Laura Schutz of Burlington are the 2014 recipients of the organization’s annual Jim Hutchinson Volunteer of the Year Award.

“These two volunteers exemplify what Jim Hutchinson stood for when it comes to being a volunteer,” said Executive Director Erin Fernandez. “They tirelessly offered their time and talent to the organization throughout the year and truly stood apart with their willingness to learn and execute many aspects of our programs and fundraisers. They go above and beyond what a volunteer is asked to do and for that we are grateful.”

The Jim Hutchinson award honors the efforts of outstanding individuals. Hutchinson embodied the meaning of volunteer with his tireless dedication, strong leadership and big heart. Each year, individuals are nominated for the annual  award in his honor and names are added to a memorial plaque hanging at each program location throughout the state. Not only was Hutchinson a stalwart volunteer, he served as the organization’s president.

Kelley’s entire family participates and volunteers with Vermont Adaptive and has been doing so  for at least 10 years. His enthusiasm for his family, his teaching career at Chester-Andover Elementary School and Vermont Adaptive is tireless. Kelley has mentored countless volunteers in numerous locations on a year-round basis.

“His positive, friendly outgoing nature is only matched by his willingness to help out any way possible,” said Tom Alcorn, senior program coordinator at Vermont Adaptive.

“You’ll see Frank on the slopes, you’ll see Frank in the parking lot at 5 a.m. at the Long Trail Century Ride or the Vermont 50 parking cars or helping at an aid station, and then you’ll see him two hours later riding in the event, with a whole team of people from his home town he recruited, and then you’ll see him help clean up, and maybe having a beer.”

Kelley also is known for his innovation, always looking for creative ways to make the experience an amazing one for his athlete. He believes doing something differently allows for instructors to push the outside of the envelope in a safe way to fine-tune what is needed for the athlete.

“If a guy can do it with one leg, I can do it with two,” said Kelley. “I look forward to it. It’s a family endeavor. We all pitch in in different ways.”

Schutz has been involved with Vermont Adaptive as a volunteer since 2006 and volunteers at the organization’s program location, Sugarbush Resort, in the winter, and in Chittenden County during the warmer months. She is PSIA-Level 1 adaptive certified. She volunteered more than 100 hours with Vermont Adaptive in 2014.

“Many people see her positivity, passion and dedication shine through when she teaches lessons, but Laura goes above and beyond to help Vermont Adaptive grow behind the scenes,” said Heather Timins, program coordinator for Vermont Adaptive.

“She helps at year-round fundraisers, writes grants through her work, recruits new volunteers, and helps mentor new volunteers as well.” In 2014 she wrote and submitted a grant application to IBM’s community grants program, and as a result, Vermont Adaptive was awarded a $1,000 grant.

Vermont Adaptive promotes independence and furthers equality through access and instruction to sports and recreational opportunities including alpine skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports; kayaking, canoeing, sailing, cycling, hiking, rock climbing, tennis, horseback riding, and more.

More than 400 volunteers serve clients of all abilities with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities from all over the world in three locations in the winter in Vermont: Pico Mountain at Killington; Sugarbush Resort in Warren; and Bolton Valley Resort in Bolton. Summer programs are provided statewide. For more information, visit

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About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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