Fellow Mountain supporters,
As we enter this season of gratitude and reflection, I wanted to send an update on the many things we have to be grateful for at The Mountain.
With strict protocols in place to protect the health of our staff and guests, we have been able to hold a number of on-site programs through the fall. And we have had a strong personal retreat business as people have looked to get away from it all for a few days. Guest feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, exemplified by a guest who commented “this is what I needed to have some relief from the world -- a peaceful place with friendly people and excellent food.”
As a testament to staff’s commitment to these health protocols and excellence in hospitality, The Mountain received a 98.5 rating from the county health department during a recent surprise inspection. This betters the already-strong 93.0 that we had previously received.
Although we’ve had some guests on-site, it’s been much quieter than a normal fall, and as a result staff and volunteers have had the opportunity to catch up on facilities work. The Rec Hall has received much-needed maintenance on its windows, siding, and interior. Plans are in place to address other maintenance needs including the Lodge, ASCENDER, and the dam at the lake. Additionally, solar panels will begin sprouting on the Lodge and Development Office in the next couple of weeks, the result of donations and significant volunteer efforts to reduce the environmental impact of our operations.
While we haven’t been able to hold large programs on-site, we have successfully run smaller events including Intergenerational Camp, A Better World Week, and personal retreats. The virtual programs have included Adaptive Living and Understand White Privilege and Become An Anti-Racist. Over 350 people registered for these programs, many of whom had never been to or heard of The Mountain before these programs and were eager to learn more about what we do. These programs provide a template for us, even post-pandemic, to improve how we deliver on our Mission of “enriching lives, fostering an appreciation of the natural world, honoring the interconnectedness of all things, and inspiring people to build inclusive, meaningful, sustainable communities throughout their lives.”
Your Board of Trustees is continuing to work on the search for a permanent Executive Director. As we strive to better realize our Vision and fulfill our Mission, we want to ensure that the next Executive Director has the proper skills, experience, and guidance from the Board to do just that. Consequently, we are in the process of updating the Executive Director’s job description, and expect to formalize that and announce a Search Committee in late December.
Last, but certainly not least, we would not be able to continue the work of The Mountain without the financial support of our members and donors. We have received over $450,000 in donations so far this year, including donations restricted for infrastructure, well beyond what we had forecast in January. Your support has been critical in enabling The Mountain to address infrastructure needs and allowing us to retain our talented and dedicated staff as they’ve worked tirelessly to reorient The Mountain’s programming to this “new normal.”
It is not too late to give, and your contributions make a meaningful difference not just to The Mountain, but to the many people that it touches every year. Please contact Mountain Development at: email@example.com or 828.526.5838 to discuss making a gift before the end of the year.
With gratitude for your support of The Mountain,
Chair, Board of Trustees