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Madaila kicks off local United Way's 50th year this Saturday

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Posted on October 5, 2017 |
By Elsie Lynn Parini



n Madaila Press White.jpg
The Burlington-based psych-pop band Madaila, will play at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl this Saturday to celebrate the United Way of Addison County’s 50 years of service. Photo / Brendan Mcinerney

Turning 50 deserves a celebration — a big one.

After all, that’s 18,250 days, or 438,000 hours, or if you count every minute: 26,280,000 minutes. It’s an accomplishment.

Not only has United Way of Addison County reached the big 5-0 this year, they have spent the last half century (all 26.2 million minutes) serving programs that enrich the lives of people who live and work in Addison County.

So, with the help of Middlebury UndergrounD (MUD), our local United Way is throwing a birthday bash to remember. This Saturday, Oct. 7, from 1-5 p.m., the Middlebury College Snow Bowl will host food trucks, all sorts of beverages, kids’ activities including a bounce house, youth bands from the area and the psych-pop juggernaut Madaila.

“We’re honored to help the United Way celebrate their 50th year of extraordinary service in Addison County,” said Lisa Mitchell, who founded MUD (a 501©3 multidisciplinary arts and event production organization) with her husband Andy. “They are making a meaningful impact on the health and wellbeing of our community each and every day and tackling real and serious issues like heroin in Vermont through their H.E.L.P. program. They deserve accolades and support for their dedication to this community.”

Mitchell said that MUD has dreamed of putting on a live music event at the Snow Bowl, and they’re grateful for the opportunity to bring this special vision to life. 

“Madaila is the perfect headlining band for this debut event,” Mitchell added. “They have Middlebury College and Addison County roots and learned to ski at the Bowl. And they are awesome!”

General admission is $15 in advance or $18/door; students/teens pay $12 in advance or $15 at the door; and kids 12 and under are free. All ticket proceeds will benefit the general fund of United Way of Addison County.

“We are using this event as the 50th anniversary kick off,” said Nancy Luke, Marketing and Development Director for UWAC. “We wanted to do something for families because we’re all about the whole family. And it’s an opportunity to reach a new demographic and educate them about what we do.”

This year, UWAC has an annual fund drive goal of $650,000. With this general fund, the non-profit supports other local agencies that provide health care, food, shelter, and a myriad of other services to those in need right here in our backyard. New this year, $50,000 of that goal will specifically benefit three programs: the Heroin Epidemic Learning Program (H.E.L.P.), United at Work and the budding Addison County Mentoring Collaborative.

“Over the years a lot has changed, but some hasn’t,” Luke said. “There’s still need in Addison County. It hasn’t been easy for people who are what we call the ‘working poor’ — they are people who are working, but just can’t make ends meet. That’s a real target group for us. We want to create stability in their lives.

“By attending this event you’re giving to 26 grantees and almost 40 programs in one fell swoop,” Luke added.

Efficient? You betcha.

Besides doing a good thing. This event is going to be awesome fun for the whole family.

Come eat, drink, learn about United Way, take a chairlift ride up Worth Mountain, listen to great music and work up a sweat dancing to the sounds of Madaila.

Three of the five members of the Burlington-based band are Middlebury Union High School grads — that’s Mark Daly, Eric Maier and Jer Coons. Willoughby Morse graduated Mount Abe and Dan Ryan, well, he’s from West Barnet.

“Playing at the Snow Bowl where we grew up skiing is gonna be sweet!” said Daly. “Not only is it a hometown show but a pretty meaningful site.”

Madaila, while a pop-staple up in Burlington, hasn’t played Middlebury since two summers ago at Festival on-the-Green.

“It feels really good to play in Middlebury where we grew up,” Maier said, blushing maybe just a little after seeing their name on the banner that hangs over Main Street. “But this show is different from anything we’ve done before, because it’s for charity and put on by two non-profit organizations.” Usually, the band works out all the ticket sales, show details, PR, etc. “In this case we’re just showing up and offering our musical services.”

But don’t sell those “musical services” short. Madaila will bring an “upbeat, hearty neon spaceship ride,” according to Daly. Or is it “upbeat, pop music with some rock and roll sprinkled in there,” said Maier.

Whatever it is, people of all ages like the music.

“We’ll make people dance, then stretch out and jam,” said Daly. “There’ll be a little bit of something for everyone.”

Madaila will play tunes from both of their albums, “The Dance” and “Traces,” plus new material that they’ve been working on.

What are the locals looking forward to most about returning to their hometown ski hill?

Mini pizzas.

“Oh, those were the best!” Daly crooned.

While the cafeteria won’t be open, plenty of food vendors will be outside ready to serve some fresh eats. Look for Back Road BBQ, Mach’s Brick Oven Pizza, Broccoli Bar, Thelma’s Bread Dough and Sisters of Anarchy Ice Cream. Two Brothers Tavern will be serving beer, wine and hard cider on the upper deck. For non-alcoholic options look for Aqua ViTea Kombucha, TreTap (maple seltzer) and beverages from Stone Leaf Tea House.

After a bite, jump on the Worth Mountain chairlift for a ride up to the top. Lift tickets will be sold separately by the Snow Bowl: $5 for adults and $3 for students. Well worth it to see all the beautiful foliage. At the top of the mountain patrols will assist riders and point out different views. When you’re ready to go down, you can either walk (it’s faster) or take the lift.

“Round trip on the lift takes about 45 minutes,” said Peter Mackey, manager of the Snow Bowl.

Though the Snow Bowl has been used as a venue for alums, faculty, staff and non-profits, Mackey can’t remember a time they’ve done something that’s open to the public like this.

“I would say we’ve never done a rock concert,” he said. “But it’s something we’re hoping to do more of. We want to expand our summer ops, so this will be a good test.”

The event will be held rain or shine, though hopefully it’s nice weather and party-goers can stretch out with their blankets and chairs on the large lawn at the base of the Allen.

“The weather is such a factor, but it’s a great site for music,” Mackey said. “There are no neighbors, and the Allen makes a nice bowl for acoustics.”

Plan on joining the fun this Saturday at the Snow Bowl to help kick off the United Way of Addison County’s 50th year of service. Bring cash for the vendors and leave your pets and outside booze at home. Happy Columbus Day weekend!

Editor’s Note: The Addison County Independent is a sponsor of this event, along with Otter Creek Brewing, Woodchuck Hard Cider, People’s United Bank, Two Brothers Tavern, Champlain Valley Equipment, ACTR and SunCommon.

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