The same core team of individuals came together to plan this project and then recruit other companies and volunteers to help make it happen. Jim Sysko, the “chief” engineer and his daughter Mandy Ottone, also an engineer, led the effort each day for just more than a month. Al and Mark Bancroft of Bancroft Contracting in South Paris, agreed to supply the crane and operator needed to build the structure, which was designed to surpass the 113’7” snowman built in 1999. Sunday River Ski Resort’s Bill Brown and Joe Aloisio agreed to put a team in place to provide the snowmaking services needed to produce at least a portion of the 13,000,000 lbs. of snow needed and to employ Boyne USA’s new fan gun technology. Jim Bennett of Computer Solutions of Maine and a local fireman, was helpful in getting the local contractors to help provide the equipment needed. Jim Mann of Mt. Mann Jewelers thought a SnowWoman would need some “bling” and offered to design and build a 6-7 ft. diameter snowflake pendant for the grand lady!
This core group got the project started, but it could not have been completed without the help of nearly 100 volunteers who helped make snow, shoveled & packed, and did a variety of other tasks needed to complete the project. The Mtn. Valley Middle School students, under the watchful guidance of consumer science teacher, Lorraine Tanguay, made the 16’ diameter fleece hat! The SAD #44 elementary school students, led by Woodstock School and Principal Jolene Littlehale, made the 8 ft. nose! The Mahoosuc Kids Association painted the tire “lips” red. It was terrific to have so many young members of our community help with the project!
On Feb. 27th, WBLM radio 102.9 Portland, Maine, announced the SnowWoman’s name. With more than 1,000 votes cast, the top choice was found to be “Olympia SnowWoman,” largely to commemorate Maine’s senior Senator, Olympia Snowe. Thursday found the construction crew putting the finishing touches on Olympia, and the community dedicated her on Friday, Feb. 29, 2008. She is a towering 122’1” tall, weighs 13,000,000 lbs., has 16 skis for eyelashes, 3 skidder tires for buttons, a gorgeous Maine mica pendant and 30 ft. spruce trees for arms. A live webcam has allowed people all over the world to watch the construction and a photo gallery will be available once the webcam is shut off.
The Bethel Area Chamber is running a “When Will She Melt?” 50/50 raffle and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Town of Bethel’s General Assistance Fund. Just a clue…the SnowMan, who weighed 8,000,000 lbs. melted in the middle of June. Olympia weighs 13,000,000!