Adele's father Richard Lay from Eden Mills Jackrabbit Club, Club Volunteer of the Month
By: Cross Country Canada (2008/12/16)
Richard Lay is an incredible volunteer for Nordic skiing in Ontario. A competitive skier in the past, he started the Eden Mills Jackrabbit Ski Club 15 years ago. That effort involved getting the community on side to make trails in overgrown bush land, welding together grooming equipment, getting parents up to speed on basic coaching, and helping many kids to acquire ski equipment. For many years, Richard coached kids and adults, and led coaching workshops, but he also remained the driving force behind making and maintaining ski trails. Over the past 15 years, the Eden Mills Jackrabbit Ski Club has been displaced many times from former trails to yield to "development" and golf courses, necessitating recurrent fall efforts to make new trails from scratch on land owned by supportive community members. Richard, tirelessly, annually wields chain saw, shovel, pick axe and any other equipment required to make new trails, aided by a faithful but small core of other volunteers. The result is a challenging course for the Guelph Gryphon Nordic Ski team (for whom Richard is the coach), but also sheltered sections suitable for young bunnies. The effort given by volunteers such as Richard Lay is outstanding, and comprises a big patch of the grassroots support for Nordic skiing in Ontario.