Fundraising for a new lodge and other improvements at the Camden Snow Bowl are in high gear this summer, thanks in part to a challenge grant that will double every dollar raised, up to $200,000.

“An anonymous donor came forward with the challenge,” said Erin Flanagan, co-chairman of the Ragged Mountain Recreation Area capital campaign committee, in a news release. “We are pleased and excited and want to let everyone know that while they might be thinking of blueberries and the beach, it’s a great time to think of the Camden Snow Bowl, too.”

There are a variety of ways a donor can direct a contribution to the Ragged Mountain Recreation Area redevelopment project:

  • Any donation, large or small, is welcome.
  • An individual or a family can purchase a tile for $200 to memorialize someone they love or announce their support for the Snow Bowl.
  • A $10,000 contribution allows a donor to “purchase” a chair on the mountain’s new lift.

Maine Coast Construction of Camden recently purchased a chair.

“We knew about the campaign and decided this summer would be a great time to make this financial commitment,” said John Davee, president of Maine Coast Construction. “We’re glad to help because the Snow Bowl is important to our family, business and community. The challenge grant doubling our dollars means we can make an even bigger difference.”

In 2007, the Camden Select Board formed the Ragged Mountain Recreation Area Redevelopment Committee to oversee the design of the project to enhance the existing winter activities and fully use this natural asset by making it a four-season recreational area to be enjoyed by the residents of Camden, nearby communities and visitors to the Midcoast region.

The Ragged Mountain Recreation Area Foundation, founded in 1991 to support capital improvements at the facility, has taken responsibility for private fundraising. In November 2008, Camden voters approved an advisory vote to support the concept of issuing a $2 million bond when the Ragged Mountain Recreation Area Foundation reaches its goal of raising $4.5 million.

The committee has raised almost $4 million so far and, with the help of this challenge grant, aims to achieve the full private fundraising goal before the people of Camden vote on the bond issue in November.

The redevelopment project includes new trails, a triple chairlift, a new lodge, expanded snowmaking and many other improvements toward making the recreation area a refreshed and sustainable community asset. The sooner the vision can be realized for this four-season destination — a place to ski and snowboard, toboggan, swim, canoe, hike, bike, walk dogs, play tennis and field sports, and host events — the sooner its recreational, health, and economic benefits will be felt by everyone in the Midcoast.

Donations may be mailed to RMRAF, PO Box 438, Camden, ME 04843. For more information, visit the Camden Snow Bowl website at camdensnowbowl.com/redevelopment.