Community members are rallying around a campaign to assist with the medical bills of one of Camden's most loyal and dedicated volunteers, Stuart Young.

Young recently underwent a successful, lifesaving amputation to his lower right leg, below the knee, after suffering for some time from an injury that repeatedly became infected.

The GoFundMe campaign at gofundme.com/stuart-youngs-medical-fund, started by Holly Edwards, has raised nearly $12,500 in seven days, and is showing no sign of slowing down. Donations of $10, $20 and $25, and others in the hundreds of dollars, are coming in daily, and adding up. In addition to GoFundMe, community members are pitching in to help in a variety of ways.

Young is currently undergoing physical therapy, which he said is going well, and he plans to be back at the top of the toboggan chute in Februrary for the 2018 U.S. National Toboggan Championships. For Young, it's all about a great winter event, the money the race raises for the Snow Bowl, and the people and revenue it brings to the town's restaurants and lodging businesses.

Young grew up helping out at the Snow Bowl, where his mother was a big volunteer. Through the 1970s and '80s, "We did a lot of pancake breakfasts and chairlift rides all summer long," he said. "The place used to be packed."

In 1989, he joined the town of Camden's Parks and Recreation Committee. That winter, the Snow Bowl had a bad year, and lost around $25,000. The Select Board hauled in the Parks and Recreation Committee members and told them they had to do something to raise the money. They held dances, tried out a driving range, and then Jack Williams came up with the idea of restoring the toboggan chute, which had been built when the Snow Bowl opened in 1936. With David Dickey as his right-hand man, Williams organized the project, bringing in volunteers to help, and Ken Bailey came up with the idea of having a toboggan race. "Within two to three years, we gave the taxpayers their $25,000 back," Young said.

Young, Dickey and Bailey, who was the oldest of the three and has since passed away, grew up on Main Street, where they worked in their families' businesses.

Young was the fourth generation to own and run Ayers Fish Market. Dickey's family owned Haskell & Corthell, a clothing store, which sold men's and women's clothing, ski gear and more. Bailey's family owned Hodgemans Footwear.

Ayer's Market closed in 1998. In 1999, the Lobster Pound was the food vendor at the Snow Bowl. That year, Young went to work at the Lobster Pound in Lincolnville from April through October, for the McLaughlin family. This year, he continued to work there for the new owners, the Lafayette family, ordering the lobsters, seafood and a lot of the food products, and doing prep work in the kitchen early in the day, picking out lobster meat for the lobster rolls and other dishes.

Working at The Lobster Pound left Young free to work and volunteer at the Snow Bowl in the winter. In 2000, he was a Snow Bowl employee and the toboggan chute operator. Over the years, he was responsible for the chute and for Hosmer Pond. He grew to love the all-volunteer Toboggan Championships. That first year, he watched how the volunteers worked and were used to doing things a certain way. After a while, he figured out how to improve the race. "I kept saying to Dave, 'This can be done a lot better.'"

Within a few years, Dickey and Young rebuilt the top of the toboggan chute, which allowed toboggans to load onto the chute and to release much faster. Young gives much of the credit for getting the job done to Dickey. With volunteer labor, they also made the area around the bottom of the chute much safer. This increased the number of teams that could race, and the event's earnings potential.

By 2004-05, the income to the town of Camden from the Toboggan Championships escalated, Young said. In keeping with its original purpose, the race helped fund the Snow Bowl. It has consistently brought in $50,000 or more each year, he said. In most years, not counting the more recent large deficits, the money helped the ski area balance its books, according to Young. For the past 10 years, Young has served as co-chair of the Toboggan Championships committee.

Young also loves the history of the town of Camden, and all that the Snow Bowl has brought to it. There are many volunteers and friends, though only a few are named here. The fun, the humor and the stories are a big part of it, such as how the skate shack got to be named the Rockport Hotel. In the late 1880s, the town of Rockport broke off from the town of Camden, and there was some bitterness and name-calling, Young said. In the 1930s, Hosmer Pond was full of skaters on Saturdays and Sundays. Volunteers from Rockport built the skate house, which the town of Camden then proclaimed it the "Rockport Hotel."

The skate shack was a place to warm up and get something to eat. After a number of decades, it was rotting and ended up near the tennis courts.

"Some people wanted to burn it, but my heart couldn't take it," Young said. "I wanted to bring it back to Tobogganville. Now it's back by the chute in the spirit of the old time Outing Club." With the help of volunteers from Rockport Steel and Frost & Bryant contractors, the building is now used for registration for the toboggan race.

Young said that when you look at the Snow Bowl, not everyone notices the chute way over to the left. He even appreciates the area when there is no snow on the ground. "It's not an official park of the town of Camden,"  he said, "but Parks and Recreation maintains it during the year. It's a place where people can lay back and enjoy a peaceful lunch."