Bigrock Mountain Alpine Ski Area announced on Wednesday a $350,000 gift from Mary Barton Akeley Smith to kick off its capital campaign.

Mrs. Smith, a Presque Isle native, has shown a consistent commitment in much of her philanthropy to the health and wellness of people of all ages in northern Maine. Her investments in the Mark & Emily Turner Memorial Library, the Rodney Smith Center for Fitness and Occupational Wellness, The Outdoor Sport Institute, The Presque Isle Community Center and now Bigrock Mountain, reflect that commitment.

“Northern Maine has long snowy winters, and to lead healthy lives people of all ages need affordable access to outdoor winter recreation,” said Mrs. Smith.  “I’m excited to start the Bigrock Capital Fund and hope others will join the effort to make this important community resource available for future generations”

Bigrock in Mars Hill was founded in 1961 and at 980 vertical feet, is the tallest ski area in northern Maine and the Maritimes. With 35 trails, it is also one of the best skiing values in New England. Bigrock operates as a 501C3 non-profit and is led by a volunteer board, with a mission to make skiing a healthy, active, outdoor lifestyle accessible to all.

“Mary’s gift will have a profound and lasting impact on our mountain and the people we serve,” said Darrell McCrum, Chairman of the Bigrock board.  “We will immediately start reaching out to those we hope will be inspired by Mary to join our campaign”

The Bigrock Capital Fund will address critical needs for the mountain, purchasing equipment and funding the infrastructure projects vital for the mountain’s sustained operation and growth.

To learn more about Bigrock Mountain visit

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