Cortney Ofstad/Daily Globe
SECOND GRADERS in Nicole Giancola's class stop before heading out on the cross country ski trail Monday. Skiers include Gage Walowinski, Kiira Pekuri, Greyson Lauren, Julia Sokol, Landon Foryan, Gavyn Moncher, Travis Vogel, Serena Tauer, Dani Nellessen, Jaylee Kutz, ski instructor volunteer Tim Fitzgerald, Jaana Aukee, Makayla Constantini, Juel Czerneski, Fitzgerald's dog, Tara, Reagan Kangas, Carlee Trepanier, Wyatt Baron and Riley Holm.
HURLEY - After four years of borrowing equipment to allow elementary students to participate in the cross country ski program, the Hurley School District was able to purchase equipment with help from grants and local donations.
According to a newsletter, the Hurley PTO donated $900 to allow the district to purchase a track setter to groom the trails on school property.
It is the second year students have used the newly purchased equipment after receiving donations and grants from Ginger Nasi, the SISU Ski Fest and Birkebeiner Ski Foundation. Items purchased include skis, boots and poles.
The program started its fifth year in January.
According to the PTO, having the district's own equipment and a trail on the property is a "unique opportunity," allowing the district to avoid transportation costs and have more flexible ski times.
Volunteers help maintain the trail and help students learn about cross country skiing. Volunteer groomers and instructors include Charlie Zinsmaster, Tim Fitzgerald, Jack Bertagnoli and Bernie Hibbeln, as well as parents.
"We greatly appreciate all of their efforts to maintain the trails for students to use each day," elementary principal Kevin Genisot said.
The program continues throughout February and students also ski during their physical education classes.
"The second through fourth grade classes use the trails each day, weather permitting, and are getting exercise and learning a lifelong skill they can enjoy for years to come," Genisot said.