Skaneateles Ski Hill kicks off 49th year at annual bull roast

It seemed more like a party at a friend's house than an organizational event.

Members of the Skaneateles Ski Hill kicked off their 49th season with their annual Open House and Bull Roast on Saturday night, Nov. 8. Friends greeted each other warmly as they brought casserole dishes and crock pots to the tables.

Long-time member Jack McNeil, attending his 15th consecutive bull roast, brought his signature plate of P. B. and J. sandwich halves for the children. He recalled the first bull roast being sometime in the mid-1980's.

"It doesn't matter who you are. When you enter inside these walls, you're with your winter friends." A bonfire is also part of the annual kick-off tradition.

Andrea Corona said that the club currently has 65 members, and they hope to gain new families this season. The group would love to welcome new members from Marcellus, Tully, Marietta, Skaneateles or any other nearby area.

In addition to several bunny slopes for beginners, the facility has ample hills for experienced skiers. Emily Mason, 13, of Marcellus, and Emily Wirth, 13, of Skaneateles, are both ski racers at Toggenburg, but they say the Skaneateles Ski Hill "is still fun even when you're more experienced. It's bigger than it looks, and you can create your own challenges."

Wirth said, "We love coming here." Her mother, Lisa Wirth, said that the average family remains as members for 10 or more years.

Andrea Quick of Marcellus, Secretary of the SSH Board of Directors, said that many people are attracted to the organization because it keeps the children away from the television and keeps them active all winter. Many of the members said that they spend most of the winter at the ski hill, with one claiming it's a "home away from home" and that typically the children are skiing, the women "kibitzing" by the fire in the lodge, and the men "fixing things."

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