|Russ Cole (posthumously)||2013|
The Green Mountain Water Skiers and New England skiing lost a good friend in 2007. Alan Rossi, who passed away on April 21st, was a participant, official and integral contributor to NH and VT tournaments. He was also a frequent participant in Regionals and Nationals.
In communications throughout the summer, the common thread was that Alan helped many of us in skiing and in life. He loved informally coaching individuals on their skiing and fostering the development of officials. Some personal notes are posted, and we took the steps below to remember Alan.
First, along with the encouragement of Fred Costello (who lost his son in 2003), and recognizing that in many years we may only have one tournament up here, we renamed our tournament The Tom Costello Alan Rossi Slalom Derby.
Second, believing that Alan’s interest in coaching and mentoring was complementary to the Region’s focus on junior development, we established a fundraising campaign to benefit JD. The participation was heartwarming and well beyond our expectations. The four clubs that host the tournaments that Alan participated in, GMWS, Abenacki (Swaffield), Dube’s (VanHam, Myers), and 3 Seasons (Tilton), each made a contribution. We collected donations at two tournaments. A number of individuals made contributions, some extremely generous. Our plan is to make a yearly contribution to Junior Development. For 2007, in total, minus the costs of the awards noted below, we donated $1700 to Junior Development in Alan’s name!!!
Alan’s family will also be participating actively and financially in skier development. We’ve had a number of conversations with his wife Connie and daughter Angela. The ideas have focused on recreational-type clinics in the Vermont area and competition-type clinics in VT, Wolfeboro, Adams Pond, and Pangaea. It is likely that the family’s contributions will be made directly to particular clinics and camps that will be proposed. We’ve had a number of individuals including Mike Kusiak express interest in donating time to coaching.
Third, we established an award in his name, the Alan Rossi Memorial Award, to be given to a New England recipient–any competitor/official with ties to NE. We had a large plaque made for the family that will note the yearly recipient, and a smaller plaque to be given to the recipient. The plaques were engraved as follows:
“Presented each year to the skier and/or official who best exemplifies the spirit of Alan Rossi: “The Real Deal,” a love of the sport, enthusiasm and dedication to tournament water skiing, an interest in helping others, and a true friend.”
The first Alan Rossi Memorial Award was presented to Howie Emerson at the New England Slalom Championships in September. Howie has given so much to the sport and made it possible for many New England skiers to become officials. On hand from the Rossi family were Connie, brother Mark and nephew Chris. Connie reflected on what Howie meant to her and Alan.
The Alan Rossi Memorial Award will be included yearly in the AWSA Eastern Region guidebook.
And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make.