A Generous Friend, A Generous Family
The Challenge Mountain family lost a true friend on December 12, 2021, when Lois Eileen Kircher passed at 86. Her absence is sorely felt. We take this opportunity to honor Lois Kircher and to thank her family for designating Challenge Mountain for memorial gifts in her memory.
It was in 1984, when Lois and Everett Kircher, the founder of Boyne Resorts, donated the Walloon Hills Ski Area to the Challenge Mountain organization, marking the beginning of adaptive outdoor activities for children, youth and adults living with physical and cognitive disabilities.
“Since our humble beginnings, our adaptive recreational programs have grown exponentially, providing life-changing experiences for 1,000s,” shares Program Director Linda Armstrong. “Though COVID safety protocols limited 2021 winter experiences, we are in full swing this winter, providing adaptive skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and indoor art programs.”
But Lois Kircher’s generosity has had other effects beyond the ski hill.
Thanks to her initial gift, the Challenge Mountain relationship with Boyne Resorts continued to grow. Over the years, Boyne Mountain has welcomed amputees, paraplegic, and vision impaired skiers to its slopes for more advanced adaptive ski opportunities provided by Challenge Mountain volunteers. The Highlands in Harbor Springs, host of the First Tee and Young Americans, provides participants with golf, theater and singing opportunities, as part of the Challenge Mountain Spirit Day Camp. And, in 2020, Boyne Mountain celebrated its 70thanniversary by hosting a 70-Hour Mountain Challenge, raised nearly $34,000 for adaptive recreation.
Today, Lois Kircher’s generosity continues to resonate. Her early support provided the impetus for Challenge Mountain to expand into year around programs and outings for the benefit of children, youth and adults living with disabilities. “We are grateful to be chosen by the Kircher family as a recipient of memorial gifts in remembrance of their mother,” expresses Executive Director Elizabeth Looze. “Once again, Lois Kircher, through the generosity of her family, continues to benefit Challenge Mountain. We will carry on in her memory.”