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[at-l] Re: Worthy Trail Cause?
"...whether there are any specific projects which could carry a memorial
plaque (shelter, bridge, etc.)"
These decisions eventually are made by the MATC executive committee, but the last time I tried to get a
memorial plaque it was overwhelmingly turned down. That's why I scrounged up some extra money to
create a named memorial fund that I mentioned in an earlier post.
I think the thinking is that several hundred people contribute 20,000 hours of volunteer work on the
trail every year in Maine. Most contribute scores of hours year after year. Recognizing this, MATC
resists plaques for those who contribute only money. And because so many contribute so much, the
trail would have to be paved with plaques to honor everyone who qualifies.
Those of us who knew Rosie, know that she was a special thru hiker and a special human being. But I
sense her goals and MATC goals were complementary, but quite distinct. Rosie aimed at improving
people and their experiences both on the trail and in life. MATC is into improving a trail so that
it provides a wild experience without imposing undue hardship on those who seek such an experience.
Both are laudable goals. I'm just suggesting that finding a suitable Maine memorial may be more
difficult than simply raising money and buying a plaque.
I know that this flies in the face of conventional fund raising practices. Most groups will swap a
plaque for money anytime.
However, only very special kinds of people do the kind of work needed to keep the trail in Maine as
good as it is. And these special people, like Rosie, don't always march to conventional drummers.
However, Maine runs a democratic club, so anything is possible, I suppose.