For 92-year-old Ray Matwitch, going downhill is a good thing, and the faster, the better.
Matwitch, a resident at Shepherd of the Valley in Howland, was an avid skier, taking his last run down the slopes at the age of 72.
"I always liked the snow and winter sports," Matwitch said. "Ice skating with my wife and kids on Duck Creek, snowmobiling. I'd hook up sleds in a line to the back so the children and neighborhood kids got to have fun also."
Special to Howland Community News
Ray Matwitch, of Howland, enjoyed a dream come true last month when he was the recipient of a Second Wind Dream arranged by Shepherd of the Valley — Howland and Brandywine Ski Resort. Pictured is Matwitch skiing downhill at the resort with the aid of a bi-ski and one of his instructors, Mark Gietz.
For Matwitch, his dream of schussing down the slopes again became a reality when the SOV-Howland Second Wind Dream Team arranged a trip to Brandywine Ski Resort. While he may not have tackled a half-pipe or Black Diamond Trail, with the assistance of Mark Gietz and Jason Chonko from 3 Trackers of Ohio, Matwitch was able to ride on a bi-ski, adapted ski that requires the skier to assist with steering. Matwitch also was hooked up with tether ropes while instructor Chonko called out instructions as needed from the hill.
"I did like how they explained everything to me," Matwitch said.
Matwitch 's dream was realized through the financial support of Joe Hueber from Boston Mills/ Brandywine and the expertise of Mark Gietz, president of 3 Trackers of Ohio Brandywine. Hueber covered the cost for Ray and two Shepherd staff and the Lodge store provided a substantial discount.
"I watched him going down the hill," said Traci Luther of Shepherd of the Valley, "and it was very impressive."
Matwitch had five runs and no wipe outs, Luther said.