News of the Day


by Craig Altschul

A group of Williston and Essex Junction Girls Scouts raised $20,000 last year to adopt a dog through CHAMPS (Children Against Mines Program) after representatives from CHAMPS visited schools with Utsi, a retired land mine dog. Utsi showed them how the pups are trained to sniff out buried land mines. The girls attended events, talked to people, collected contributions, and washed cars to adopt their own dog who would be trained and sent to Lebanon. But, it didn’t stop there. They recently adopted Anita, an 11-year-old Bosnian land mine victim, said The Burlington Free Press, and are trying to raise $6,000 to buy her a prosthetic leg. "They can’t do this themselves," said Aleksandra Stamper, 11. "Everybody should do service like this. It’s humanitarian," added Caty Mara, 12. If they reach their goal, CHAMPS will receive matching funds to pay for the medical treatment of Anita and other victims. Kids helping kids – it’s the American way.

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About Craig Altschul

Craig Altschul is Editorial Director of He is a veteran snow journalist, having covered the sport for more than 40 years. His syndicated snow sports humor column, Ski Tips, ran in newspapers across the country for 20 years. He was Global Editor-in-Chief for OnTheSnow for 12 years and has written for a variety of magazines and newspapers. Altschul is past president of both the Eastern Ski Writers Association and the North American Snow Journalists Association.

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