March 5, 2024

Why United Insurance supports WinterKids and how our communities helped us raise $25k for this great cause


WinterKids D24 logo

For one magical night each year, the lifts at Sugarloaf Mountain keep running past the standard 3:50pm final chair and the lights stay on until sunrise. This loan exception to Sugarloaf’s no-night skiing policy is known as the D24, a 24-hour ski and snowboard marathon that attracts dozens of teams throughout the state.Winter Kids Group Pic

In addition to the fun and teamwork of trying to complete as many runs as possible in 24 hours, teams compete against each other in an inflatable obstacle course, a timed slalom race, and of course, to raise the most money for WinterKids, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping K-12 students stay active and explore the outdoors during Maine and New Hampshire’s cold winter months.

WinterKids Snowshoeing

Photo credit: WinterKids

From classroom visits and field trips to discounted ice time at local rinks and ski lift tickets for children from low-income households, WinterKids’ mission is to boost children’s fitness, knowledge, and confidence through winter sports and activities.  Executive Director Sterlynn Marx and her team maintain an aggressive schedule of Winter Games contests at schools throughout the state, plus Family Days and Winter Games Challenges. WinterKids also publishes a Learn Outside Guide that includes a 12-week curriculum that elementary school teachers can lead their students through inspiring programs on exploring snow, how to make an outdoor weather board, and animal migration.

WinterKids Snowflakes

Photo credit: WinterKids

Besides the obvious benefits of fresh air and exercise during the months when it’s easy to sit in front of the TV or play video games, participating in winter sports and activities builds confidence and social skills every child needs. As United Insurance President and CEO Zack Frechette explains: “I still remember the feeling of completing my first black diamond run as a child and how that sparked my drive to push myself. As an adult, some of my most productive business relationships began or developed through conversations on chairlifts. Every child deserves to have the same opportunities that I did, and I hope that the children WinterKids inspire today become the business leaders and D24 participants of tomorrow.”

WinterKids team at 2am

While WinterKids is all about giving kids a friendly introduction to winter sports, the D24 is a test of physical endurance and mental toughness – especially this year when overnight temperatures hit -27 and the winds were howling.

We’re a competitive bunch at United Insurance, and our 12-person team approached the D24 like they do every task that comes their way – with focus, intensity, and passion to do their absolute best. We put in a strong showing at the obstacle races and beat the entire 60+ team field with 429 total runs. Most importantly, we achieved our $25,000 fundraising goal thanks to the generous support of our colleagues, friends, and family, as well as several carriers who accepted our challenge to become Silver, Gold or Platinum sponsors:




MMG Insurance



Vermont Mutual



Liberty Mutual

Quality Containers

We couldn’t have reached our $25,00 goal without these generous organizations, and we are sincerely grateful for their partnership and support. When all the results were tallied, United Insurance finished second in the King of the Mountain standings. Of course, the real winners of the D24 are WinterKids and the K-12 students they serve. We’re delighted to share that this year’s event raised over $900,000.

Kudos to our team at United Insurance, President & CEO Zack Frechette, Executive Vice President Pat Gaetani, Senior Vice President Tim McGonagle, Vice President & Senior Account Executive Joey Bard, Vice President of Risk Services Justin Murphy, Executive Administrator Samantha Ramsey, Commercial Lines Account Manager Brittany Grass, Employee Benefits Account Executive Alex Goodhile,  Employee Benefits Account Executive Josh Veroneau, MMG Insurance Assistant Commercial Lines Manager Andy Grass, MEMIC Underwriter Conor Sullivan, and Vermont Mutual Group Vice President of Underwriting Jonathan Becker.

We’re thrilled with our results and inspired to raise even more money next year…as soon as we recover….

WinterKids Exhausted


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