Lawrence honored at Pico
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | December 16,2012
Photo by Anthony Edwards
Members of Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports and the Pico Ski Education Foundation gather at Pico Mountain in Killington on Saturday to announce the Andrea Mead Lawrence Lodge, which is expected to begin construction in April and open late next summer.
KILLINGTON — Andrea Mead Lawrence’s name will soon be on Pico Mountain Ski Resort’s newest building, but until then it adorns a sign on a fence.
Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports and the Pico Ski Education Foundation officially announced Saturday that their new facility at Pico would be named in honor of Lawrence, Olympic gold medalist and daughter of the ski area’s founders. Work on the Andrea Mead Lawrence Lodge is scheduled to begin in April.
“We’re going to leave it like this until April so the ski area won’t have construction going on while they have guests here,” said Tom Aicher, secretary of the Pico Ski Education Foundation, of the construction site.
No one from the Lawrence family was able to attend the ceremony Saturday, which was timed to coincide with the opening day of Pico’s 75th season.
Family friend Karl Acker, whose father of the same name was recruited in 1930s Switzerland by Lawrence’s parents to come teach at the ski school they were founding, offered his memories of Lawrence.
“We grew up right across the parking lot here,” he said. “Our bedroom views looked right up Little Pico.”
Acker was several years younger than Lawrence and said she had moved on and started a family by the time he reached adulthood.
“The legacy that she left behind has just followed her along,” he said. “The first inductee into the ski museum hall of fame ... she was a tremendous public speaker, she was very generous with her time.”
Acker said he was also touched when Lawrence said that none of what she achieved would have happened without his father.
“Andrea took it to the top, and I appreciated her acknowledging that,” he said. “Hopefully a year from now, we’ll be here cutting a ribbon, maybe sooner.”
Including in-kind pledges, Aicher said, the two groups had raised about $700,000 and needed about another $300,000.
“We still need a lot of help,” he said. “If you have people who would be interested in this project, let them know about it.”