Good Deeds

The purpose of this quarterly newsletter is to keep the Flyin Ryan family informed and connected. Our goal is to share the stories and successes of the foundation and how Ryan’s core principles are making an impact.

President’s Corner
Annual Appeal
Flyin Ryan Skis, by Rocky Mountain Underground
Long Trail Flyin Ryan IPA
Gifts that Keep Giving
Adventure Scholarship Corner
Foundation Staff
Partners’ Corner

As the year comes to a close, I started reflecting on 2014 and how much the Foundation has grown, and we owe it to you, our supporters.
First and foremost, the mission and outreach of the Flyin Ryan Foundation continues its successful path of growth and meaningful connections with adventurers of all ages. We continue to challenge these adventurers to recognize that CORE VALUES MATTER, and to craft and incorporate them into their lives as a meaningful compass to base their daily attitude and decisions.
We were extremely honored to be recognized by the Burlington Free Press and the Gannett Foundation in October as this year’s Make a Difference Day (MADD) grant recipient. MADD is a national program directed toward meaningful community service, and donates $5,000 to a non-profit that services this objective. As part of our project, not only did we collect over 2,000 core values from high schoolers across Chittenden County, but we also joined hundreds students who participated in community service projects. You can read more about it here.
Our Decisions Program continues to grow even stronger with the help of John Painter. With South Burlington High School acting as the pioneer, we now have all nine Chittenden high schools committed to installing the Flyin Ryan Decisions Program in their advisory curriculum. This program has already demonstrated its value by encouraging students to take ownership of their lives. Students who can successfully answer the question, “Who am I?” are far more likely to make responsible decisions, leading to a more successful and joyful adult life.
The snow has already started to fly here in Vermont – and boy are we ready. Our new Flyin Ryan Skis, made by Rocky Mountain Underground, are now available for purchase. Read all about them below.
Our adventure scholarship program is continuing to gain momentum. Alicia, my daughter, is spearheading this program. We have now made over 60 awards, which means we have a growing circle of relationships to maintain. The quality of applications that we are getting is superb. It’s such a blessing to be in a position to encourage and facilitate lives that are lived in alignment with passion and adventure. We encourage you to check out the Adventure Scholarship page on our website to meet our awardees.
Lastly, if you’re like me, you’re still searching for some last minute holiday gifts. We’ve got you covered! Check out some great gift options below.

Onward and upward,
Peter Hawks, president and Ryan’s dad
and the Hawks family

In December we do reach out and ask that you help us to continue to serve our mission. Beyond bookkeeping and administrative functions, we have no salaries, nor plans for salaries. Both Peter and Alicia, and Samantha when available, serve without compensation. The vast majority of funds raised serve the purpose of sharing and installing the Flyin Ryan decisions program at the elementary and high school level. We also are experiencing an acceleration of highly qualified adventure scholar applications.
Please consider helping us to continue our journey. No contribution is too large or too small. The only thing we ask from you is that your contribution be a reflection of what is meaningful to you. There are several ways to contribute, including:

  • Writing a check, payable to the Flyin Ryan Foundation, c/o Peter Hawks, 59 North Shore Drive, Burlington, VT 05408
  • Making a contribution through PayPal – link to donate button on website

Last year we established the Hawks’ Nest to recognize contributions of $1,000 or more. The nest is currently populated with a dozen hawks. For those of you who have the capacity and hold the belief that our mission is worthwhile, we would like to grow the Hawks’ Nest this year with your support.

HAWKS’ NEST (UBER) $5,000 or more, Scott and Terry McCreary, Lars Chickering Ayres, Kim and Sally Wichert, Rocky Mountain Underground, Long Trail Brewing, Burlington Free Press, Akes Place, Mountain Sports International.

HAWKS’ NEST $1,000 
Charles and Kim Delaney, Steve and Michelle Fischer, Technica Blizzard, Flylow, Wagner Skis, Alpine Shop, Ski Rack, Martha Head, Champlain Valley Crossfit, Jay Canning, Sam and Dave Stetson, Earl’s Cyclery, Vermont Tent Company, Hannaford, Lintilhac Foundation, Vermont Community Foundation.

We’re so excited to introduce the Flyin Ryan ski to the world. This ski, crafted by Rocky Mountain Underground, was designed to serve as an all-mountain ski that can handle all of the conditions Vermont’s slopes throw at us. It’s as equally comfortable on powder as it is on ice – it’s bombproof! Peter describes it as replacing his barn boots with ballet slippers.
The skis have a maple core and feature a clean portrayal of the Green Mountains. The graphics also include Ryan’s 14 core principles, the Foundation’s logo and Ryan’s single chair number (78) at Mad River Glen.
It’s currently available at these retailers across the area:

  • Burlington: Outdoor Gear Exchange, Alpine Shop, SkiRack
  • Montpelier: Slopeside
  • Mad River Valley: Vermont North, Mountainside

We invite you to visit one of these shows and try out a demo pair – you’ll be glad you did. For every pair sold, $70 will be donated to the Flyin Ryan Foundation.
Check out this recent clip on our local NBC affiliate about both ourAdventure Scholarship program and the skis.

Our FRF Skis Have a Home!
If you’ve attended a Flyin Ryan Foundation event this year, you may have noticed us running a raffle to win a pair of these skis. We’re happy to announce that we have a winner! Congratulations to Olivia Badea of Barre, who is now the proud owner of 172s. She and her boyfriend ski at Sugarbush and she can’t wait to get on them!

A growing number of restaurants, bars and ski areas are participating in the distribution of this new craft beer by Long Trail. It’s been enthusiastically received and sales are picking up daily. Ten cents of every pint poured will support the Foundation.

The support we’ve received from the Long Trail crew – Matt, Jed, Quinn and Farrell Distributing – has been off the chart. Thank you for all of your continuing generosity and support.

Don’t forget to ask for your Flyin Ryan IPA at your favorite ski area after a great day on the mountain.

Have a few people on your holiday lists that are stumping you on what to get them?  How about giving a gift that gives twice?

Flyin Ryan Gear: Ski the East has a variety of Flyin Ryan gear available on their website! Numerous different t-shirts, stickers, socks, hats, and more! If you spend more than $75, shipping is free! Click here to start shopping.
StickBoy Coffee: Have a coffee lover on your list? Stickboy Coffee, a specialty coffee roaster based in Syracuse, recently introduced “Go Skiing”, a blend of organic and Fair Trade Certified™ beans in a light/medium roast to produce a smooth, rich taste. For every bag sold, one dollar is donated to the Foundation. Click here to start shopping.
Our relationship with Stickboy is a bit of a pay-it-forward story.  Its president, Tom Hall, is the brother of the mother of Peiter Swanson. Peiter is a gifted skier with an infection enthusiasm for life, much like Ryan, who died tragically while skiing at Jackson Hole last spring. Peiter’s family directed donations to the Foundation, and we subsequently awarded an Adventure Scholarship in his name. Hall picked up on this thread and became inspired to do something about it. Go Ski coffee is that result.



We recently gave an adventure scholarship award to Vasu Sojitra, a gifted and hard charging skier with Mad River Glen roots. His love for skiing is infectious and has deep roots. It is only a detail that he pursues the sport on one leg and with crutch skis. It’s also notable that he not only skis down mountains, but he has climbed both Mad River Glen and Mount Washington as well.

Vasu recently contacted us and wrote said that he loves what we do and how we do it, and that his preference is to return the funds we awarded him in order for another deserving and financially challenged skier to benefit. We should mention that Vasu is no financial fat-cat by any means, and that he has made conscious and deliberate choices to put skiing ahead of other pursuits available to him. The spirit and character reflected in Vasu’s offer to return his Adventure Scholar award is incredible and heartwarming. We expect to honor his request and will make an award in the near future in his name.
Check out this video on to see Vasu ski.

Upcoming Events:

Smugglers’ Notch: We’re working with Brian Salitino and the Smugglers’ Notch Ski and Snowboard Freeride team to put together a core values program that focused on risk management. It’s a five module project that will culminate in January with a potluck dinner and each of the team members presenting their core values-driven decision making process.  Brian has put a ton of work into this and we believe it has significant potential for freeride programs across the country.  We can’t wait to see this project grow!

Mad River Glen: We expected to be involved in a vertical challenge event at Mad River Glen this winter, as well as the Ski the East freeride tour.
Past Events:

Fall Ski Movies: We had a presence at numerous ski movie events this fall and are particularly happy to have had the privilege of watching one of our coaches, Angel Collinson, do some serious shredding for TGR in Alaska this year. Way to go, Angel!
Second Annual Akes Golf Tournament: On October 3, 120 golfers gathered at Rocky Ridge to participate in the Flyin Ryan Golf Tournament. Fun was had all around and we couldn’t have asked for better weather.


  • Peter Hawks: focuses on strategic planning, event production, fundraising and daily administration.
  • Alicia Hawks: administers the Adventure Scholar program and manages our social outreach
  • Betsy Hagwood: produces our periodic newsletters
  • Sparky Millican: serves as our treasurer and runs our QuickBooks and accounting
  • Leo O’Reilly: prepares our annual tax return
  • Bill Miller: our pro bono attorney for all things legal
  • John Painter: a Rowland Fellow and the heartbeat of the Decisions Program

Thank you all for what you do in the spirit with which you do it. It is because of your collective efforts that we are continuing to grow and impact many lives in a significant way.


The following companies support the FRF in various ways. We are grateful for their support and the spirit with which their support is given.

Ryan’s Core Principles
Shortly after Ryan passed away, his family discovered on a his computer a document Ryan had written labeled: “Ryan’s Core Principles for Living.”  Astonished by the simplicity and the reaction of those that read them, his family decided to share the principles with as many people as possible to inspire people to adopt their own principles for living.  Below are the principles as written by Ryan…

Live every day, all day

Never stop exploring life

Never lose my adventuresome attitude

Be the best friend I can be

Be the best brother, son, uncle I can

Look out for others

Look out for myself

Look out for our surroundings

Play like I’m thirteen

Be self-sufficient

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Work hard

Live easy

Live simply


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