STRATTON - For more than 40 years, the Stratton Mountain School Winter Ball has raised scholarship money to support the dreams of local winter athletes. This year, the Let it Snow Winter Ball will take place on Saturday, Jan. 26, in the Burtscher Fieldhouse on the SMS campus, beginning at 6 p.m.

Since 1972, SMS has been encouraging excellence in its winter sport athletes. The Winter Ball is the school's single-largest fund-raiser, contributing between $100,000 to $150,000 to the SMS Scholarship Fund each and every year. More than 40 percent of SMS student athletes receive scholarship support each year, and the school awards more than $800,000 in scholarship support annually. More than 45 percent of SMS student athletes are local, day students in pursuit of their winter sports dream.

"The Winter Ball has a long tradition of providing an opportunity for the community to come together to support the SMS Scholarship Fund," said SMS Headmaster Chris Kaltsas. "This is a wonderful occasion to come and celebrate the 40-plus years of Stratton Mountain School, while supporting our current student athletes in their pursuit of excellence."

The Winter Ball includes a sit-down dinner, live and silent auctions and dancing. Elizabethan Fare and Hub's Catering will cater the event, the Jeff Tuohy Band will perform, and wine and cheese will be provided by Arthur Schuman Company. The live auction will feature a Hawaiian vacation home in Kona, a ski trip to Steamboat, a diamond necklace from Von Bargen's, and a week in Whistler, among other items. The silent auction will feature 75 items from local and national vendors, ranging from golf packages, to ski equipment, to furniture and trips.

The Winter Ball has sold out for the past five years, and tickets are available by calling (802) 856-1101.

Stratton Mountain School is a ski and snowboard academy located at the base of Stratton Mountain. SMS serves students in grades 7 - 12. The SMS community of students, faculty, coaches and staff share the pursuit of academic and athletic excellence.