VERMONT RESORT’S IDEA OF HUMOR

Catalyst April Issue 2007

On February 28, J.J. Toland, communications manager for Vermont’s Sugarbush Resort, sent an e-mail to his mailing list that offended many Catholics. Titled “March Snow is on the Way,” Toland’s letter ended with remarks about current skiing conditions. But it opened with two paragraphs bemoaning the “psychological” punishments he received as a student at the hands of Augustinians.

We told the media:

“At one level, this kind of screed may be dismissed as juvenile scribble. But what makes it offensive is a) its wholly gratuitous nature and b) the fact that a noted business establishment would post these remarks in an e-mail. In any event, we are contacting the owners of the Sugarbush Resort, the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce (listed as a ‘Friend’ of the company), the six members of the executive staff of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, the Diocese of Burlington and many media outlets in Vermont. We believe in free advertisement.”

      Within 15 minutes of sending this release to the media—and to the owners of Sugarbush—J.J. Toland and one of the owners called to apologize. We are happy with this conclusion.

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Written by Bill