The New England Ski Museum will award grants totaling $2,500 this March at the Hannes Schneider Meister Cup Race at the Cranmore Mountain Resort in North Conway, N.H., March 6-7, 2009. The Museum's Cal Conniff grant program is intended to support individuals and organizations that coincide with the Museum's mission to preserve the history of skiing and winter sports.

The Grant Program is named in honor of former Ski Museum Board member Cal Conniff. He is a former Executive Director of the National Ski Areas Association, and while President of the ski museum founded the Hannes Schneider Meister Cup as a benefit event for the non-profit group. Conniff also operated Mount Tom Ski Area in Massachusetts, and was executive director of the National Ski Areas Association.

The Cal Conniff Grant Program is open to individuals, organizations and educational institutions with an interest in snowsports, such as Alpine and Nordic skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. Applicants may include, but are not limited to, competitive athletes, school programs, clubs, students, teachers, researchers, filmmakers and historians. Anyone who can demonstrate the need for funding for the purposes of education, preservation of snowsports history, encouraging winter sports participation, or other involvement in snow sports is eligible.

The grant program in connection with the race was adopted at a September 2000 Board meeting. Since that time, $30,750 in grants have been awarded to organizations and individuals, including the Eastern Ski Jumping & Nordic Combined Foundation, Gunstock Adaptive Program, Winterkids, Nansen Ski Club, Cochran's Ski Area, Northeast Slopes, and Poland (ME) Regional High School.

The selection process will be conducted by the Museum's Grant Committee on an objective and nondiscriminatory basis. The committee judges applications based on the following: How important is this grant to the success of the program? Will this applicant contribute to the preservation of ski or snowboard history? Does the success of this applicant have an educational value? Does this application encourage participation in skiing or snowboarding? Does the applicant seem organized in the pursuit of the project?

The application process is kept purposefully informal. Applicants should send a letter that explains what the grant would be used for - a description of the project, its goals, who it impacts, and the dollar amount requested.

Supporting information for the application should include: Resume (individuals) or organizational description (groups); Two letters supporting the merits of the individual or program; Representative photograph of person or program that may be published  by the Museum if the applicant is successful.

Applications materials can be e-mailed to staff@skimuseum.org or mailed to: Grants Committee, New England Ski Museum, PO Box 267, Franconia NH 03580-0267.

The deadline for applications is Feb. 9, 2009. Call the New England Ski Museum at (603) 823-7177, or visit its Web site for more information.