WINDHAM, N.Y. - As the 2014 ski season wraps up, two local families are sharing the memory of a loved one on the slopes that they’ll never forget.
The Gray family, of Wilton, is honoring the memory of Michael Gray, who was killed in a car crash on the Merritt Parkway in March 2000.
The family says that they had to do something to remember Michael, and his love of the snowy slopes seemed like a perfect way to do so.
Gray had worked as an instructor at the Windham Mountain Ski Resort in New York, which is where the annual event is held.
The Grays say they want the event to inspire a love of skiing in its participants.
One such enthusiast, Jose Morales, has never skied before. Along with his instructor, he is learning to use a monoski, a seated one-ski device that requires immense upper-body strength.
Last July, Morales was climbing a tree near his home in Trumbell to grab a loose branch when he fell, breaking his spine. After three months in the hospital, the father of three returned home to adjust to his new wheelchair-bound life.
Morales says that, with the help of his wife and supporters, his day on the slopes was successful, as he was able to not only break in his new monoski, but also break down mental barriers.
Since Morales' first outing, he has already hit the slopes several more times.