KPAA Community Message – March 16, 2024

“People touch our lives if only for a moment, And yet we’re not the same from that moment on, The time is not important, The moment is forever.” – Fern Bork

Like the beauty of snow falling in Spring, embrace it while it is there, for those daffodils bright and beautiful may only glisten in the sunlight for a short period of time. However, you will always have that moment, that memory.
This week’s message is short and bittersweet. Our community has lost three inspiring members, Patty McGrath, Erica Hurd, and Bernie Rome. Our heartfelt condolences go out to all who had the pleasure of knowing each of these wonderful souls.


Patty McGrath was passionate about our community, and her wisdom and humanity will always be remembered. Serving on the Killington Selectboard for nine years, she was always advocating for the betterment of our town. With her family, she ran The Inn at the Long Trail, a favorite spot among locals and tourists alike, and one of our long time KPAA members. Patty had many great achievements and talents: she was an all-around athlete, she led her downhill ski team to state champions, and she showcased her artistic talents in the decor of the rooms at the Inn and her beautiful gardens. Patty’s touch will continue to live around us. Her love of Vermont, her competitive spirit, sense of adventure and passion for our town are just a few of the ways Patty will be remembered and celebrated.

Erica Hurd had a lifelong love of community and generously donated much of her time to fundraising and community service. She and her husband were integral volunteers for our Wine Festival. Erica was there year after year, invaluable to the extent that I often felt she knew the setup better than I. Her smile went on for days and her kind nature touched a tremendous number of hearts in our community. She was a stylist in Killington for over 30 years, and a salon owner of “Mountain Cuts” for the majority. She cared for all of her clients of whom many became friends and was known as a “shrink with a sink!” Her service and dedication to the community will forever be remembered.

Bernie Rome was a native Vermonter and entrepreneur that also had a big impact in our community. He was instrumental in helping the economic development of Killington, and helped build a campus in Killington to expand the housing, education and cultural options in the region. He started the Ski Shack (now the home of Killington Sports) and served on our Selectboard for many years (1 term alongside Patty McGrath). We embrace his creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, and love of Vermont.

Enjoy the weekend – celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by raising a Pint for Patty and all those dear to us who are no longer on this earth. Embrace life, and live it to the fullest every day. In honor of our beloved community members, go out and find the beauty in the small things – the things nearest rather than the things that are remote.

Kelly, Beth and the KPAA Team