A new ski lodge will soon sit atop a hill at Bottineau Winter Park.
It's part of a project that will honor the memory of a victim of the 9-11 terrorist attack, provide disabled and injured people with a place to snow ski, and build the new lodge.
Ground breaking was held today.
It'll be built by hundreds of volunteers from the New York City area who pitch in to help construct projects around the nation as a way of saying thanks to people from across the country who helped their city recover from 9-11.
And it'll bear the name of the Stanley, North Dakota woman who was killed in the terrorist attack - Ann Nicole Nelson, who would have celebrated her 41st birthday today.
The project is the brainchild of Jeff Parness of the "New York Says Thank You Foundation."
He came across writings of Jeanette Nelson - Ann's mother - and Ann Nelson herself in recent years.
He asked if the foundation could construct a project that would continue Ann's beliefs of helping others, enjoying recreation, and reaching out to kids.
They settled on a new, handicapped-accessible ski lodge for Bottineau Winter Park.
(Jeff Parness, "New York Says Thank You" Foundation) "To build a structure that's going to transform the lives of and their families who might not have the opportunity to have fun in the winter. The wounded warriors who someday will use this. The folks from the Canadian side who might not have adaptive winter programs or sports programs. It's about making a difference in all their lives and it's about building hope that even though Annie's not with us physically, her spirit still is."
(Jeanette Nelson, Ann's Mother) "I just know that Ann's spirit is laughing with glee as she looks down upon us today because nothing would make her happier than to have an adaptive ski facility here in Bottineau, a place she loved so dearly."
Mary Stammen, Friend of Ann Nelson) "Annie always smiled. But she's not smiling today you guys, she's laughing right out loud."
Annie's House will be built by firefighters, police officers, and others from New York City who were impacted by the 9-11 attacks - and heartened by the national outpouring of help following 9-11.
The hope is to have construction done in time for use in the coming winter season.
By the way, the "writings" of Jeanette Nelson we talked about were poems she wrote in the months after her daughter's death.
You can hear Jeanette recite a poem she wrote today for the groundbreaking ceremony by going to our Facebook site at facebook.com/KXNewsMinot