Annie's House Officially Opens - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Annie's House Officially Opens

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It an idea that Stanley native Ann Nicole Nelson envisioned years ago.

Although, Nelson's life was taken in the 9-11 terrorist attack in New York City, her vision lived on and is now a reality at Bottineau Winter Park.

Jennifer Kleen takes us to Annie's house--a place every skier can call home.

The pieces have come together at Bottineau Winter Park.

A check mark on the bucket list of Ann Nicole Nelson.

A list that hangs in the rafters of Annie's House.

(Jeff Parness, New York Says Thank You) "It was literally like walking into a dream."

It all started with a connection.

In memory of Ann, who lost her life when the Twin Towers fell, New York Says Thank You laid the ground work for Annie's House the summer of 2012.

(Jeff Parness, New York Says Thank You) "The only expectation we had was to be true to Ann. A young woman would have taken a child in a wheelchair and say, 'let's go skiing.'"

Parness returned this weekend to see the finished product of the project he left in the hands of local volunteers.

(Jeff Parness, New York Says Thank You) "Part of what New York Says Thank you is all about is saying thank you but also, how can we strengthen a community just like they strengthened us."

(Dwight Olson, Annie's House Volunteer) "There's been a few of us that have touched every board in this place at least once. So that gives us a pretty close connection to this place."

Moving forward, that's what Bottineau Winter Park is all about.

Connecting people like Jackson, who like the volunteers was willing to try something new --- with people like Jeff and Mike who have the resources to make it happen.

(Mike Cerkowniak, BWP Adaptive Recreation Program Coordinator) "It's amazing. We get these kids out here that have never skied before. It's just really rewarding to be able to see them doing something that they haven't been able to do before."

(Melissa Bristol, Jackson's Mother) "Very excited. It's something I'm sure he could never imagine what it would be like so he really loves doing it."

(Jeff Parness, New York Says Thank You) "Not just for the kids in wheel chairs skiing or for the Wounded Warriors, but for the those that are able-bodied to see that, because we'll never understand what that means to these kids."

The friendships that are being built at Annie's House are unparalleled.

Like Jeff and Ann, two people who never met.

(Jeff Parness, New York Says Thank You) "I think Annie would be wearing Mardi Gras beads! That's what I think. I mean, what a celebration. She's here. She's been whispering to me all day long."

And Jeff did share his Mardi Gras beads with the secrets Ann tells him.

Crossing another goal from Annie's Bucket List.

In Bottineau, Jennifer Kleen, KX News.

The dedication and community appreciation day is tomorrow.

Open skiing is from 9 to 5.

One to five is the open house with refreshments and the dedication is at 2:00.

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