Danger is my middle name!

By Kaitie Danger Eddington

After years of waiting and months of collecting community votes, I have a middle name!

I was not given a middle name at birth and have always wanted one. When I was 8, I decided to take action and choose one for myself. I was at a bookstore with my mom when she gave me the idea to peruse the books around me for inspiration – if I found an author or character name that I liked, I could make it my middle name. I carefully combed over aisles and aisles of books looking for the perfect name when I came across an author with the first name of Satin. What a classy, original name – this was it! At that moment, I decided my middle name was Satin.

Of course, being an 8-year old, I assumed that all I had to do was write it on my homework to make it legally binding so I started writing it on my papers the next day. Not paying attention to my spelling, I accidentally wrote S-A-T-A-N on days worth of homework assignments resulting in a concerned phone call home from my teacher. My parents erupted in laughter and I was so embarrassed, I dropped the issue and didn’t bring it up again.

This past summer, I was out on the trails with participants of UVTA’s Upper Valley High School Trail Corps program when this story came up and one of the participants suggested I crowdsource a middle name to raise money for the Upper Valley Trails Alliance!

Part of my job as Program Manager is to plan our community fundraising events and most all of them have been cancelled this year due to health and safety concerns surrounding COVID-19. These events connect UVTA to the community and bring in revenue for the organizations programs and projects. UVTA promotes health and wellness of our Upper Valley communities and could not responsibly host these events in a time of such uncertainty. Like many other organizations that depend on this kind of fundraising, the loss of these funds will surely be felt and, as a team, we had been brainstorming ways to make up for that loss.

I could not think of a better way to fulfill a childhood dream and support an organization that means so much to me.

The Kate Needs A Name fundraiser launched at the beginning of August with 5 names on the ballot: Lark, Danger, Passport, Hike-ity Hike Hike and My Lady. Votes were $10 a piece and there was an option to pay $50 to add a name to the ballot. Sales for the $50 name submissions closed on August 31st and 7 additional names were purchased and submitted: Andromeda Quesadilla, Sky, Nicole, PEACH!, Wait for it…, Marie & Humuhumunukunukuapauu.

With 12 names on the ballot, voting commenced through September and October, with name eliminations occurring weekly, until we reached a top 2: Danger and Lark. The two names were neck and neck until voting closed on October 30th and my new name was announced on October 31st.

The winning name is Danger with 97 votes!

After tallying up the votes, and factoring in a generous $1500 match donation from an anonymous community member, this fundraiser raised a total of $4580 and was broadcast all over New England in a news blitz through October!

I could not be more thrilled with this outcome. Not only do I have an amazing, silly middle name but the Upper Valley Trails Alliance received tremendous support and recognition from the community in this effort. Instead of a silly mishap from my childhood, my middle name will always remind me of UVTA and the trail corps participants who inspired this adventurous fundraiser in the first place.

THANK YOU to everyone who spread the word and donated to this fundraiser! It means so much to me and the Upper Valley Trails Alliance.

To watch the winning name video announcement, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUD273WvfG4

To read the articles about this fundraiser, see links below:

Click HERE for newsbreak

Click HERE for vt watercooler

Click HERE for seven days vt

Click HERE for burlington free press

Click HERE for mountain times

Click HERE for valley news

To watch various broadcasts, see links below:

Click HERE for nbc5

Click HERE for my champlain valley

Click HERE for wcax