I am writing to inform those who may not know the sad news that our Chapter and NEHSA lost a great volunteer and friend when September 4th Chris ‘Shrek’ Zenaro suddenly passed away. Many members who have attended the Winter and Summer Sports Clinics along with many other NEHSA events will know Chris. He and wife Veronica were the captains of the Hawks team at the Summer Sports Clinic held Annually for so many years and always present at most every NEHSA event.
Always loved by everyone he worked with and especially loved by the children that got out skiing with the NESHA programs. ‘Shrek’ was an awesome example of what an impact a volunteer can have in the lives of the less abled. One could not spend time with him without getting plenty of laughs and wearing a permanent smile because of the joy he brought to them all. A big strong man he was often assigned to ski with some of the larger skiers at our January ski clinic and all who got to ski with him sure had some great runs all over the mountain and plenty of speed if they desired, he was an amazing skier and a quite fit individual. I know he was also called on to take out VIPs and dignitaries who would attend events and chose to try skiing our way by getting in a bucket and being taken for a ride, I have no doubt they thoroughly enjoyed their runs and wore the same smiles as every other skier Chris would work with. Spending plenty of time skiing, hiking and kayaking with his wife I was shocked to hear the news. I will never get the chance to see him again and that is heartbreaking!
A gentle giant with a great heart who would always do anything to assist in any way possible. My sympathies go out to Vee, the family, all his dear friends in the NEHSA family and anyone who’s life he touched and made brighter just by being in it. Being a smaller individual, I was never lucky enough to get to ski with Chris yet spent plenty of time eating his grilled food. Always the willing cook and even transporting his own grill to feed us well whether it be at the NEHSA Skiathon, the Veterans Welcome Home Days or some of the different Race Days held at Mount Sunapee everyone ate well. Chris was a true grill master and made sure there was plenty of good hot food fresh off the grill for those present to fuel up on. I was lucky enough to call him a friend and shared a beer or two at our après play gatherings, he was always very pleasant and told great stories to keep you laughing. Another of his strengths was he constantly came up with solutions to problems, if someone was having troubles with equipment Chris would discuss it with others and before you knew it he’d have come up with a solution, hence no more problem, even if he had to go make something to help solve and fix the problem.
A NEHSA volunteer for so many years I cannot remember him not being around and I have been involved since our very first WSC over 20+ years ago! Chris was a shining star who brightened the lives of everyone who ever got to spend time with the big hearted, gentle giant ‘Shrek’ Zenaro. An avid fisherman it was he and the group of anglers he went salmon fishing with that found a guide and boat who would take out wheelchairs on the Salmon River so some of us in wheelchairs could also get up there and catch salmon too. Each year he went up to wade the river fly fishing for salmon with a group including some other NEHSA volunteers. He never went up to the Salmon River in Upstate, NY without stopping to visit the one and only Mark Kline who is a regular at the WSC. A true example of what a kind, generous and caring man Chris was. He was a great example of what a good person truly is! Never one to want attention or recognition, just happy to be able to make others happy and he did that so well. I was so pleased to see him win Instructor of the Year at the 2020 Winter Sports Clinic, so well deserved. A genuine great man taken from us all way too soon, I’m sure if you’re on Facebook you may already know; yet, I barely ever get on FB so was contacted by a mutual friend and ski buddy and told the news. A great loss to so many, Chris, your spirit will live on in the lives of anyone who has ever had the pleasure to meet and spend time with you. RIP my friend.