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Community honors UVM student

Students and friends celebrate Brett’s life at the Shred for Brett event at Stowe Mountain Resort March 26. Photo courtesy of TJ Thran.

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More than 100 friends and family members of the late Brett Cohen gathered at Stowe Mountain Resort to ski, ride and share memories in his honor.

His friends, seniors Dewey Sheehan, Sloane Ross, Zack Pensak and Lucy Lee, worked with Stowe to get discounted day passes, reserve rooms, and organize a torch lit ski parade March 26, Pensak said.

Cohen, who died after a snowboarding accident at Stowe Feb. 14, was a senior nutrition and food science major, a member of Hillel and an avid snowboarder.

To start the event off, 55 of Cohen’s friends gathered at the top of Stowe’s gondola to do a group run.

They wore matching “Shred for Brett” tee-shirts that Ross designed for the day, Pensak said.

“We were all wearing same the same tee-shirts,” he said. “It was breathtaking — an incredibly wonderful experience to run with all these people, all of us laughing and going down the mountain in memory of this friend of ours.”

After an afternoon of skiing and snowboarding, the group joined others at the base of the mountain to swap stories about Cohen and eat pizza.

Two UVM a cappella groups, The Cat’s Meow and Hit Paws, sang in honor of Cohen, Pensak said.

Attendees skied with torches when it started to get dark around 7 p.m., he said.

“It was mesmerizing,” he said.

To close the evening, the group set off fireworks, according to the event’s Facebook page.

The event was another example of the supportive community that has sprung up to celebrate Cohen’s memory, Pensak said.

“It’s all about the memory of person who was such a wonderful, wonderful part of our lives,” he said. “Sunday meant being able to be part of a community and remembering the happiness and joy that Brett brought us.”

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