As the legal trail-riding season enters its final weeks for many areas across the Snowbelt, many snowmobile clubs inevitably turn their attention toward the “offseason” ahead. But before summer club fundraisers and volunteer hours begin, many clubs within the snowmobiling community are using the opportunity of a long season to give back to their community.
One example is the Cherry Creek Sno-Goers of Cherry Creek, New York, which held a “Freezin’ for a reazen” bikini/costumer parade and vintage snowmobile show cancer benefit on March 3. Beginning with a vintage ride at 10 a.m. featuring Sno-Jet snowmobiles and culminating in the bikini and costume parade, the event to help “braap out cancer” raised more than $11,000 for the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. All funds go to cancer research or patient care programs in need of funding at Roswell.
“Attendance was overwhelming! Around 500 people showed up to do raffles and see the parade and vintage show. There were 18 costume/bikini riders in the parade, the vintage ride had 40 sleds and 52 sleds were entered into the vintage show that took place after the ride. We also had more than 143 items donated for the auction from various local businesses,” said Theresa Draves, a member and volunteer for the Cherry Creek Sno-Goers since 2011. Draves also credits her “partners in crime” Bianca Swarthout for the idea of the main costume event as well as vintage chapter organizers Rich Smith, Pete Pacos and Rick Engasser. “The best part about the event was the overwhelming community support that was shown – Our goal was $10,000, but we raised more than $11,000!”
The Cherry Creek Snowmobile Club began in 1972, and today nearly 3,400 family memberships, 5,800 people and 5,300 registered snowmobiles remain active between the five clubs based in Chautauqua County.
The club’s well-maintained website offers information on monthly meetings, safety courses, trail updates and maps, park-and-ride information, a page highlighting local business support and more. The club also maintains a hotline that snowmobilers can call for trail conditions 24/7 at 1.800.242.4569. A little more than an hour south of Buffalo, New York, the Cherry Creek region contains the Boutwell State Forest.
The idea was borne after seeing the success that another snowmobile club – the Genesee Sno Packers – has had hosting its own “Bikini Rally.”
“[Bianca] approached me with the idea at the Board members meeting this past fall. I was currently going through breast cancer treatments (and still am) at Roswell Park in Buffalo and heard about designing your own fundraiser; the event just built from there.”
Not long after hearing about the idea local involvement including dealership help, media promotion and lodging all wanted to join the cause. Not widely considered a success, the event will be considered again for next season.
“Everyone is talking about next year already,” Draves said. “The Cherry Creek Sno-Goers and sponsors all said they would like to make it an annual event, so we will see! The feedback we got so far is everyone had a lot of fun.”
Do you know a snowmobile club that’s held a ride, auction or event for a good cause? Be sure to brag about them in the comments section below, and also double-check to see they have made a submission to be featured in the Snowclub Spotlight of Snow Goer magazine.
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