This year, 12 snowmobile clubs across the province, including two in the Elk Valley, raised an amazing $32,467 in support of Easter Seal Camps and Easter Seal Houses in BC.
Since 1978, snowmobile clubs have eagerly hosted Snowarama, a fundraising event to raise funds for the BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities.
This year Fernie Snowmobile Association (FSA) organized a family ride in February with 25 riders gathering pledges. While the FSA has always contributed funds to the Elk Valley Mountaineers event, this year the FSA decided to revitalize the event for the Fernie club.
Ninety-three riders participated in the 17 km ride from the Coal Creek staging area to the Rolling Hills cabin that was built last year.
“It’s a good cause and yet another day we can encourage people to get out to enjoy snowmobiling,” said Bob Arnott Fernie Snowmobile president. The gate fees were donated as well.
Snowarama is a family event. Every year, snowmobile enthusiasts eagerly participate in Snowarama and enjoy the fresh powder, trail rides, games, incentive prizes and more, all while raising much needed funds for BC’s kids with disabilities. Some of the day’s Snowarama activities include trail rides, poker runs, and a hot chili lunch served by local Lions Clubs. Sponsors like Ski-Doo, Choko, and Divas SnowGear donated prizes this year.
“There was some great support this year from many of our clubs, and we’re honoured each year to support Easter Seals Services in our province,” commented Erin Hart, President for the BC Snowmobile Federation. “Many Snowarama events saw great weather and beautiful fresh powder for all our riders to enjoy, making these events even more fun to those that put so much work into fundraising.”
The first Snowarama was organized by Whipper Bill Watson in 1975 and held in Bradford, Ontario. The objective of Snowarama was to introduce an annual winter recreational event and support a worthwhile charitable endeavour. The tradition to support children with disabilities has continued to this day throughout Canada and the United States, with endorsement of the BC Snowmobile Federation (BCSF).
Snowarama events support The BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities’ two major services: Easter Seals Services and Easter Seals Camps.
Easter Seals Houses in Victoria and Vancouver offers a place to stay for families while their children receive necessary medical treatments. Some families stay for just a few nights and others stay for weeks or months at a time as their child goes through major surgery or outpatient treatments like radiation, chemo or rehabilitation programs. Regardless of the time, Easter Seals homes are a comfortable and inviting home-away-from-home.
Easter Seals Camps provide once-in-a-lifetime, weeklong camping experiences for over 900 children each year costing only a small administration fee of $100. Campers are encouraged to try new activities, be creative and connect with their peers who face similar challenges in their day-to-day lives. Here, children with disabilities are accepted for who they are and know that at camp anything is possible!