The annual Snowarama snowmobile ride for Easter Seals Kids, that raises funds to help send children with disabilities to camp, has gone province-wide, due to COVID-19.
Riders who have a trail permit can jump on their sled and go for a ride on any of the Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association’s marked and groomed trails at any time over the course of the 12-day event.
"We're grateful for that 12 day spread across because if, for example, if the ride was going to be on February the 27 this year, and that ended up being a really cold day at least that opens up opportunities that people can ride on the day that works best for them," Deana Jesmer, community relations coordinator with SaskAbilities and Snowarama, said.
The ride is typically held over the course of one day with riders hitting the trail with the sunrise for either a short 100 kilometre loop or a 250 kilometre trip.
"We'll definitely see some changes and it will feel different this year, but people, our supporters are so committed to this cause that they're ready to support and ready to go out and make the best of it," Jesmer added.
She says while riders, most of which have been involved with the event since it started 43 years ago, are still excited to get out and raise money for a good cause, but they will probably miss the gathering.
The group breakfast, mid-point lunch and awards banquet have all been stripped from this year’s event. Instead, riders will receive a pack which includes vouchers for food and gas for them to use on their own throughout the day.
While riders all over the province are responsible for choosing their own route this year, organizers are still hoping they’ll go the full distance.
"We encourage people to ride that 100 kilometres for Easter Seals, but if it works for them to only get out for a quick evening ride, you know, that's understandable and we appreciate any kind of support and encourage any kind of riding that people can get out and do," Jesmer explained.
Registration for the 2021 Easter Seals Snowarama is now open and will close on Feb. 26.
Registration and pledge sheets can be completed online at snowrama.ca. A minimum of $99 of pledges is required to participate this year.
Hard copy pledge and registrations forms will also be able to be processed at SaskAbilities locations across the province as well as at Schrader’s Honda Yamaha Suzuki In Yorkton after Feb. 12.