Organizers of the Revelstoke Snowarama charity snowmobile event have redesigned the format to be inclusive of all community members.
Operating for nearly 30 years under the leadership of Revelstoke Snowmobile Club organizer Paul Olsen, the event has raised about $133,000 for the BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities and Easter Seals, both children’s health-focused charities.
2014 event co-organizer Gary Van Os said changing times prompted a re-think of the traditionally poker-ride format event, which limited participation to snowmobilers only.
Over time, snowmobiling has changed from a large-group touring activity, to more smaller-group alpine exploring, meaning participation waned in the event.
Van Os said that hurt their goal of raising money for charity: “If you don’t have a snowmobile, you don’t get to play. We’ve decided to make it a more inclusive event.”
This year, they’re hosting sled drag races open to public viewing for free. The event takes place at a course between the Glacier House Lodge and the Frisby Ridge parking lot this Sunday, Mar. 30.
They hosted a trial run during Revelstoke Spirit Fest earlier this year, and had a great turnout.
“Half the people who were there weren’t snowmobilers, they were townspeople,” Van Os said.
To raise funds for BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities and Easter Seals, Revelstoke Snowmobile Club will be serving hot barbecue lunch, drinks and there’ll be draws, raffles and prizes.
Racers will compete in timed and head-to-head drag races in classes like 700cc, 800cc, stock, turbo and vintage.
Registration is $20 per class. There will be trophies for winners, and some prizes, but the focus is raising money for charity.
The event is really about getting the snowmobiling community and the whole community together for a fun event.
“It’s about the grudge matches between buddies,” Van Os said.
Snowarama is this Sunday, Mar. 30. Sign-up is at 9 a.m. and the first races start around 11 a.m. The event runs until about 2:30 p.m., depending on registration.
The BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities operates Easter Seals programs and services for children with disabilities across British Columbia. These services include Easter Seals Houses in Vancouver and Victoria which provide an affordable caring place to stay for parents and children who travel to seek medical treatment.