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2014-01-14 at 16:43

Easter Seals Kids gear up for 11th Snowarama

By Matt Vis,
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Every year Zachary Pyloychuk looks forward to seeing snowmobiles roar down trails while helping enrich the lives of his peers.

This marks the seventh year Pyloychuk has served as the ambassador for the annual Snowarama for Easter Seals Kids. The event will hit the trails on Feb. 8 at Grand Portage Lodge and Casino.

“It’s really fun seeing all of the riders out getting together,” he said at the media launch at J&J’s Sports on Tuesday.

“I think about how much they help the Easter Seals raise the money for what Easter Seals tries to do for all the families and it’s really fun seeing how fast they can go.”

The event has raised $250,000 in support of children and youth with physical disabilities in the 11 years it has been held. It also serves as the kickoff for the organization’s fundraising season.

Rhonda Harrison, senior development officer with Easter Seals, said the proceeds raised go towards purchasing equipment for the approximately 180 children supported by the organization as well as summer camp assistance.

“We have people from both sides of the border coming to this event and I’m sure it wouldn’t be as successful if we didn’t the support from the casino and trail riders from Grand Portage,” Harrison said.

Frank Vecchio has been the marketing manager at Grand Portage Lodge and Casino for nearly 20 years and set the event is an international affair and one that is embraced south of the border.

“It makes our whole community want to get involved,” Vecchio said. “The whole Grand Portage community gets involved in this event.”

Pyloychuk got to ride on a snowmobile for the first time two years ago, an experience he still remembers fondly, even if it left him wanting more.

“It was really exciting except my mom wouldn’t let them go any faster,” he said while his mother laughed behind him.

There will be two trail options available for participants. There is a short run through Grand Portage Reservation Trails as well as a 190 kilometre trek on the Gunflint Trail.

Snowarama events are held in support of the Easter Seals in communities throughout the province, with Thunder Bay’s being the largest last year. The origins of the fundraiser date back to 1975.




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