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Snowarama kickoff

Independence is the most thing important thing a person can have, especially when living with a physical disability. For Jacqueline Lauchie’s son Zachary was two years old, when they learned he would never be able to walk.
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Zachary Pylychuck, 6, was shown the snow machine ropes by Grand Portage Trail Riders member Tony Swader. (By Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com)

Independence is the most thing important thing a person can have, especially when living with a physical disability.

For Jacqueline Lauchie’s son Zachary was two years old, when they learned he would never be able to walk.

“He was put into the smallest wheelchair you’ve ever seen; it was one-foot by one-foot,” she said. “I clicked his seatbelt shut and he rolled away from me with the biggest smile and giggle in his life. He had never had that. He had never been able to move away from me if he wanted to.”

That independence is why organizations like Easter Seals are so important, said Lauchie. Zachary, now six-years-old, is an Easter Seals ambassador and was testing out a mini snow machine at the kickoff for the 2010 Snowarama event at Grand Portage Lodge and Casino Feb. 20.

The seventh annual fundraiser averages 100 snow machine riders on Grand Portage’s 100 miles of trails and raises around $20,000 – a quarter Easter Seals annual fundraising budget.

This year the Grand Portage Band purchased a Polaris 550 IQ Shift to give away at the event.

“The minimum requirement of pledges (per participant) is $100 and for every $77 over that $100, you receive a draw slip for that snow machine, so your odds are pretty good,” said Frank Vecchio, marketing manager for Grand Portage.

Organizers are hoping the prize will bring more riders out to the event.

“It would be great to have 200 riders and I think with this added incentive for the riders, there will be more participating,” Vecchio said.

Anyone wishing to preregister or for more information visit www.easterseals.org.