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Orillia's Snowmobile Ride for Dad hoping for flurries 0

By Sara Carson, Orillia Packet & Times

Orillia Snowmobile Ride for Dad co-chairs John Britten, left, and Rob Love, are gearing up for next weekend's event. The run — which sees snowmobilers ride from Orillia to  Waubaushene and back in support of the  Prostate Cancer Fight Foundation — will take place Saturday, February 9.

Orillia Snowmobile Ride for Dad co-chairs John Britten, left, and Rob Love, are gearing up for next weekend's event. The run — which sees snowmobilers ride from Orillia to Waubaushene and back in support of the Prostate Cancer Fight Foundation — will take place Saturday, February 9.

John Britten has high hopes for Orillia's second Snowmobile Ride for Dad.

 

“It's going to be a great ride,” the event co-chair said Saturday.

Orillia's inaugural Snowmobile Ride for Dad, last February, didn't include a ride at all.

A lack of snow on the trails cancelled the run, but that didn't stop organizers from going ahead with lunch, prizes and prostate cancer awareness presentations.

Organizers are crossing their fingers for this year's ride — to be held Saturday, February 9.

“We just need Mother Nature to co-operate a little bit more now,” Britten said. “Hopefully that's coming. The weather prediction is looking good over the next week.”

Organizers will be heading out this Thursday to mark the trail.

“We might have to alter the route given the snow conditions at the time,” Britten said.

Normally a motorcycle run — in support of the Prostate Cancer Fight Foundation (PCFF) — Ride for Dad has recently expanded its fundraising and awareness efforts to include snowmobiles, watercraft and ATVs in an effort to reach a broader audience.

“The cause is very important to us. Prostate cancer affects one in seven men in Canada right now. It's an awareness thing, guys are pretty reluctant to talk about that stuff.”

Britten wants to see 100 snowmobilers take part in this year's snowmobile ride.

Riders will depart at 10 a.m. sharp from the Best Western Plus Mariposa Inn and Conference Centre on Memorial Avenue, just off the snowmobile trail.

“We're going to be doing a parade through town on the club's trails,” Britten said. “We're going to be parading through to Tudhope Park.”

The snowmobilers will then embark on a three to four hour run to Waubaushene and back to Orillia.

“People drive at different paces. They can ride with people if they want, or they can go on their own,” Britten said. “It's kind of a self-guided trip.”

During the run, the Orillia District Snowmobile Club (ODSC) will be holding a ribbon cutting at the old CN bridge in Coldwater. In November, the club re-decked the bridge with an over $20,000 grant from the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs.

“We'll do the ribbon cutting ceremony and then we'll all ride on, single file across the bridge,” Britten said. “Kind of a spectacle there, we're trying to make it.”

Re-decking the bridge was a “big deal” for the club, with volunteers putting in a total of 400 man-hours.

“It gets us off some real bad roadways and it puts us on the old rail bed that goes right to Waubaushene from Coldwater,” Britten said.

After the ride, riders will return to a beef dinner at Mariposa Inn.

Registration is a minimum of $30.

“We encourage people to increase that (donation),” Britten said. “It's all for prostate cancer.”

Registration includes: the ride, a trail map, dinner, a chance at door prizes and more.

The local ride is put on by ODSC and corporate sponsors.

“We get a lot of corporate sponsorship from the business community in Orillia,” Britten said. “There's been a lot of us going around asking for door prizes and we've been fairly successful.”

Participants can register at Mariposa Inn beginning Friday, February 8 from

7 p.m. to 9 p.m., or Saturday, February 9 beginning at 7 a.m.

Snowmobilers can also register online at http://www.eventsonline.ca/events/snowmobileridefordad/.

sara.ross@sunmedia.ca 

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