Grand Portage Lodge & Casino is gearing up for another Snowarama for Easter Seals Kids fundraiser. This annual event, Saturday, Feb.5, brings snowmobilers from Canada and the U.S. to ride the groomed trails in and around Grand Portage and raise money for disabled children. Rhonda Harrison is with Easter Seals Ontario. She organizes the yearly event.
“Easter Seals Kids, what we do is we provide direct financial assistance to families of children with physical disabilities," says Harrison. "We help with purchasing wheelchairs and walkers, ramps to get in and out of your house, lifts for your van, bathroom modifications. Things that we might take for granted. Cost of equipment is phenomenal. It can be up to an additional $40,000 a year to support a child with a physical disability, which is quite a financial burden on these families.”
This is the eighth year Snowarama has come to Grand Portage. Last year’s event raised more than $31,000. It’s sponsored by three Grand Portage organizations; the Grand Portage Lodge & Casino, the Trail Riders Snowmobile Club, and the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.
“In the past 8 years we raised over $173,000 for Easter Seal Kids which is absolutely phenomenal and we are very grateful for the support,” says Harrison. "In this Snowarama, for this area, we have about 168 children in northern Ontario that we help."
Participants are asked to collect pledges ahead of time, with a minimum total amount of $100. The day is spent riding on Grand Portage’s groomed trails and that evening there’s a complimentary dinner and dance. This year Grand Portage Lodge & Casino is offering extra incentive to raise money and for every $88 in pledges above the $100 minimum, riders will receive a ballot to win a $2,500 gift certificate to use at one of eight participating snowmobile retailers. The event takes place on Saturday, February 5 and trail conditions are looking good.
“I heard a report from the Trail Riders yesterday that they are phenomenal,” says Harrison. “They said the trails are excellent and it’s going to be a great ride, and we’re always looking for new riders so come on out and join us!”
Pledge forms for this year’s Snowarama for Easter Seals Kids at Grand Portage Lodge & Casino are available in Cook County at Ryden’s Border Store. More information is available from Rhonda Harrison at Easter Seals Ontario, 807-345-7622, ext. 4, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.