Many of you have been asking why the Northern Clubs need money to continue grooming efforts through the rest of the season,
I'll give you a little history of snowmobiling and financing of snowmobile clubs as I've known it...............
I started riding in 1972 as a kid in Hayward.
The "clubs" in that area were still grooming with a snowmobile and a bed spring, they had just started this new sport and clubs were being formed to bring winter business to an area that had none.
Every neighbor and business owner worked their tails off to begin making trails........
I bought Dear Lodge 17 years ago and joined the Mercer Sno-A-Go-Goers, now known as the Mercer Sno-Goers.
Established in 1967 the club name was chosen for the GO-GO dancers at the time.
1971- The businesses could put up their 6"x24" brown signs on the trails. Yahoo! Business was going to be led right to your door!
1979- The state offered the club 46 miles of trail to groom, after requesting it get groomed more often then once every 2 or 3 weeks. They had two Alpine Snowmobiles to groom with, so they asked the state for funding for 50 more miles.
Again, everybody worked and worked cutting and leveling through the woods with chain saws and snowmobiles. After this season they bought their very first "real" groomer, a Tucker. Everybody worked hard giving their time, the money is starting to really roll into the businesses now!
Funding is given by the state at a rate of X amount of dollars per working hour on equpment for a contract of X amount of total hours per season, We then get into a supplemental fund which is shared by all clubs in the state. In a year like this where there is snow everywhere in the state and other clubs down south are getting a larger portion then they normally do, it cuts us short.
Other money is made by local Club Fundraisers, Trail Pigs, and Raffles, when the economy and spirit of giving and supporting are down, it cuts us short.
The HUGE cost of repairs, maintenance and running the groomers is kept down by people volunteering their time, when volunteers are not there, it cuts us short.
2008- The Mercer Sno-Goers groom, brush and maintain over 200 miles of trails, have put two additions on "the barn" originally built in 1989.
A Non-Profit organization with over $500,000.00 in equipment and $250,000.00 in buildings and tools needed to fix everything that breaks.
All of this has been built on volunteer help and money donated to the club by the snowmobilers that enjoy this sport and patronize the businesses in the area.
SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY.......
Some businesses(not all) and some snowmobilers (not all) have come to believe that it is their god given right to have beautiful trails and lots of business just appear at their door and they don't need to do anything, THIS ESPECIALLY, CUTS US SHORT
ALL snowmobile clubs need more help, either financial or physical.
The Mercer Sno-Goers have a meeting on Thursday Feb. 21st at 7:30pm at Beaver Lodge, to discuss if there is anything we can do continue a strong grooming schedule. If you are a member, your encouraged to be there.
If you would like to be a member, your encouraged to be there.
Besides the normal newsletter, a special notification has been sent to all of the business members
When your in the area this weekend, ask the business owners you patronize, what they intend to do to keep the trails going for the rest of the season and if they intend to be at this meeting.
We need everybody's involvement.......
Without clubs, you can have all the snow and trails in the country with no business and 1970's quality riding.
If you run into a groomer driver at your stops, make sure you thank him, if you see him on the trail in the groomer, a wave or a thumbs up is most appreciated!
I hope this wasn't too awful long and that it helps answer your questions.
If you would like to send a direct donation to the Mercer Sno-Goers the address is
PO Box 484
Mercer, Wi 54547
If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or have another favorite club you would like to donate to......
Let me know and I'll try to answer it for you, get your suggetions noticed, or get the address of that favorite club.