Ride benefits cancer fight

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The St. Joe Snow Riders will raise money for local cancer patients. The club has hosted an annual Breast Cancer Snowmobile Ride in February since 2008 to benefit the Kootenai Health Foundation. The day-long event takes snowmobilers through a 50-mile course into the mountains of the St. Joe valley.

Paula Spooner, Lou Epler, and Dale Hill display memorabilia for the Breast Cancer Snowmobile Ride.

Paula Spooner, Lou Epler, and Dale Hill display memorabilia for the Breast Cancer Snowmobile Ride.

The annual event began seven years ago, and in that time has raised more than $21,000 to support cancer patients with little to no income or insurance. The money pays for vouchers on necessities like gas, food and medicines.

“All the money comes back to the county and the surrounding areas,” says the event organizer, Paula Spooner.

To date, the funds raised have helped more than 116 people. While last year’s ride was cancelled, the group hopes to surpass their previous fundraising record of $4,193.

The club provides many ways for individuals and organizations to donate to the fund. One is the option to dedicate a pink ribbon-shaped signposts, either to promote local businesses or to memorialize lost loved ones, which will line the entire course. More than one hundred of these signs have already been purchased.

T-shirts and headbands bearing the event’s name, as well as woven pink ribbon wristbands provided by Janice McCall, can be purchased through the Spooners directly.

The club also provides a drawing for prizes at each stop on the route. Participants can buy “hands” for the drawings at either the Big Eddy or the Calder General Store. One hand is available for $5, while five are available for $20.

The event will start at the Big Eddy resort on the St. Joe River with registration from 8:00-10:00 a.m. for riders and a buffet breakfast. Riders then travel a groomed trail through the area, stopping at three designated areas. Burgers and hot dogs will be available at these stops in exchange for donations. The last stop will be at the Calder general store, where a dinner special will be available.

The Snow Riders will also stage a memorial run for Morry Hedlund in Clarkia on February 27.

For more information, contact St. Maries Saw & Cycle (245-4544), Idaho Rigging (245-3523), Dale Hill (582-3402), or Jeff and Paula Spooner (245-4070).

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