Will 2006 be the year that Maine snowmobilers surpass the $3 million mark? Harvey Chesley of Pine Tree Camp thinks so.
Snowmobilers representing clubs from all corners of Maine and friends of Pine Tree Camp will take part in the 2006 Dead River Co. Snowmobile Ride-in Friday to Sunday, Feb. 3-5, in Newport. The event will include Saturday’s Egg Ride, with celebrity riders traveling from the Hungry Hollow ’76ers Clubhouse in Levant to Newport.
All money raised through the event will go to support Pine Tree Camp, a summer camp for children and adults with disabilities.
Since 1974, Maine snowmobilers have raised more than $2.9 million for Pine Tree Camp.
“In human terms, the tremendous support of Maine snowmobilers and people associated with the ride-in is priceless,” said Chesley. “Because of their support, Pine Tree Camp is able to accept all campers regardless of their ability to pay tuition. This open-door policy has been in place since Pine Tree Society established Pine Tree Camp more than 60 years ago. For their families, Pine Tree Camp means a 10-day respite from the demands of caring for a child with a disability. Often times, this is the only break these families get.”
The event offers activities for snowmobilers and nonsnowmobilers.
“We invite everyone to join us for what promises to be another fun-filled ride-in,” Chesley said.
The 2006 Ride-in schedule is:
Friday, Feb. 3:
. Evening auction preview at 6 p.m. Bidding begins at 7 p.m., Sebasticook Valley Community Center, Newport.
Saturday, Feb. 4:
. Q-106.5 Egg Ride. Celebrity riders will leave the Hungry Hollow ’76ers Clubhouse in Levant around 9 a.m. and arrive at the Sebasticook Valley Community Center at 10 a.m.
. Public chicken barbecue luncheon hosted by the Newport Fire Department, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Sebasticook Valley Community Center.
. Parade 3 p.m., downtown Newport.
. All-you-can-eat Italian buffet public supper 4:30-6 p.m. $5, $3 for children, Sebasticook Valley Community Center. Dinner will be followed by a fireworks display.
Sunday, Feb. 5:
. Public pancake breakfast, 7-10 a.m., Meridian Splendor Masonic Hall, Newport.
For several years, Dead River Co. has served as the Ride-in’s title sponsor, providing funds to cover costs associated with the event. The company has returned as title sponsor for the 2006 Ride-in. In helping to offset Ride-in expenses, Dead River’s contribution ensures that money raised by snowmobile clubs can be used to provide tuition assistance for campers who need it.
Other sponsors include, Q106.5, Sappi Fine Paper and WABI-TV 5.
Pine Tree Camp was established in 1945 as a summer therapy outlet for children with disabilities. Over the years, Pine Tree Camp has evolved into a barrier-free environment offering fully accessible recreation opportunities to people with disabilities. For campers, attending Pine Tree Camp is their only opportunity to experience the recreation activities Maine has to offer. By participating in new and exciting activities with their peers, campers experience success and increase self-esteem in a safe, caring environment. Most importantly, campers build friendships that last a lifetime. Pine Tree Camp is one of the many programs of Pine Tree Society.
Pine Tree Society offers a full range of comprehensive and professional services designed to help Maine people with disabilities lead active, more socially connected lives. This year, the Maine-based organization celebrates 70 years of serving Maine people with disabilities and their families. For information call 443-3341 or visit www.pinetreesociety.org.