Well, another fun-filled year is upon us, and for Prairie Women on Snowmobiles it is a very special one! It is our 20th anniversary and we are very proud of our history. Every year we have taken 10 brave, strong women and helped them sled over 1,400 kilometres in six to 10 days, raising funds and awareness for the early detection of breast cancer, as well as raising awareness of safe snowmobiling.
In the 19 years, we have had 161 women participate as riders, 47 of those women rode more than once. We have had 35 men join us as pit crew with 11 of them doing the tour more than once also. We have had 24 women sit on our executive, 16 of them sat for more than one year, and with all these people we have made 601 stops to visit 193 different communities. All these efforts have raised over $2.5 million for the Canadian Cancer Society for research and over the last five years $303,600 for the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency for the purchase of equipment that stays in Saskatchewan. All the money raised is used towards the cause as we do not have any administration fees and the membership decides which researcher and what equipment is purchased at each AGM. All of this is dependent on the enormous efforts of the spectacular volunteers of this very generous province—they number in the thousands! Thank you, everyone, for your past contributions and continued support; without you we would never be able to do what we do and help to find the cure for this devastating disease.
This year sees us visiting new communities as we endeavour to reach more communities that we have never been to, so that our message is spread to new people who may not be aware of our very important message. Early detection of breast cancer is the best chance of survival.
Mission 2020 sees a return of eight previous riders and two new ladies who are up for the challenge. Our core riders are Elma Fischer of Saskatoon, Kim Hladun of Canora, Patricia Kemp-Howard of Allan, Wanda Latimer of Regina, Lynne Roszell of Tisdale, Kelsey Shiloff of North Battleford, Estelle Sowinski of Candle Lake, Pamela Stone of Prince Albert, Allison Taylor of Carievale and Karen Wudrich-Mattock of Leask. Our alternate is Marissa Weiss of Carrot River.
Our route is still being finalized, and I will be sure to let everyone know once it is. Watch our Facebook page Prairie Women on Snowmobiles—we salute you! Remember, anyone can be a member of PWOS, no matter your gender, and the $25 membership fee is how we fund our coveted survivor pins that we give out to any survivor that we meet on our journey—these are precious mementos of the survivors who have presented them.
Thank you for your support in the past, present and the future as we endeavour to find a cure. Be safe and I hope to see you on the trails. Maybe this is the year to consider following the ladies for part of the ride as a support rider—it is always appreciated. Together we will find a cure!