The Sled for Eternity ride raises money for a worthy cause

The ride, which starts out in Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba, offers great prizes and a chance to contribute to an important cause

by Karen Kornelsen

a group of people with parked snowmobiles
The first year of the event saw 160-plus sledders come out; they raised over $50, 000 for Teen Challenge. Katie Emond photo

An incredible day of snowmobiling is on the horizon for an incredible cause. On February 2, 2013, the 6th Annual Sled for Eternity is taking place in Manitoba to raise money for Teen Challenge. This year's ride starts and ends at the Lac du Bonnet Community Hall.

Daniel Emond, development director for Teen Challenge of Central Canada, said the initial ride came about after he and the executive director of Teen Challenge, Steve Paulsen, had a meeting with a local pastor.

"We were sharing about the difficulty we face raising funds during the first quarter of each year, even though the services we offer run all year long," said Emond. " The pastor suggested a snowmobile ride, as his church always had snowmobilers riding through their parking lot every Sunday and he wanted them to come into his church. Steve and I thought this was a great idea, and I was excited to bring it to fruition, along with our events committee. Our first year saw over 160 snowmobilers come out and (they) raised over $50, 000 for Teen Challenge."

Making a difference in people's lives

Teen Challenge is a residential recovery program for men and women who struggle with addiction. The funds raised from Sled for Eternity help cover the first-quarter operating costs at Teen Challenge's 40-bed men's home in Winnipeg. Teen Challenge relies solely on private support to operate.

The prizes, as in past years, are amazing. Fundraiser prizes have included sleds, trailers, quads, dirt bikes, trips, snowmobile gear and lots more. Teen Challenge will also have checkpoint draws for all participants, as well as a barbecue lunch from Danny's Whole Hog and a delicious supper prepared by the Teen Challenge crew. Participants receive a long-sleeved event shirt too.

"There are so many hurting people in our community that need the kind of help Teen Challenge offers, and I was one of them," said Emond. "Not only does this event help us raise funds at a typically difficult time of year, but more importantly it helps enable us to offer more drug awareness and recovery initiatives throughout the province."

Last January, Teen Challange was able to extend its services to include a 10-bed women's facility in Brandon, and this has already filled up.

"The support of the Sled for Eternity participants and sponsors is truly helping to make a difference in the lives of so many and we are grateful," said Emond.

You can register for the 6th Annual Sled for Eternity ride online or by calling 204-949-9484. Teen Challenge also has an easy peer-to-peer online fundraising system as well as packages for traditional fundraising from friends and family.

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