Sled for Eternity: A snowmobile fundraiser

Sled for Eternity with Adult and Teen Challenge this winter season

by Jillian Clark

two snowmobilers riding on a plain with trees in the sledder is giving a thumbs up sign
Sled for Eternity is a fun way for communities to help their neighbours when donations are low in the winter months. Photo courtesy Teen Challenge

Adult and Teen Challenge originated in Brooklyn over fifty years ago, but has since expanded to 118 countries. Canada has four divisions of the organization across the country, each supporting residential and non-residential programs in their communities.

Their efforts are simple: raise money to help those who are struggling. Help them find their way to sobriety.

“We put hope within reach through the community,” said Daniel Emond, Director of Development at Adult and Teen Challenge of Central Canada. “We also bring awareness and answers to people struggling in the community. I don’t know one family that isn’t affected by addiction.”

The programs go above and beyond to ensure high success rates.

“It’s one thing to give someone a sweater and pair of shoes and pray for them. It’s another to walk alongside them and help them change their life to live clean,” said Emond.

Why Sled for Eternity?

Fourteen years ago, Daniel, a fellow organizer and a local pastor were discussing their struggles of running the organization through the winter months. Raising money and engaging the community becomes difficult each winter as donations drop after Christmas. The pastor also noticed a decline in church attendance during these months, but would spot snowmobiles riding through his parking lot on Sunday mornings.

They thought: Why doesn’t Teen Challenge reach out to the snowmobiling community? It made sense for Daniel.

“I grew up as a sled head, and I am a graduate of the Teen Challenge program,” he said. Other members of Adult and Teen Challenge had connections within the snowmobile clubs as well.

The season of 2007/2008 was the first Sled for Eternity, which started at Eastview Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

“We went up to Beausejour for the ride. It turned out that the dealership owner in Beausejour had just lost their father to alcoholism, which put the last piece of the puzzle together for us,” said Emond. “The community has embraced it. It is a vital fundraiser for us.”

Sled for Eternity rides

Adult and Teen Challenge is hosting five rides in Canada and the U.S. (Alaska) in 2019. There will be over $50,000 in prizes for raising the most money, checkpoint draws, and participation gifts.

“In my opinion, it’s a world class event,” said Emond. “The snowmobiling community understands the need, and they’ve become very supportive of Teen Challenge. They look forward to coming.”

The Eastern Manitoba ride

When: January 26, 2019

Where: Beausejour, Manitoba

Thunder Bay ride

When: February 2, 2019

Where: Kakabeka Falls, Ontario

Swan River ride

When: February 9, 2019

Where: Swan River, Manitoba

BC Sled for Eternity ride

When: February 23, 2019

Where: Vernon, British Columbia

Sled for Hope

When: March 9, 2019

Where: Wasilla, Alaska

Registration fees vary between rides. Visit Teen Challenge’s Sled for Eternity website to find more details about the ride closest to you.

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