Updated: 01/25/2014 6:10 PM
Created: 01/25/2014 4:25 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
A group of snowmobilers have been raising money for the March of Dimes for years, but Saturday was the first time there was snow on the ground for the 140 mile ride.
The riders call it the Yeti Tour and money raised goes right to the March of Dimes to help newborns and infants facing medical issues.
Saturday was a frigid day for the trek, but the event founder Nate Alvar said that was no problem for the yeti (well, the man dressed in a yeti suit).
“The yeti will be out riding the trails. He actually snowmobiles it or not. He'll be out riding with us today. He'll turn a few heads. Yeah he thrives in the cold so we just have to try and emulate the yeti,” Alvar said.
He said dozens of snowmobilers launched from the Sunset Bar and Grill in Duluth for a good cause. Alvar founded the light-hearted event in memory of two infant sons and to help the March of Dimes.
“The both passed away too young so we were supporting the March of Dimes for a few years and just go talking with some family and friends and the idea of a snowmobile ride came up. We thought it would be fun,” Alvar said.
He said the snowmobiling community is full of people with big hearts. The annual raffle for a new sled brings in over $15,000. That money allows the March of Dimes to help families like the Alvars.
“We have two health sons today, a 5-year-old and a 19-month-old, and we've seen both sides of the story on what can happen with child birth,” Alvar said.
And all this has been done without much snow over the last few years, but trails are groomed and white so locals like Shaun Kimball were excited for the trek around the Northland.
“Well there's a lot of overlooks up the shore that we go to and some of the shelters. There's some new shelters up the shore that are really nice and they have it set up where you can do bonfires,” Kimball said.
Those fires may be needed to stay warm on the 140 mile ride that winds up to Brimson and back down the North Shore. They all make it back to the start by dinner, and they hope the yeti sighting will draw even more riders next year.
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