Fighting ALS: Long-Time Supporter, First-Time Rider

Brandon Weathers
Updated: January 26, 2019 03:44 PM

ALS forever changed the lives of Scott Johnson and his family when he lost his father to the disease in 2012. A family friend had been involved with the Black Woods Blizzard Tour and suggested Scott got involved in honor of his father. With the pain of the loss still very raw, Scott turned his friend down.

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"He kept on me, and then finally, in 2014, he said, 'why don't we try it again.'" So, Scott began his journey with the Blizzard Tour, not knowing where it would lead him. "I started parking cars, directing traffic, and just seeing how awesome of an event it is," he said.

Once he got involved, all of those initial hesitations vanished. "It was part of a healing process to know you have a common ground with so many people," Scott said, "it's like an extended family."

From then on, it wasn't a question of if Scott would be involved with the Blizzard Tour, but how. As the next tour approached, he received another call from his fried. "He says, 'we've got an opening on the luggage crew. Do you want to go on the road with the tour?' and I said, 'yeah, I think maybe it's time, let's do that.'"

This lead to 3 years with Scott serving on the luggage crew for the Tour. All the while, he continued to be nudged toward a snowmobile. "A good friend had said, 'we need to do a ride for your dad. We need to do a ride for your dad.' And I said, 'no, it's not fun for me, it's fun for you guys, I just don't want to do it.' And he kept on me, and he says, 'we're gonna do it this year.'"

Scott tried to explain that he doesn't have a snowmobile, but this was no obstacle for his friends. "They didn't hesitate. 'You can use my extra sled. Don't worry about that, you're coming.'"

Now, Scott will be riding in the 20th Black Woods Blizzard Tour with 7 friends, all riding in honor of Scott's dad, Danny Johnson. He said, "they're all first time riders, and we're just gonna go."

Losing his dad, Danny, to ALS has changed Scott's outlook on life. He now tries to make the most of every day. "I kind of jokingly went, 'we're all just one doctor appointment away from being in trouble.' And that's exactly what got my dad."

Scott's family have also committed themselves to the cause since Danny passed away. "My son Gavin got involved with the Roso chapter and selling the Sportsman calendars and all that stuff," he said, "My wife Lori, she's been on the tour now for 3 years. She helps with the administrative stuff, hotel check-ins, rider registrations, and wherever needed."

For the Johnson's, the Blizzard Tour is an opportunity to help others fight the battle they've come to know so well. "It's past the grieving I guess, and now more into make awareness, share the story, and try to raise more money."

Scott will head out on his first ride with the Blizzard Tour Thursday, January 30th. Tickets are still available for the 20th Annual Black Woods Blizzard Tour Celebration Dinner for Saturday, February 2nd, at Cirrus Aircraft. You can donate to help the fight here.


Brandon Weathers

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