“We really want to make sure the community understands how much we appreciate their support and the people who are involved,” event treasurer Michelle Mourot said. “We have skidoos that come from Saskatoon and further, and we really appreciate that people come from that far.”
The event was cancelled last year due to a boil water order and low amount of snow. Each year, proceeds go to the maintenance of the Lions Rec. Centre in MacDowall. According to Mourot, about $100,000 has been raised since she’s been involved with the event.
“Our community has just been huge in helping us raise this money,” she said.
The rally consists of snowmobilers drawing a hand of cards at the community hall before embarking on the trail, with a secret hand being pre-drawn. First, second and third cash prizes are then awarded to participants who have the closest hand to the pre-drawn hand. Each hand costs $5.
“The prize money that is given out at a snowmobile rally is from what’s brought in with the hands, and then what we make over and above obviously goes to the hall,” Mourot said.
With the funds, metal siding was recently installed on the outside of the 7,000-square-foot building and the inside of the hall was painted.
“The building’s about 30 years old, so it’s time to spruce it up,” Mourot said.
Glen Tait, chairperson of the Rec. Foundation, said some the renovations have actually helped with the heating costs of the building.
“More or less the outside has been sided. We strapped it, insulated it and put tin on the outside,” he said. “The heating cost was a big thing, and that’s come down quite a bit.”
As well, the foundation has put money toward the installation of a chair lift at the building.
“The seniors got a grant to put a chair lift in, because they have their seniors group upstairs,” Tait said. “And a lot of them are getting too old to walk up the stairs, so the seniors got a grant to put a wheelchair lift in. We put money toward that.”
Tait noted the significance of having the Rec. Centre in MacDowall in relation to the size of the community.
“It’s the only thing that the community has that’s really left. It’s a big centre and it’s nice to have for the community,” he said.
The one-day event will begin with a pancake breakfast at 8:30 a.m. on March 2. Registration for the poker rally starts at 9 a.m. and prizes will be awarded at 4 p.m. A canteen will be operating and refreshments will be served.