The Glaude family were the first ones to arrive for a pancake breakfast hosted by the Nation Valley Snowmobile Association at Riverside Heights as part of the Snowarama for Easter Seals Kids. Front row, from left: Payton, age 6, Grace, age 10. Back row, from left: Zander, age 9 and Braxton, age 5.   Tinkess Photo

RIVERSIDE HEIGHTS – Mother Nature hasn’t been kind to outdoor winter sports enthusiasts and the people that supported them during the past couple of years, but as the saying goes, everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it. It’s not like there is much you can do, especially when your sport requires snow, as snowmobiling does, except to continue and do the best you can to raise money for the Snowarama for Easter Seals Kids. That is exactly what the Nation Valley Snowmobile Association was doing Saturday morning at the Riverside Recreational Hall in Riverside Heights.

The plan had been to have a pancake breakfast at the Riverside Heights location and then ride to the Mountain Snowmobile Club for a hotdog lunch. With the quickly diminishing snow making the ride impossible, they turned their attention to making the best pancake breakfast they could. There were also toques for sale and a silent auction was being held until Feb. 10.

Heather Cooke-Erwin is one of the organizers of the annual event, which is dedicated in memory of Debbie McHaffie-Strader and Jean MacDougal, two former members of the Nation Valley Association. “I used to go on another ride, but I belong to this club, so Debbie (McHaffie-Strader), and Jean (MacDougal) and I started one here.”

Cooke-Erwin says the support they have received has been great. “The recreation centre has been great; they donated all the food for the pancake breakfast. (Carl Robinson, Clara Robinson, and Randy Prevost were busy preparing it as well, as the first people began to arrive.)

“We also had a donation of eight litres of maple syrup from Denzil Raistrick,” added Cooke-Erwin. “It’s great.”

Snowarama takes place on Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Club (OFSC) trails, and challenges winter enthusiasts in communities all over Ontario to raise donations for Easter Seals. Wrestler Whipper Billy Watson originally conceived the event in 1975 and so far, OFSC clubs have helped raise more than $18.3 million to benefit kids with physical disabilities.