From March 21-24 thousands of snowmobilers and spectators
converged on Snow King Resort in Jackson,
WY, for the 38th Annual
World Championship Snowmobile Hillclimb. On the final day of competition, Benita
Knight's name was drawn from a pool of raffle tickets. It didn't take long for Knight,
who lives just minutes from Snow King, to claim her prize and be handed the key to a 2013 Arctic Cat
M 800 Sno Pro donated by ZBroz Racing.
But there's more to this story than someone winning a brand
It started about five years ago when Shriners Children's Hospital of Salt Lake City
was unable to hold its annual fundraising cutter (two-horse chariot) races in
Jackson Hole Snow Devils, who host the hillclimb, decided to step in and
donate all profits from that year's hillclimb to Shriners.
provide care for children with serious burns, orthopaedic problems, cleft lips
and palates and spinal cord injuries, often at no cost to the children's families,
according to their website.
And while the cutter races have made a comeback, the partnership between the
Snow Devils and Shriners isn't going anywhere.
"People think the Snow Devils keep all this money to just do
our thing," Heidi Tobin, president of the Jackson Hole Snow Devils, said. "But
we give it all away. All the money from the hillclimb is donated to other
From 2008 to 2012 the club, comprised completely of
volunteers, donated $72,000 to Shriners Hospital for Children of Salt Lake City
and $35,000 to Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wyoming from 2010 to 2012, Tobin said.
Final numbers from the Jackson hillclimb haven't come in yet, but Tobin said
everything left over after paying bills will be donated.
Each year, the Snow Devils start selling tickets for the
sled raffle at the Intermountain Snowmobile Show in October, and don't stop
until the last day of the Jackson hillclimb in late March. And the Shriners
don't take this generosity for granted "They work hard," says Tobin. "They were
there with their little fez hats and everything selling raffle tickets all four
days of the hillclimb."
Tobin also pointed out the generosity of ZBroz Racing, which donated the sled to be raffled off. "Without ZBroz, we couldn't do any of this,"
And that gratitude is good to hear. We get excited about new models and
races and hillclimbs, but when it comes down to it, we're just grateful that as
snowmobilers, we can be confident that this is the kind of charity and humanity
we get to surround ourselves with.
That, even more than the untouched powder or the roar of an
800, is what makes this life worth living.