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April 15, 2013

Snow Devils Raffle Off Sled At Jackson Hillclimb



Tyrell Marchant


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 new sled.  

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. The Jackson Hole Snow Devils, who host the hillclimb, decided to step in and donate all profits from that year’s hillclimb to Shriners.

Shriners hospitals 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 organizations.”

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,” she says.

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.



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