The Pink Ribbon Riders will stop at Togwotee Mountain Lodge in Wyoming March 18-19 to round out the 5-event Snow Run Tour.
The event consists of two days for both men and women riders and non-riders of all abilities and draws people from all over the U.S. Some of the activities will include a bra-decorating and sled-decorating contest and the ability to win a guide for the day in an auction. Celebrity riders have attended in the past, such as Dan Adams of Next Level Riding and Kirk Zack from HMK USA and others.
The Snow Run Tour is in its ninth year and raises money for both men and women diagnosed with and battling breast cancer.
The individual can apply directly to The Pink Ribbon Riders. The nonprofit organization distributes a $500.00 gift card to the recipient in order to cut down on stress during the battle. This donation can pay for gas to treatments, food or even a mortgage payment. Many things become expensive, even with insurance.
The organization was started in 2006 when there was a lack of programs to help those in need. Jody McKay, co-founder, is a snowmobiler and tied her hobby of riding into creating the "Snow Run" event that could help raise funds for those in need.
Organizers wanted the funds to stay in the state in which they were raised and to go directly to the patient. The Pink Ribbon Riders is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that gives 84 percent to the cause.
"Research is so important," McKay said. "But once diagnosed, there weren’t many places to turn to ensure that a patient didn't skip a treatment because they ran out of gas money. My connection to cancer is that my mom had breast cancer and my cousin had it twice under the age of 24. Also, knowing that a man being diagnosed back in 2006 was unheard of, I wanted to make the difference for the person during their moment of the fight. People helping people. And what better people than snowmobilers to make it happen? ‘Cause honestly, they rock."
To date, the Pink Ribbon Riders have helped in seven states and have given in some of the sister states that surround its Snow Tour schedule. The organization is approaching $1.5 million dollars in donations given this spring, with more than 1,500 people having contributed.
Organizers never thought starting an event that had just 35 people would turn into something that gives to so many. They hope that someday they can expand the giving to any cancer diagnosis. With the support of the snowmobile community, it may happen. There is a need, but the funds must be raised.
With less than six people on the Pink Ribbon Riders team, the organization relies on the support of volunteers, whose dedication has made success possible.
For more information on the Pink Ribbon Riders or the upcoming events or pictures, visit: www.pinkribbonriders.com.
To see thank you notes from those helped, visit the website or the Pink Ribbon Riders Facebook page.