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World's Largest Snowmobile Fundraising Event

In June 1999 Greg Sorenson (me) and Randy Bannor were sitting in Randy’s garage sipping an ice cold Windsor. Because we enjoy long distance multi-day rides, we were contemplating our next ride. We had heard of a ride around Lake Superior and decided that would be our next conquest. We would be joined by Randy’s dad, Larry and his lifelong friend, Dennis Nelson, from Austin, MN.

We decided if we are doing a ride of this magnitude we should raise money for a good cause. We knew a young snowmobiler that had ALS or Lou Gehrigs disease. We decided raising money for ALS would be our goal. At that time I knew nothing about ALS, but did some research and learned most patients live an average of 3-5 years. It is always terminal. ALS-MN heard of our adventure and also got involved.

We planned to start our ride the end of January. Over the next few months my dad and I discussed the ride many times. Five days before the ride he stopped by for one of his frequent visits. After normal small talk, he broke the devastating news to me that he had been diagnosed with ALS. The ride suddenly took on a whole new urgency. I wished he had waited until after the ride to tell me, I had too much time to think when riding that many hours a day. Its hard to ride with tears in your eyes. Sadly he passed in 2005.

That first year we were delighted to raise $15,000. We met so many generous people before, during and after our ride. One of the cabins where we stayed had a breakfast for us in their small lodge. When it came time to cash out, they said we owed them nothing and presented a $250 check for our cause. Generosity like this happened often.

When we were traveling from Marathon to Thunder Bay, we rode 60 miles in a track a groomer with no drag had recently made. A few hours into our ride we could see headlights several miles down the power lines. Finally we met two riders, they stopped us and jumped off their sleds to run up and shake our hands and hug us. They were so excited to meet the guys that were riding around the lake. Everyone we met knew what we were doing and were always supportive.

We had a few memorable moments; one being the day we rode across Michigan in pouring rain. The trails had 4 inches of water on them. We learned leather bibs were not good in the rain. Larry and I rode in wet bibs for 3 days! One day we rode 12 hours, another day 15. Riding loses it’s luster after that many hours in the saddle. On the 4th day I stopped to warn the others of a deep ditch. As I stepped on the running board to turn to look back, the sled tipped onto me. I felt a slight pop in my knee. It swelled up and hurt a bit when walking. After two weeks of not feeling better, I went to the Doctor to find out it was broken. After 10 days and 2,015 miles, my knee and a frozen shock were our only issues.
Because of the interest, in 2000 we started a 360 mile, 3-day ride. We ride from Proctor to Tower the first day, Tower to Two Harbors the second day and Two Harbors back to Proctor on day three. That evening we have a banquet including a silent and live auction and a raffle. In 2017, 205 riders raised an amazing $1.14 Million! To date we have raised an incredible $9 Million to support ALS patients and to fund research to find a cure.

If you are interested in donating to the event you can do so by simply going to:

http://WWW.blackwoodsblizzardtour.com click the red DONATE box. Type Greg Sorenson in the perform a search box, click search, click donate now, and make your pledge. Please make your donation by February 6th. Thanks to those who purchased raffle tickets at ISC. If you are interested in joining us or need additional information, please contact me. Guaranteed fun!

Thank You For Your Support,
Greg Sorenson, Minnsnoman@aol.com

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