Media Releases for winter of 2004

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Dec 15th, 2004

2004 Family Award- Marty & Carol Lavigne

Marty and Carol Lavigne, have been recognized by the District 1 with the 2004 Family Achievement Award in September at the O.F.S.C. AGM. They have been active members and volunteers for the Kemptville Snowmobile Klub since 1991 and joined Leeds and Greenville Snowmobile Association in 1996. The jobs include trail work, catering, rallies, maintenance of the clubhouse and groomer. With all the volunteering they do they still get a chance to ride over 3000 km each year. "The family is the backbone in our club, providing year after year of dedication. They participate at the club level, the Association, District, provincial and the International level. They never miss a meeting. They have recruited family and neighbours to become volunteers and member of the club. They are volunteers who are optimistic, enthusiastic which rubs off on other club members. They put the fun back into snowmobiling. They are the kinds of volunteers that every club wishes they had".

Pictured here is Alice Gilchrist

Pictured here are Marty & Carol Lavigne

Alice Gilchrists a member of the Snow Road Snowmobile Club since 1976 has been recognized as Volunteer of the Year in September at the OFSC AGM District 1. Alice is Vice President for her club, OFSC STOP Co-ordinator and volunteers on many committees.

Alice provides the club with information reports on the district meetings and ensures that all executive are kept up-to-date on the OFSC and District happening. Her work and personality are well known throughout District 1. She is an asset to our organization and we are truly blessed to have her as a club member.

October 21st, 2004

Shell Canada "Shares in Volunteerism" in District 1

(Morrisburg, ON)- As part of their "Share the Experience" campaign to promote their 2-stroke snowmobile oil, Shell Canada gave 116 cases of Shell Advance oil to district 1 for distribution to its clubs and associations. As if this wasn't generous enough, Shell also donated a $400 merchandise gift pack for each club/association in the District.

At the O.F.S.C. District 1 volunteers of the year award night our volunteers were rewarded with the gift packs donated by Shell Canada. "Shell Canada came through very enthusiastically with their offering again this season, which we distributed ", says John, who took care of the logistics. "It gives sledders a chance to try something different which may be a benefit to their particular machine".

Meanwhile, Shell Canada's campaign, will also provide advance notification of their promotions and sales on fuels and other products, as well as rebate coupons to the participating associations.

District 1 has decided to "Share the Experience" with Shell Canada by graciously thanking them for their contribution and their innovative way of getting snowmobilers to try their products. For more information, please visit their website at [email protected]

Here are many of the club volunteers with their Shell Canada product.

Sept 21, 2004

Glengarry S.C. Volunteer Named OFSC Trail Patroller of the Year

(Green Valley, ON) - Réjean Bourgon, long-time member of the Glengarry Snowmobile Club must certainly feel appreciated. Last February he was recognized by RDS (a French-language TV sports channel) as volunteer of the year. Last week, at the OFSC AGM he was bestowed with the Ron Jones Memorial Award for Trail Patrol Member of the Year.

OFSC president Dennis Burns showed his appreciation when he said, "Réjean is a worthy recipient of this volunteer recognition award. His contribution both to his local club and district is exemplary of the kind of dedication and enthusiasm that makes organized snowmobiling so successful in Eastern Ontario."

The OFSC Trail Patrol is a province-wide program where volunteers from local clubs ply the trails acting as goodwill ambassadors, providing assistance and information to visiting riders and checking permits. There are about 5000 volunteers in action in Ontario last winter, of which roughly 1400 are Trail Patrol members.

In accepting the award, Réjean offered a little advice to fellow sledders, " Be sure to buy your trail permit before riding them. If you can spare an hour or two, please volunteer for your local club, because we need all the help we can get."

This is the second year in a row that the Trail Patrol Member of the Year award goes to a volunteer from District 1. Last year's recipient was Stan Hadden of the Osgoode-Carleton Snowmobile Club.

Glengarry S.C. has Volunteer Pride

Réjean Bourgon of the Glengarry S.C is the second recipient in a row from District 1 of the Ron Jones Memorial Award, given by the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs in recognition of outstanding work as a Trail Patrol Member. Réjean is pictured here displaying the impressive trophy and plaque that goes with the recognition for the achievement.

Aug 04, 2004

Map it, Market, Sign it, Ride it!

(Morrisburg, ON)- John Boals, manager of the OFSC District 1 Snowmobile Association is pleased to report that the project made possible by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) is well under way. Since May, 5 people have been hired and given the opportunity to exercise their talents while acquiring new skills, through this new initiative aimed at increasing snowmobile tourism in our district.

The plan is to make the sledding experience as enjoyable as possible through improved TOP trail signage and easier access to trailside amenities such as food, fuel and lodging. As well, a marketing campaign is being developed to advertise these improvements to snowmobilers, especially to out-of-district riders. "This project will benefit two groups," commented John. "It provides a fantastic opportunity for our employees to develop and hone their abilities, but also, it will give great exposure to the sport of snowmobiling in Ontario."

Although HRSDC is credited for facilitating this project, there are many other partners who's contributions have greatly enhanced our profile, like: the South Nation Conservation Authority, Choko Designs and Shane Signs. Additionally, John wishes to extend his gratitude to the club volunteers who have worked closely with our team. Their assistance provided some cost-saving short cuts that helped in completing the database for our signage program and to verify the accuracy of the information on the 1600 kms of TOP trails to produce the forthcoming map and brochure.

As if all this weren't enough, there is also a safety aspect blended into the project. District 1 plans to Survey the TOP trail network by Global Positioning System (GPS). The District is working with Emergency Medical Services (EMS) people to develop a coordinate system for snowmobilers requiring emergency assistance.

So this fall, look for the new and improved trail guide and promotional brochure that will help you plan your sledding excursion in Eastern Ontario.
Shown here are the 5 marketing and mapping people who are helping make Eastern Ontario the place for sledding.

MAY 19, 2004

Government of Canada Announces Funding for District 1

(Morrisburg, ON)- Bob Kilger, MP for Stormont, Dundas & Charlottenburgh held a press conference today at the MacIntosh Inn to announce funding for two separate projects in Eastern Ontario. O.F.S.C. District 1 Snowmobile Association and the O.P.P.'s Crime Stoppers program will benefit from a Job Creation Partnership, a program administered by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC).

The goal for District 1's JCP is to increase snowmobile tourism through a Signage and Tourism Marketing Initiative with a budget totaling almost $269,000. The Government of Canada will provide $190,433 in funding, while private organizations will put up the balance through $78,248 of in-kind support. The project will employ 5 EI recipients and will give them real work experience for them to successfully find gainful employment. "This project could never happen without the sponsorship from other organizations. That's why they call it a partnership," explained John Boals, manager of District 1.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Kilger said, "This project will have a positive impact on both its participants and the community as a whole," confirming the importance of partnerships. "The recreational snowmobile industry is facing an increasing set of challenges and competition. We must use the services that are available out there if we want to assure the future of this wonderful pastime," commented John.

Based on feedback from out-of-province snowmobilers, it was felt that a major overhaul of the TOP trail signs was needed to attract more sledders to Eastern Ontario. However, this alone would not help if the word did not get out. Thus, a marketing strategy will be deployed to show potential visitors that a trip to District 1 is the experience they're looking for.

HRSDC and District 1 Form Partnership
Federal MP Bob Kilger (far right) is pictured here handing cheque to John Boals, manager of District 1.

Second from right is Debbie Lavergne, HRSDC Programs Officer. On the far left is Russ Gagne, Project Coordinator

APR 26, 2004

District 1 Meets HRSDC Minister Volpe

(Cornwall, ON)- In recognition of their successful venture in a Job Creation Partnership, District 1 was invited by HRSDC to attend an event hosting Honourable Joseph Volpe, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. Minister Volpe was in Cornwall to announce the funding by the Government of Canada for seven new projects in the area totaling $713,373. In 2003, District 1 received funding for a JCP to develop and present a Snowmobile Groomer Safety Guideline aimed at training groomer operators and club management on notable safety and related issues.

District 1 is proud to be part of a select group of organizations that were asked to the event, among which were the Raisin River Conservation Authority and the South Nation Conservation authority. John Boals, manager of the District 1 Snowmobile Association wishes to thank Debbie Lavergne, HRSDC Programs Officer in Cornwall for her encouragement and support in this JCP, which culminates at the end of April this year. "It certainly proves that with a little help, we can help others," he said, adding, "By being successful this time, it opens the door for future important projects".

The Job Creation Partnerships program supports the creation of incremental and meaningful work opportunities for clients in activities that help develop the community and the local economy. Human Resource Centres of Canada or partner agencies work with employers and community organizations to identify employment opportunities that can provide Employment Insurance (EI) recipients with valuable job experience.

John Boals- Manager District 1, Debbie Lavergne - Programs Officer HRSDC and Russ Gagne- Snow Groomer Safety Coordinator

Russ Gagne, John Boals, Honourable Joseph Volpe- Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and Bob Kilger-M.P.

APR 23, 2004

Volunteer Couple Move, Win Snowmobile in Same Week

(Brinston, ON)- What a first week in April it was for Lake Superior Family Snow Goers volunteer Aimé Jean and his spouse Marie-Paule! Two days before leaving their long-time home of Terrace Bay and bound for the town of Addison in Eastern Ontario to put down new roots, they get a call congratulating them on winning the 2004 Volunteers in Action draw. Mr. Jean's name was picked from 6082 nominations. His contribution was between 11 and 150 hours of volunteer time selling trail permits. The prize? A new Polaris 500 Classic. Ironically, Mr. Jean had recently retired as service manager from the local snowmobile dealership.

Admitting that he and his spouse hadn't gone snowmobiling in the last few years, Aimé said, "Winning this beautiful machine certainly makes you think about starting again". Marie-Paule was quick to add, "You can give it to me!" At least they will have a few months to work it out.

Because Aimé and Marie-Paule now reside in District 1, Bruce Robinson, VIA co-chair and Governor of District 1, welcomed the couple by making it as easy as possible for them to claim their prize. He got in touch with Doug Tibben of Tibben Equipment in Brinston, the local Polaris dealer, who helped arrange for the formal presentation at his place of business.

Bruce and Liz Robinson both personally thanked the Jeans for their involvement, albeit in District 16, hoping the couple would find time to help out in District 1. "However", Bruce added, "you've got to hand it to Polaris Industries for recognizing that volunteers form the backbone of organized snowmobiling, and for this, I thank them."

The story ends with one more note of interest. The handover occurred on the day capping off National Volunteer Recognition Week. Congratulations to the Jean's!

"Our Biggest Win Ever!"
Proclaimed Marie-Paule Jean, spouse of Aimé, winner of the 2004 VIA draw for a new Polaris Classic 500 Snowmobile. Pictured, from l-r are: Marie-Paule Jean, Aimé Jean (seated), VIA co-chair Bruce Robinson, VIA co-chair Liz Robinson and Doug Tibben of Tibben Equipment Limited.

APR 23, 2004

Riverside S.C. Landowner Gets a "Charge"

(Brinston, ON)- Murray Blair, landowner in the Riverside S.C. trail system, got an electrifying experience today as his name was picked in the yearly draw for District 1's Landowner of the year. Indeed, he was awarded a brand new Polaris 6000 watt generator for his generosity. The $2500 prize, sponsored by the O.F.S.C. and Polaris Industries was certainly a surprise to Murray, who almost forgot about his contribution to snowmobiling. "You couldn't even tell there is a trail on my property", he said, commenting on the virtues of organized snowmobiling. The presentation took place at Tibben Equipment Limited, the Polaris dealership in Brinston. Doug Tibben, owner, was on hand to show Murray the features of the new generator, while John Boals was there, representing Riverside S.C. John wishes to thank Polaris Industries and the O.F.S.C. in recognizing landowners for their indispensable contribution to snowmobiling. "Without people like Murray, there would be no organized snowmobiling," he said. Riverside S.C. would like to thank Murray, once again, for his support. Appreciation also goes out to Polaris Industries, the O.F.S.C. and Tibben Equipment for making this happen.

Landowner Murray Blair (centre) poses with John Boals of Riverside S.C. (right) and Doug Tibben, owner of Tibben Equipment on the right. Murray was presented with this new Polaris 6000 watt generator for his contribution to snowmobiling as a landowner.

MAR 25, 2004

Shell Canada "Advances" in District 1

(Morrisburg, ON) As part of their "Share the Experience" campaign to promote their 2-stroke snowmobile oil, Shell Canada gave 128 cases of Shell Advance oil to the district for distribution to its clubs and associations. As if this wasn't generous enough, Shell also donated a $400 merchandise gift package for each club/association in the District.

The campaign title seems to be working, as the program details were passed on from the West Carleton S.C., which had participated in it as a source of prizes for one of their functions, to John Boals, manager of the District 1 Snowmobile association. "Shell Canada came through very enthusiastically with their offerings, which we distributed in March", says John, who took care of the logistics. "It gives sledders a chance to try something different which may be a benefit to their particular machine".

Meanwhile, Shell Canada, also as part of the campaign, will provide advance notification of their promotions and sales on fuels and other products, as well as rebate coupons to the participating associations.

District 1 has decided to "Share the Experience" with Shell Canada by graciously thanking them for their contribution and their innovative way of getting snowmobilers try their products. For more information, please visit their website at [email protected]

MAR 4, 2004

New Groomers Launched

(Morrisburg, ON)- Representatives from District 1 got a first-hand experience on two different types of new groomers on the market. On February 27 and 28, Patrice Lemieux, representing MetalPlessis of Plessisville, Quebec was on hand to show the new Trail Blazer tractor conversion kit. Mr. Lemieux explained the features of the Trail Blazer's tracks, drag and blade and let interested parties put the machine through its paces at the Fernand Campeau et Fils New Holland dealership in Dalhousie, Que. This dealership will be the agent for the Trailblazer in this area. For more information, visit their website at

On March 2nd, Mike Heino of the Shop Industrial was present at the Snow Road Snowmobile Club to display the brand new Bombardier BR120 traction unit, complete with 6-way blade and Mogulmaster drag. Though conditions weren't ideal due to the warm weather, many people were eager to try the new groomer´┐Ż some even went twice! Mike invites you to visit his company's website at

FEB 17, 2004

District 1 gets WOWED

Way Out Women (WOW) is a group of 81 women were selected take part in a breast cancer awareness and fundraising relay held throughout 25 states and provinces. Four separate, but simultaneous runs left in mid-January, to converge on Roseau, Minnesota on February 19 for the fiftieth anniversary of Polaris Industries, the major sponsor of the drive. The Eastern Canadian run left Mount Pearl, NF on January 16 and passed through District 1 on February 6 and 7. Volunteers from Carleton Regional S.C., Osgoode Carleton S.C., Rideau S.C., The BEAST, West Carleton S.T.A. and the Calabogie and District S.C. graciously contributed to the trails preparation, grooming and supplied Trail Patrol volunteers to escort the WOW ladies.

Last year, the relay raised $175,514 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. In 2004, District 1 contributed $2688.50 to the relay. For more information on this event please consult the Polaris website at . District 1 would like to congratulate all those who took part or donated to this great cause.

"WOW" - Way Out Women. A group of women sledders selected to ride across 25 states and provinces, aiming to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research. Shown on the left are representatives from the Ontario and Quebec contingents.

Stopped at the "Cheque" Point. Pictured from L to R are Tracy Stieh, Sue Barlow, Wayne Avery and Lucie Harrison. Wayne, a Trail Patrol Volunteer for the Rideau S.C. is shown giving a cheque to Tracy, Sue and Lucie, the Ontario riders for WOW.

FEB 10, 2004

Sign Up Contest Winners

The Grand Prize Winner of the Arctic Cat Firecat F6 EFI sled is Tom Greenwood from Harley Ontario. Tom is a member of the Burford Area Snowmobile Club in OFSC District 5.

Congratulations Tom.

The second draw Sign Up winners are as follows:

1st Grand Prize winner - Hyland 2-bed enclosed Snowmobile Trailer
Bruce Edgar Cox
Nobleton, ON
Georgian Bay Sno Riders

2nd Grand Prize winner - $1000.00 Voucher at Royal Distributing
Edward Smith
Reaboro, ON
Cartwright Dynos Snowmobile Club

3rd Grand Prize winner - $1000.00 Voucher at Royal Distributing
David Hoover
North Bay, ON
Near North Trail Association Inc.

4th Grand Prize winner - $1000.00 Voucher at Royal Distributing
Maurice Seguin
Green Valley, ON
Glengarry Snowmobile Club

Congratulations to all winners and thank you to the sponsors for their generosity and support.

FEB 4, 2004

Snow Goer Goes East

(Morrisburg, ON)- District 1 played host to Craig Nicholson of Snow Goer Magazine for 4 days during the week of January 23rd, 2004. The ride was a leg in the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership's FAM tours aimed at promoting snowmobile tourism in Ontario. Using Tourism Ontario's "Snowmobile Paradise Ontario" campaign as a springboard for the tour, D1SA was approached to arrange Craig's visit to our District. His experience here will be featured in an upcoming issue of "Snow Goer Canada, a leading publication about the sport.

Based on Craig's appreciation of the grooming, we thank our groomer operators for a job well done. Meanwhile, we hope that Craig had a great time and look forward to his article in the near future.

For more information on the magazine, please visit their website at


FEB 4, 2004

Quebec Media Come Our Way

(Morrisburg, ON)- District 1 got more media attention as a Quebec based media production company visited the district on January 27th. Mr. René Lucas of Lucas Video Productions was contracted by RDS (the French equivalent of TSN) to produce an item promoting snowmobiling in Eastern Ontario.

Though they only had one day to shoot the piece, they certainly had good material for it. Indeed, they saw Mr. Réjean "Boucane" Bourgon receive the RDS Volunteer of the Week award that day. Trail Patroller for the Glengarry Snowmobile Club, Réjean is also a volunteer groomer operator, who's efforts didn't go unnoticed as René highly complement us on the impeccable grooming. For his contribution, Réjean won a great prize package including a two night stay at the Manoir Richelieu, Bombardier gear, Action boots, Prolab 2-stroke oil and an FCMQ jacket. Boucane's name will be submitted for the Volunteer of the Year award.

Good luck to Réjean and thanks to RDS and René Lucas for giving us the chance to promote District 1.

FEB 4, 2004

SledSmart Team brings their message to District 1

(Morrisburg, ON)- This week, District 1 hosted Jon Blaicher and Adam Brooks, the O.F.S.C's SledSmart team. John Boals, manager of the O.F.S.C. District 1 Snowmobile Association kept the pair quite busy, to say the least. Their schedule included live interviews on the morning show of The New RO, a trail grooming lesson at Carleton Regional S.C., a discussion on safety with the Ottawa Police, a meeting with the Honourable Jim Bradley, Minister of Tourism for Ontario and a presentation on snowmobile safety to the 750 students at the North Dundas District High School. They even sneaked in a get-together with people from the dogsledding world to exchange ideas on safety and even had a chance to try the original mode of transportation over snow!

Although they did take some well-deserved time to get some riding done, their objective was to inform and advise the people they met about snowmobile safety. The SledSmart program covers many aspects of snowmobile safety, but there are two instances that stand out as leading causes of injury and/or fatality while snowmobiling. Alcohol consumption is involved in about 70% of riding injuries. Falling through ice, though it is dropping as a cause of death, is still strongly emphasized in the program.

The SledSmart program seems to be working. Since its inception in 1993, the number of snowmobilers in Ontario has grown from some 50,000 to over 225,000. Meanwhile, the annual number of sledding fatalities has remained constant at about 40 per year. District 1 would like to thank Jon and Adam for their hard work in helping to make snowmobiling safer for everyone. You can learn more by visiting the website at .

The team is seen here outside the studios of the New RO in Ottawa. From l to r are SledSmart's Jon Blaicher, Carleton Regional SC's Marcel Mantha and Art Mackie, TV personality Stephanie Beaumont and SledSmart member Adam Brooks

Jon and Adam talking about snowmobile safety at the North Dundas District High School in Maple Ridge. About 750 students were in attendance.

JAN 31, 2004

Eastern Ontario S.C. Meets Ontario Tourism Minister Bradley

(Hammond, ON)- Through an invitation from Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MPP, Jean-Marc Lalonde, E.O.S.C President, Pascal Roy, and O.F.S.C. District 1 President, Bruce Robinson met with Ontario's Minister of Tourism, Jim Bradley to air their concerns about the state of organized snowmobiling and its effect on tourism in Eastern Ontario. The meeting, held at the Domaine Chez Philias in this town near the Quebec border was also attended by other tourism-related groups such as the Prescott & Russell Tourism Board and promoters of the famous Glengarry Highland Games.

Minister Bradley's tight schedule only allowed for a twenty-minute presentation from each group. However, Mr. Roy and Mr. Robinson wasted no time in conveying their views on skyrocketing liability insurance, overwhelming bureaucracy, landowner issues and flagging volunteerism. While their concerns were serious and pressing, Mr. Robinson added a dash of levity. He proved his optimism by offering to formalize the relationship that the O.F.S.C. has with the Ministry of Tourism with a "wedding proposal". However, instead of giving Minister Bradley an engagement ring, Mr. Robinson felt that an O.F.S.C. lapel pin would be more appropriate. Minister Bradley gladly accepted it.

In spite of his busy agenda, Minister Bradley took a few minutes to pose with Pascal Roy and the Sled Smart Team, demonstrating the positive mood of the day.

The Honourable Jim Bradley, Minister of Tourism for Ontario is pictured here at a recent visit with the Eastern Ontario S.C. Standing behind the snowmobile are Sled Smart Team Members Jon Blaicher and Adam Brooks.

Seated on the left, Jim Bradley, Minister of Tourism for Ontario listens attentively to Pascal Roy, president of the Eastern Ontario S.C. Standing on the right is District 1 president, Bruce Robinson.