Media Releases for winter of 2007

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Dec 20th 2007

Yes Isabelle there is a Santa

Yes Isabelle Gratton of Casselman Ontario there is a Santa and there will be a gift under the tree on Christmas day, but you're other Holiday wish came early when District 1 Snowmobile Association announced Isabelle's ticket #13715 was drawn to win the "Ultimate Winter Giveaway Package". Her wish came true and lady luck gave her two 2007 Yamaha Snowmobiles, a Venture Lite and a Phazer GT, complete with Christmas bows and, to help protect her sleds, she also won a Triton enclosed trailer. Isabelle and family can now trailer their sleds to many of the great riding areas in Ontario that the 235 OFSC Volunteer Clubs provide trails for each year when she is not riding Eastern Ontario trails.

The Gratton family are a prime example of our Rural Ontario residents who are the core of many snowmobile clubs and are active members with their own club, Eastern Ontario Snowmobile Club. It is there that they volunteer doing everything from trail grooming to trail work and Trail Patrol on the weekends.

Isabelle was not the only winner coming out of this event. The participating snowmobile clubs from District 1 shared the $26,660 profit that will be put to use in trail maintenance and safety programs, thus providing a better and safer product for snowmobilers in communities all over Eastern Ontario. The District One Board of Directors would like to thank all who purchased tickets, all volunteers who sold tickets along with Yamaha Canada and Triton Trailers for their support. Once again congratulations Isabelle Gratton of Casselman!

Left to right Tom Irwin owner of Irwin Supply of Cornwall congratulates Isabelle Gratton with her sleds and trailer. Winning ticket # 13715 licence # M558703

March 5, 2007

Local Farmers Recognized For Their Generosity

Local farmers/landowners are usually recognized as the supplier of food on everyone's table but to organized snowmobiling, they also supply the land and give permission for OFSC trails to cross their property. District 1 Snowmobile Association, along with our 28 community snowmobile clubs, supported our farmers this season with over 200 special 'Thank You Farmers' signs that were placed at major trail intersections and at many trail crossings for snowmobilers and the public to see. It is a small thank you to a group of farmers/ landowners that have large hearts by providing their land enabling the permit buyers of each club to enjoy their past time of snowmobiling on safe, groomed, signed trails. From the grass roots of snowmobiling (the volunteers) to the folks that make a living with grass roots (the farmers) a warm thank you goes out to all.

For more information about Ontario Farms go to

Left to right Jocelyn Longtin landowner and Guillaume Gratton OFSC Trail Patroller

Mar 4, 2007

Fun was the theme for this year's Yamafest

Fun was on everyone's mind on March 4th when District 1 held their second Yamfest hosted again by the Sand Road Sugar Camp in Moose Creek. The sunny, spring like weather along with great food, and the opportunity to test drive and talk snowmobiles, brought out over 300 people. The participants had their choice from a complete line of 4 stroke Yamaha sleds to test drive. District 1's two Yamaha sleds, as well as the eight 2007 Yamaha sleds provided by Irwin Supply, were available for riders to try. All riders could take advantage of a short test drive along a well groomed trail provided by the Seaway Valley Snowmobile Association. This opportunity allowed both seasoned riders and prospective new riders a chance to test out different models of Yamahas and to experience the activity first hand.

The highlights of the day also included an excellent traditional sugar camp brunch put on by the staff at the Sand Road Sugar Camp in their large rustic log cabin facility. Outside, people were able to watch the display and demonstration of the new Soucy Groomer Kit on a John Deere tractor. Sales representative Peter Watkins from Soucy Group was there to demonstrate this innovative unit. The equipment features a 4 track system requiring no modification to the tractor, great floatation, versatility, and power, all of which comes at a very competitive price. Over 10 club trail managers were able to test drive the unit and, in turn, keep the trails in excellent condition for the Yamafest participants. Marcel Grooming provided the BG ROSCO drag which was attached to the JD tractor with the Soucy kit. The drag features multi blades along with an innovative design that can groom even wet snow. With their engineered floating pan, trails will set up faster and harder than with other models. By all accounts, it was a perfect snowmobiler's day, new machines to test, lots to eat, and of course good conversation with fellow enthusiasts!

For more information about Yamaha Snowmobiles, Sand Road Sugar Camp, Soucy Group and Marcel Grooming please go to the following websites.

Feb 24, 2007

District 1 Showcased with Media visits

The sleds, the trails, and also the riders were looking especially spiffy on February 24th and again on March 1st. 'Why?' you may ask. On both of these days District 1 was thrilled to be host to snowmobiler media groups. Both groups were in search of what District 1 has to offer and all left very pleased with what they found.

Ray Kehoe and Gord Strong from the Ontario Snowmobiler Magazine joined in on the annual district ride this year on February 24. The Ontario Snowmobiler Magazine is one of District 1's corporate sponsors along with Yamaha Canada, Upper Canada Motor Sales (Morrisburg) and Roy's Motor Sales (Green Valley). This year 96 participants of all ages joined in on the day's events. The eager and excited riders began at the McIntosh Inn, Morrisburg, and all enjoyed the 170 km of scenery along our local club trails. The day finished with a great meal at the McIntosh Inn and lots of prizes to be won from our supporters. Ray and Gord were able to see and experience what District 1 and its members have to offer as well as the opportunity to capture on film the beautiful scenery along our trails. Both left very pleased with the day's events and with the promise of returning next year. Watch for Ray's story in OSM this fall.

On March 1st Marty Convery and Tom Driscoll from Snowmobile Television came out with their cameras in hand to join in on a FAM Tour (Familiarization Area Media), sponsored by Tourism Ontario. The local trails were groomed to perfection allowing the cameras to capture the scenic trails of District 1 along the St. Lawrence River Basin. Marty and Tom also "zoomed in" on the riders participating in the days events and got a chance to speak to some about their attraction to snowmobiling. The segment is due to be aired next season on Snowmobile Television. Check out the following websites for more info and time schedules.

L to R Gord Strong and Ray Kehoe with OSM. STV film crew

February 2007

Triton Trailers Delivers Partnership with District 1

In the 2006-2007 snowmobile season District 1 again benefited from the continued support in the form of a partnership with Triton Trailers through our regional distributor Alumite Enterprises Incorporated, Mr. Paul McNichol. This partnership brought about the creation of another 600 signs to add to the 852 signs on our trails detailing county roads, highway roads and township information in reflective vinyl lettering for night driving. These signs act as a great tool for informing the rider of the snowmobile club trail that they are riding on while, at the same time, boldly displaying the Triton logo.

Triton Trailer donated $2850 cash to the project while District 1 supplied all of the mounting hardware. These reflective signs have taken the trail system in our district to the forefront in safety by verifying the location of a snowmobiler in the case of an accident or a simple sled breakdown. These signs enable the rider to give their location in a way that assistance can reach them in a more efficient and effective manner as advised to us by local enforcement agencies.

As always, the placement of these signs was dependant on the volunteers to accomplish and the 28 community clubs of District 1 came though with the installation. From this great partnership with Triton Trailer and Mr. Paul McNichol, our district is able to achieve a higher degree of safety and security for our riders. Thanks to our volunteers, Mr. McNichol, and Triton Trailers for this mutually beneficial opportunity!

Visit: for more information on their products.

January 29, 2007


The Ottawa Police Service in conjunction with the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (O.F.S.C.) and Ward 5 (West Carleton-March) Councillor Eli El-Chantiry are teaming up to kick off the 2007 winter recreation season in the Ottawa Region. With a late start and unseasonably mild temperatures until recently, there is concern is that over-eager local enthusiasts may take unnecessary and potentially lethal risks on area trails and waterways. Foremost among the partner's priorities is ensuring that the region does not see a repeat of last year, where five people lost their lives, all on area rivers.

Staff Sgt. Mel Robertson, supervisor for the Rural West Sector of the Ottawa Police stresses the dangers of travel on unfamiliar frozen waterways. All of last year's incidents were predictable and preventable he says: "The great majority of these occur at night, alcohol is often involved and the parties were not familiar enough with where they were travelling". Speed also played a role in at least two of the deaths. Two snowmobilers struck fixed objects on the shore, and two others drove directly into open water. A fifth person lost his life attempting to rescue a dog on ice near Fitzroy Harbour.

The Ottawa Police Service snowmobile patrol has already kicked off this year's enforcement and education season. Their responsibilities include enforcement of the Motorized Snow Vehicle Act (registration, insurance and trail permit) as well as applicable Liquor and Criminal Code provisions. "Speed and alcohol are significant contributors in many of the incidents that we investigate", according to Robertson. "These will be the focus of our enforcement efforts". "You can expect to see our officers out there and you can expect that there will be zero tolerance". "The laws for drinking and driving off-road are the same as on the highway. A conviction for impaired snowmobiling will result in the loss of your Drivers Licence, just as if you were in a car".

Councillor El-Chantiry is an enthusiastic snowmobiler and winter weekends often see him taking to the trails. He notes that the tragic drownings that occurred on the Ottawa River in the West Carleton area last winter struck both him and the community very hard. "We lost three people in separate incidents, and we intend to work together to ensure that it doesn't happen again". "All of us in West Carleton-March spend a lot of time on the river, summer and winter. It's a special asset but one that has to be respected. Failing to do so can have very serious consequences".

El-Chantiry urges snowmobilers, ice fishermen and other winter outdoor enthusiasts to use common sense and to take some basic survival steps before setting out. Wear a buoyant suit, carry ice picks and a whistle as well as a throw rope and some form of waterproof fire starter. "If you are going to travel over ice, you have to be prepared to go through it." "Of course the very best way to avoid that is to stay off of ice unless it is a marked route or has been checked by qualified people who know the local conditions". The cardinal rule remains, he says: "If you don't know the condition of the ice, and if you don't know the area, don't go, period."

The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs maintain the world's largest network of marked, groomed snowmobile trails. John Boals, General Manager of District 1 (Eastern Ontario) says that responsible snowmobilers who ride with care and control on open O.F.S.C. trails, account for less than 5% of snowmobile fatalities. "None of District 1's fatalities last year occurred on designated trails (in fact all were on frozen waterways). But the fact that they happened at all impacts us in organized snowmobiling". "We are pleased to partner with the Ottawa Police and other police services in Eastern Ontario to promote safe riding both on and off Ontario Snowmobile trails.

For 2006/07 the O.F.S.C. continues its ongoing safety and public education campaigns with a variety of programs. The very successful and widely publicized "Assumptions of O.F.S.C. Trail Use" lets riders know their responsibilities and what behaviour is acceptable on the trail. Two newly released booklets, "Think Like a Pro" and "Smart Choices" both available locally, provide advanced riding tips and ice safety advice for snowmobilers. More information on O.F.S.C safety programs, local trail conditions and area clubs can be found at .

January 6th, 2007

Go Snowmobiling Show - Sept 28-30, 2007

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January, 2007


If Mel Thompson from Lombardy Ontario is superstitious, he will always remember number 04580 because that was the lucky ticket number that landed him not one, but two Yamaha snowmobiles in "The Ultimate Family Giveaway" draw hosted by the OFSC District One Snowmobile Association. Mel is now the proud owner of a 2006 Apex ER and a 2006 Venture RS supplied by Yamaha Canada. Mel is no stranger to snowmobiling with more than 30 years of experience in both Quebec and Ontario. Currently Mel volunteers with the Rideau Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club where he works on trails, helps at social events, and is enjoying his first year as an OFSC Driver Training Instructor. When he was contacted on December 21 right after the draw by District Manager John Boals to inform him of his big win, Mel said 'I have never won anything in my life'. But Mel was not the only winner coming out of this event. The participating snowmobile clubs from District 1 shared the $25,000 profit that will be put to use in trail maintenance and safety programs, thus providing a better and safer product for snowmobilers in communities all over Eastern Ontario. The District One Board of Directors would like to thank all who purchased tickets, all volunteers who sold tickets, and Yamaha Canada for their support.

Pictured above: John Boals, District 1 Snowmobile Association Manager, dropped-off the 2006 Yamaha Sleds to Mr. Mel Thompson of Lombardy, On.
The lottery license number is #M49827