Revving Up! Annual Easter Seals Ride-In Feb. 7-9

Governor Hassan Plans to Attend

by Debra Thornblad
Berlin Daily Sun
February 3, 2014

GORHAM Hundreds of snowmobilers from all over New Hampshire and neighboring states will converge on Gorham next weekend, Feb. 7-9, for the 42nd annual Ride-In for Easter Seals that benefits Easter Seals Camp Sno-Mo.

For many years the event raised money in the mid-$70,000 range, but last year's event cracked the $80,000 mark, raising $81,000 for the camp.

The Easter Seals Ride-In is the sole fundraiser for the camp. Located in Gilmanton Iron Works, children and young adults with disabilities and special needs, ages 11-21, can inclusively participate alongside Boy Scouts in a wide variety of activities, including water sports, team sports, hiking, archery, a ropes course and crafts. The campers gain courage exploring new adventures, develop confidence discovering new abilities, make connections building friendships and create treasured memories. The yearly proceeds from the Ride-In allow more than 100 children to attend camp.

The N.H. Snowmobile Association sponsors the ride-in and the event is headquartered at the Town and Country Motor Inn in Shelburne. Over the years of the event, the N.H. Snowmobile Association has raised over $2.5 million for Easter Seals.

Scott Labnon of the Town and Country said they are expecting a full house. Already 90 percent of their rooms are booked for that weekend. "Most will come irrelevant of the snow, they are very dedicated," Labnon said.
Two years ago the area was light on snow and last year there was plenty of snow but regardless there was a crowd both times, he noted. 

"This is a huge deal for us and for the town," Labnon said.  The Town and Country is the site of some of the meals, but not all and so local restaurants get business as well. "Everyone benefits," he said.

The event starts Friday morning with breakfast and registration. In the evening there will be a spaghetti dinner and opening ceremonies, with comedy night following. There is a kids' room with games, movies and snacks for those too young to attend the show.

Governor Maggie Hassan is expected Saturday morning. She will be going on rides with some of the Easter Seals children. N.H. Fish and Game takes the children in a special bobsled that is attached to snowmobiles.

Other events on Saturday include a poker run sponsored by the local snowmobile club, the Presidential Range Riders, an antique snowmobile show on the Gorham Common and a number of children's activities.

Crane's snowmobile museum in Lancaster will be open and the Lancaster Snow-Drifters will be holding their annual sausage roast. There will also be a bus trip to Errol.

At 4 p.m. the snowmobiles will line up for the Torch Light Costume Parade, which starts at the Town and Country, goes up Gorham's Main Street and back to the Town and Country. The town lays down a track of snow along the side of the road for this event.

On Sunday morning the awards and closing ceremonies are held.

Several family members and kids who attended Easter Seals Camp Sno-Mo rode with Fish and Game staff
to see some of the beautiful views in Jericho Mountain State Park.


One highlight of the event is a torchlight parade along Rt. 16 in downtown Gorham.  The town of Gorham trucks in snow to create a trail
 along the main road that runs from the north end of town all the way out to the Town and Country Motor Inn.

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