Fifteen years ago, Armin Enns, the chair of the Eden Foundation at the time, came up with the idea of a vintage tractor trek through area villages as a fundraiser.
The fifteen-year milestone of the event happened this past Saturday.
Director of Development with Eden Foundation, Jayme Giesbrecht says 54 tractors were registered for the trek this year, which is higher than they’ve seen in a number of years.
“This isn’t the highest it’s ever been, however, we were so thrilled that 54 people were willing to take the whole day to spend time on their antique tractors and just have fun with us,” said Giesbrecht. “We’re really glad we could honour Armin’s idea. And to this point, over 15 years, we have raised almost $ 1 million. So, in the coming years, we will hit that milestone and it will be another exciting chapter.”
This year, the 54 ‘tractor trekkers’ brought in a record amount through the event for the Eden Foundation, raising $78,375.
The money will get divided during the foundation’s granting season. However, Giesbrecht says they first need to get a better idea of what the needs are in each of Eden’s organizations, including Segue Career Options, Recovery of Hope, and their housing and supports.
“Linden Place we have in Winkler, and then in Steinbach, we have some housing facilities as well, and in Winnipeg. In Steinbach right now, we’re working towards a kitchen upgrade, a commercial kitchen that will allow people to kind of re-learn cooking techniques, and community meals…that’s one big way the money will help. There are always upgrades to be done at the (Eden) mental health centre, and so there are a variety of ways that this money will help, but it is helping in a big way to provide that hope and that healing and community that our vision statement says.”
Races taking place at Timmins snowdump on Spruce Street South this Saturday and Sunday
Can there actually be too much snow for a snowcross racing event?
Ken Avann, president of the Canadian Snowcross Racing Association which is organizing the two days of racing in Timmins this weekend, said they had to cancel the kids’ events with the mini-snowmobiles because of the limited area of space for racers due to the amount of snow.
“The fact that we have so much is great, because we can proceed with the event,” said Avann. “The fact that we have as much as we do have – which is way more than we need – it does create some challenges for sure.
“For example, our footprint that we have inside the snowdump here is so small, we don’t have enough room to get all the racers in here.”
Typically, CSRA races include novelty events for children, some as young as four.
“There’s just not enough space for them,” said Avann. “So the kids, which represents about 60 racers, we’ve asked to stay home this weekend and we’re going to let them race at another event being held at one of the ski resorts at the end of the season to make up for it.
“We have to bring in about 60 to 70 teams. They’ll fill up all the space that’s here, in the three lots.”
On Wednesday and Thursday, crews began moving snow and starting the work to create a half-mile long track, with jumps at various points.
“We’re going to have a great track. Everything is going to be elevated on top this year. So in that sense, we’re going to have a great show for the crowd.”
Avann said they’re expecting racers from all over Ontario and parts of Quebec.
“They’re going for a national points championship. We run a nine-race series and these guys get points every time they race for a championship at the end of the season. We also did a Triple Crown with our northern events – Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury and Timmins. So this is the final of that Triple Crown challenge and there will be a big award presented to the pro open racer who wins that Triple Crown championship.”
Avann said the racers’ group of 60 to 70 teams will account for about 700 people, which includes mechanics and family members.
“Then we’re expecting over a thousand people per day for spectators. So, we’re looking at over the weekend probably close to 3,000 people here, so it’s significant.
“Some people are here now already,” he said on Wednesday. “They’re riding the trail systems and staying at the hotels and they’re spending their money.”
Avann said the economic spinoffs to host communities tends to range between $700,000 to $1.3 million.
“That’s what the economic impact studies have shown and that’s based on hotel rooms, overnight stays, the food and beverages that are sold, the hardware stores, gas, all that kind of stuff.
“So it’s a great boost for the city.”
With no on-site parking available, Avann said spectators are going to be encouraged to take advantage of shuttle services that are going to be available this Saturday and Sunday.
“Once you get the racers in here, the lots are going to be full and the ends will be fenced so there will only be walk-in traffic.”
The Triple Crown Pro Snowcross event put on by the CSRA is being held at the Timmins snowdump on Spruce Street South this Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are available each race day at the front admission gates.