With some revs and roars, a crowd gathered at the Revelstoke Snowmobile Club this morning (Dec. 17) for the annual charity ride, hosted by Nadine Overwater.
The charity ride – now in its seventh year – left from the Snowmobile Club parking lot this morning, shortly before 9:30 a.m. From 8 a.m. until the group left, pickup trucks with sleds on their beds filed into the empty parking lot at the foot of Boulder Mountain. Before long, the lot was alive with the rasp of the sleds’ engines, laughter, and a growing sea of vehicles. As the group prepared to head out, Overwater reflected on what she was looking forward to this year.
“I’m just looking forward to getting up in the snow,” said Overwater, adding that she was excited to be “seeing all the smiling faces.”
Overwater started the charity ride nine years ago, putting on a ride every year except during the pandemic. While running her La Niña Sled Camps, Overwater found herself inundated with messages from her sled friends who wanted to ride. So, she got a small group together.
“I was like, ‘you know what, I’ll take you girls all out together, and just make a donation,” said Overwater.
In the early rides, Overwater estimated that there were 10 girls. Nine years and seven rides later, more than half the parking lot were there for the charity ride. Some of the riders have been attending for a few years, like Lisa Tedesco.
Tedesco isn’t sure when she started coming out for the charity rides, but she thinks it’s “probably been since the first one.”
While there are several draws for people to attend the charity ride like prizes, local discounts, and riding a snowmobile all day, Tedesco has her own reasons for looking forward to the event.
“I have a couple friends and we live in different towns. And so, this is just kind of an annual thing where we all come and meet in the middle and ride together for the day. And it’s always a good time,” said Tedesco.
Tyson Derenoski attended the ride for the first time this year after missing out previously due to scheduling conflicts. As he prepared his sled for the journey, Derenoski explained what appealed to him about the ride.
“Just coming out to ride with some friends and support a local cause for ‘Deener’ (Overwater) and just enjoy the day with a bunch of good people,” said Derenoski.
He had heard about the charity ride through Overwater, whom he met through the sledding community. Derenoski has been riding in the area for 15 years. He spoke about what he was looking forward to on the ride.
“Just get up on the mountain — on the machines. It doesn’t matter if the snow is great or not. You’re up there with friends. So, a bad day on the snowmobile beats any day at work,” said Derenoski with a chuckle.
The funds raised from this year’s ride will be donated to the Youth Access Fund. The fund is used locally to help kids access the opportunity to take part in sports, recreation, arts, and more.
As the group prepared to file out, Overwater reflected on her hopes for the ride.
“I just really hope everyone has a good day and learns something, or enjoy the guides they’re with,” said Overwater.
Overwater also thanked those who volunteered their time for the event.
“Everyone is so giving. All these guides, they could be out making money today. Everyone donates their time every year because it’s such a fun event,” said Overwater.
By 9:30 a.m., the groups were headed out with a push on the throttle and a spray of some snow.