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SEPT. 19, 2011
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Two of the four snowmobiles raffled at Hay Days went to local residents

By Kristen Miller
News Editor

COKATO, MN – Each year, the Cokato Ridgerunners Snowmobile Club sells tickets for the Sno-Barons raffle, part of its annual Hay Days Grass Drags, which took place Sept 10-11 in North Branch.

This year, four snowmobiles were among the grand prizes – Arctic Cat 2012 F1100 Sno Pro, Polaris 2012 600 IQ Shift, Ski-Doo 2012 MXZ Sport 600 and a Yamaha 2012 Phazer RTX.

This is the largest club fundraiser for the Cokato Ridgerunners, which reaps 85 percent of the profits from the tickets sold, earning the club $400-$500 on average, according to Robin Hillmyer, club member. It is also the only known club in Wright County to sell tickets for this particular raffle.

For $1 a piece, Cokato Ridgerunners members sold 700 tickets this year.

Out of 40,000 tickets sold throughout the state, two grand prize winners happen to be from the local area – Dorene Erickson (Cokato) and Arthur Jordan (Howard Lake), a club member.

“It’s got to be very unusual that the same club sells two of the four winning tickets,” Hillmyer said. Erickson won the Arctic Cat 2012 F1100 and Jordan won the Polaris 2012 600 IQ Shift.

Erickson actually never even purchased a ticket for a snowmobile. It was her daughter, Dori Kimball and friend Mark Peterson, who bought the ticket in her name.

Hillmyer happened to be selling the tickets at a recent Cokato Corn Carnival Committee meeting, and Kimball and Peterson thought it would be nice to do something for the event chair.

When Erickson got the phone call that she had won, her first thought was that it was a joke. She hadn’t paid much attention to the ticket stub she had previously been gifted that was hanging on her refrigerator door.

“I will have to give each of them $1 just to have my bases covered,” Erickson said, of Kimball and Peterson.

Now, here’s another twist to the story. When Erickson was on the phone with her brother, Dale Brandel, she told him about the prize she just won.

Brandel happened to be on his way home just then from Hay Days with his son, Tyler. A bit envious of her winnings, Brandel told her had they stayed just a few minutes longer, they would’ve heard her name announced in the drawing.

About Ridgerunners Snowmobile Club

There are currently 15 members in the local snowmobile club, dedicated to grooming roughly 80 of the 230 miles of trails in Wright County.

They make sure the trail signs go up and come down each year and also host snowmobile training in early December.

“We keep the trails going,” Hillmyer said.

The club meets at 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month at the Iron Horse in Cokato.

Membership is $35, which also includes a membership to the Minnesota Snowmobile Association, Mn USA, along with its magazine. “Without them we wouldn’t have anything,” Hillmyer said.

For more information, contact Dave Keskey at (320) 286-5001.

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