By Starrla Cray
DELANO, MN Whether it’s new snowmobile gear or a vacation to escape the cold, the annual Delano Snowstormers silent auction is sure to please.
“Everybody’s welcome. We have a lot of really good items, and it’s more than just snowmobiling stuff,” said Curt Ritter, vice president of the Delano Snowstormers snowmobile club.
The event will take place Saturday, Dec. 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Delano American Legion.
Auction items include gift certificates, sporting goods, tickets, resort stays, clothing, gift baskets, and much more.
All proceeds will help with expenses for trail maintenance, equipment/tools, new informational signage for Delano trails, and the Snowstormers youth snowmobile safety training.
The day of the silent auction is also the day the snowmobile trails open for the season. The Snowstormers maintain about 45 miles, including access trails into Delano, to B’s On The River, and to Woodland Hill Winery.
Members are not expected to help with trail maintenance, but many find the task enjoyable and rewarding.
The Delano Snowstormers has about 35 to 40 members and meets year-round, the second Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Delano American Legion. Meetings are open to anyone, and new members are always welcome.
Yearly dues for members are $20 for the Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association and $15 for the Delano Snowstormers/Wright County Snowmobile Association.
The Snowstormers’ website lists several reasons to join a snowmobiling club, such as the social aspect, for example. Belonging to a club gives snowmobilers opportunities to ride with new people, explore new areas, and make friends with others who share similar interests.
Joining a snowmobile club is also “the right thing to do,” according to the website. Clubs help gain access to land to create snowmobile trails, keep trails maintained and groomed properly, install signs, and promote a safe snowmobiling experience.
“Last year, we had a couple of bridge re-build projects, and we have a couple more this year,” Ritter said.
Every year, the club takes a road trip to Elbow Lake Lodge in northern Minnesota. The fifth-annual event will take place Thursday, Feb. 7 through Sunday, Feb. 10, with an optional early-bird day Wednesday, Feb. 6.
Snowmobile youth safety training classes are offered at the beginning of each year, in which students participate in classroom training and gain hands-on snowmobile knowledge. At the end of the class, students go on the testing track to demonstrate what they’ve learned.
To learn more about the Delano Snowstormers, call (952) 955-2894 or go to http://www.delanosnowstormers.com/index.htm.