The 2009 Black Woods Blizzard Tour, Never Surrender, A Ride to Fight ALS raised $465,000 in its tenth year. The event has now raised more than $2.5 million in its history. 148 snowmobile riders and 47 sponsors participated in the event, which was February 4-7, 2009. “The Black Woods Blizzard Tour Board and riders set high goals for the Tour this year,” said Executive Director, Sue Spalding. “I am very proud of the accomplishments achieved. The people who volunteer on the board, committees, groomers, riders and sponsors continually strive to work for a common cause-to help people with ALS and find a cure for this horrible disease.”
This year’s top fundraiser was the Polaris team of Roseau, Minnesota. The team raised more than $48,000 through local community events and pledges. Jane Evans, representing Polaris, accepted the Polaris 600 IQ Shift snowmobile donated by Polaris Industries. The sled will be used to raise more money for ALS and the Black Woods Blizzard Tour. Second place went to Dave Telschow, Savage, Minnesota, who raised $30,850. John Malinosky, Enfield, Connecticut, raised $16,801 to win third place honors. Dale Klapmeier, Duluth, Minn., raised $9,865 to take home fourth place honors. Rounding out the top five was Ted Kowalski, Prior Lake, Minn. who raised $9,550. Dan Urshan, Duluth, Minn., won the Polaris Sportsman 500 ATV. His name was drawn out of the 35 riders who raised at least $2,500 in pledges. Urshan donated the ATV back to The ALS Association and it was auctioned off at the closing night banquet.
Terry Steinbach, former Minnesota Twins catcher, served as the celebrity host of the event for the 10th year. Joining Steinbach on the ride again this year were Minnesota Twins Manager, Ron Gardenhire; Twins pitching coach, Rick Anderson; Twins batting coach, Joe Vavra; former Minnesota Twins great, Kent Hrbek; and former NHL hockey player, Darby Hendrickson. Pete Gassert, Duluth, Minn., won the Wes Blakeslee Most Valuable Rider Award for his dedication to making sure all riders are riding on operable sleds. Gassert, who owns Duluth Lawn & Sport, has taken in broken sleds, repaired them and brought them back out to the trails. He is committed to making sure all riders are riding. The ALS Association, Minnesota Chapter and the Black Woods Blizzard Tour thank him for his years of contributions.
The Black Woods Blizzard Tour also hosted a record number of riders, 148, this year. Riders came from all over Minnesota, North & South Dakota, and Wisconsin to participate in the event. There were even riders from Montana, Connecticut, Virginia and Utah on the ride.
The ALS Association, Minnesota Chapter would like to thank everyone involved in the Black Woods Blizzard Tour and to those who donated to the event. A huge thank you is extended to the Black Woods Blizzard Tour committee: Bud Baker, Randy Bannor, Bill Blackwood, Bryan Flaherty, Pete Gassert, Dan Hartel, Tom Jesperson, David Kolquist, Bill Olson, Greg Sorensen, Dave Telschow and Dan Urshan.