Check Presentation

Black Woods Blizzard Tour Breaks Barrier of $1 Million!

Proctor, MNThe Black Woods Blizzard Tour – A Ride to Fight ALS is the single largest snowmobile fundraising event in the world. The ride celebrated its 18th year by bringing in an all-time new record amount of $1,133,900, which will go towards services provided by The ALS Association as well as global research into a cure. Spanning Northern Minnesota from February 1 - 4, the Tour featured 225 riders and was backed by 67 sponsors, including title sponsor, Black Woods Grill & Bar.  ALS Association Executive Director, Jennifer Hjelle, was overwhelmed by the generosity of all involved.

“We’re simply floored by the generosity and determination of this group,” said The ALS Association’s Executive Director, Jen Hjelle. “These 225 riders fundraise year round and then come together at this event and show what this community is capable of. It’s inspiring, and it goes a very long way to help individuals and families who are living with ALS in our region.”

Twins legends Kent Hrbek and Terry Steinbach, both of whom lost their fathers to ALS, were joined on the ride by former Twins manager, Ron Gardenhire and his wife Carol.  Also in attendance was Twins bench coach Joe Vavra, his wife Lesa and former Twins catcher Tim Laudner.

The event ended with a Celebration Dinner Saturday evening, held at Cirrus Aircraft in Duluth.  The meal was catered by Black Woods Catering and 550 people were in attendance, a record amount of guests.  The event’s top fundraiser was once again the Polaris team of Roseau, Minnesota. Led by Marlys Gustafson, the group raised more than $128,000 through local community events and pledges.  Gina Youngberg, of Duluth, MN, was honored as this year’s Wes Blakeslee Most Valuable Rider. Tim and Sue Kolquist, of Duluth, were chosen as the Larry Bannor Volunteers of the Year.  Next year’s Black Woods Blizzard Tour will be held February 7 – 10, 2018.


Seq Million Check Photos-Vimeo upload from Stokes Media House on Vimeo.

About The ALS Association Minnesota/North Dakota/South Dakota Chapter

The ALS Association is the only non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.

Information on the Black Woods Blizzard Tour

Four riders started the idea of an annual fundraising snowmobile ride when they rode their sleds around Lake Superior in 1999.  Randy Bannor, Larry Bannor, Greg Sorenson and Dennis Nelson received $15,000 in monetary contributions, which were used to help those fighting Lou Gehrig's Disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis).  A year later, a group of dedicated people banded together to form what is now the Black Woods Blizzard Tour. That same year, Black Woods Grill & Bar jumped on board as title sponsor of the annual event.  In its first year, 38 riders raised $46,000. Eighteen years later, 225 riders raised $1,133,900, bringing the lifetime event total to $8.8 million. For additional information on the event or to donate, visit blackwoodsblizzardtour.com.

The Black Woods Blizzard Tour Committee

Bud Baker, Matt Bordson, Jeff Erikson, Bryan Flaherty, Cullen Flaherty, John Foucault, Pete Gassert, Doug Jensen, Tom Jesperson, David Kolquist, Jeff Thompson, Julie Thoreson and Jeff Trentman.

Sponsors for the event include: our Title Sponsor:  Black Woods Grill and Bar; Presenting Sponsors:  KBJR 6 & Range 11, KTCO Kat Country 98.9, Lamar Advertising; Major Sponsors:  Aluma Trailers/Widdes Trailer Sales, Bullyan RV/Ice Castle, Cirrus Aircraft, Duluth Lawn & Sport, Essentia Health, Jesperson Studio, Rohlfing of Duluth, Stokes Media House, Youngstedt Companies; Participating Sponsors:  AmericInn Proctor, Amsoil, Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota, Fortune Bay Resort Casino, KLN Family Brands, London Road Rental, Miler Auto & Marine, Minnesota Twins, Polaris Industries, Pro Print, Superior Shores, Tischler Wood, Visit Saint Paul; Contributing Sponsors: Best Western Plus, Caliber, Cambria USA, Coca Cola Beverages of Duluth, Harbor City Oil, Hartel's DBJ Disposal Co, Holiday Stationstores, Kolar Chevrolet Buick GMC Chrysler, Kolar Toyota, Maurices, Mellin Promotions, Milwaukee Tool, Minnesota Coaches, MN USA, National Audio & Visual, Northern Exposure, Perkins, Republic Bank, Subway; Supporting Sponsors: AAR, Aluminum Cabinet Co, Audio Visual Extremes, BlueStone Flats, Byfuglien Trucking, Calumet Specialty Products Partners, City of Proctor-Tourism, Country Financial, Duke's Towing, Duluth Sign, Enbridge, Halvor Lines, Hockenberg Newburgh, Honey Baked Ham & Cafe, Hoyt Lakes VFW, Interim HealthCare, Moose Racing, Northern Business Products, Points North, RollX Vans, Super One Foods and University Liquor.

The ride operates under USDA Forest Service Permit.

The Black Woods Blizzard Tour – A Ride to fight ALS is a fundraising event specifically focused on raising funds to help those that have ALS and to ultimately find a cure through research.