Last week the Prairie Women on Snowmobiles (PWOS) held their 16th annual ride to raise money for cancer research. This year’s ride was a 1400-kilometre trip over six days, starting in Prince Albert and finishing in Broadview, with several stops along the way. On Day 2 (Feb. 1), some of those stops were local. Coming from Naicam, the group stopped for coffee in Archerwill, then went on for lunch in Kelvington and made another coffee stop in Invermay before heading to Preeceville for the night. The Kelvington lunch was a come-and-go affair held in the Community Legion Hall, and around 100 people showed up to meet and support the riders.
The Prairie Women on Snowmobiles Ride For The Cure consists of 10 core riders, with guides and other sledders joining along the way. The riders are all volunteers and to date more than $2.3 million has been raised and donated to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Some local women have taken part in the ride in the past and are still involved. This includes Wadena’s Crystal Paulson, who is currently on the executive of PWOS and joined the support group on this tour. Local guides to the snowmobile trails included Justin Erickson and Jason (Jake) Welder of Kelvington. All but one core rider are new this year. Some are cancer survivors, but all have seen at least some of the devastation the disease causes.
“Once you get involved with the survivors, you just want to do more to help,” PWOS president Carol Leuken told the News.
Mother and daughter Lana and Kaitlan Jordan of Dysart, Sask., are first-time core riders.
“The focus for the past several months has been on the fundraising,” said Lana. “Getting out here, though, you see the emotional aspect. It has been bigger than I thought it would be, and better.”
Each rider shared her reasons for joining PWOS and explained why she is so passionate about the ride. Their stories struck a chord with many, including the breast cancer survivors who helped organize the lunch.
“We could not do it without the corporate sponsors behind us,” said PWOS president Carol Leuken, “and the community supporters ahead of us.”
By Charlene Wirtz