Saturday, August 1, 2015

Snowmobilers plan DeGagne benefit

A year ago, the 807 Freeriderz snowmobile group was content with just selling DVDs to help a good cause.
But as is the nature of this thrill-seeking collection of adrenalin junkies, the local sledders are aiming to pull off a big jump this year—both entertainment-wise and, they hope, financially for their next beneficiary.

Little Beaver Snow Park will be the site of a fundraising event this Friday (May 9) starting at 7 p.m. for Fort Frances native Nathan DeGagne, who is battling a life-threatening heart condition while currently living with his family in Winnipeg.
807 Freeriderz spokesman Corey Dobransky said his group wants to step up even more after sales of their first “Flatneckz” DVD—showcasing some of the group’s wildest snowmobile jumps—raised $500 last year for local resident Curtis Boivin.
The former youth snowmobile racing star was nearly killed in a crash in December, 2011, winding up with severe head injuries that still affect him today.
“$500 may not seem like much but it all adds up when you’re in the hospital,” Dobransky reasoned.
His connection to DeGagne lies on two fronts.
“Johnny Lundon, who rides with us, his sister is married to Nathan’s brother,” Dobransky explained.
“Nathan also built a brand new house right across from my place,” he noted.
“He’s got a wife and two kids, and all of a sudden he finds out he needs a heart transplant.”
Friday’s event will be highlighted by the unveiling of “Flatneckz Vol. 2,” featuring more out-of-this-world stunts performed by the 807 Freeriderz this past winter.
Dobransky is crossing his fingers for a big crowd, not only for DeGagne’s sake but to help raise the profile of snowmobiling locally.
“In this area, there’s not too much stuff going on in terms of snowmombile activities, except for the poker run that was held this past season,” he noted.
“Everyone seems to be going down to the U.S. to snowmobile because it’s cheaper,” Dobransky added.
“But we’re really hoping this event can generate more local interest in snowmobiling.”
The evening will feature raffles for items sponsored by the likes of FXR Clothing, a leading snowmobile apparel company out of Winnipeg, and MB Graphics, which is headquartered on Couchiching First Nation.
There will be snacks and an open bar, along with free shuttle service afterwards courtesy of John DeGagne Construction.
Dobransky didn’t specify a fundraising goal for the event, only saying, “We’ll see if we can beat last year.”
“We should be able to the way the event is going to work,” he added.
Tickets are available for $15 and can be obtained by calling Dobransky at 276-0177.

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