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Vintage snowmobile race to benefit cancer fund

CARIBOU, Maine — Funds raised by a Snowmobile racing event scheduled for Saturday, March 17, will benefit Brian’s Ride, a fund to support cancer patients undergoing treatment at Cary Medical Center.  

The “Tame the Track” touring group will hold their last race in a series of vintage sled racing on a track designed on the property of the Northern Maine Brewing Company.  

Vintage sled racing consists of years 1960s through 1980s racing in various classes.  The event also features sleds with ‘leaf spring’ suspension.  The race, called the Mega Meltdown, will bring a number of sledders from throughout the state vying for points to earn the “high points” trophy. Local snowmobile enthusiasts who have vintage sleds are invited to participate in the racing and all sleds will be registered for the event the day of the race.

Jimmy Leighton, a vintage snowmobile enthusiast and racer is chairman of the committee organizing the event.  Leighton said that the committee hopes to draw sledders from around the state and that racing fans from the County and Western New Brunswick will come to watch.

“This is a great deal of fun for a great cause,” said Leighton.  “People who race in these types of events are really in it for the fun and getting together.  It has become very popular throughout Maine and we are so excited to bring the program to Caribou.”

Sharon Pelletier, a registered nurse at Cary Medical Center, and her husband Shawn, part owner of the Northern Maine Brewing, are working with the Brian’s Ride Committee to secure sponsorship for the event.  Shawn Pelletier said the group is hoping to promote the event and to make the racing an annual event.

“Snowmobiling is such a strong economic player in this market,” said Shawn Pelletier.  “This event gives Caribou a chance to capture a popular brand of sled racing that could bring hundreds of people to the community every year.  This might even develop into an annual Snowmobile Festival.”

Sharon Pelletier said use of the venue could offer the potential to raise significant dollars for the Brian’s Ride Cancer Fund.

“The Northern Maine Brewing Company has been very supportive of our effort to raise money for Brian’s Ride,” she said. “Last summer’s music and barbecue and now this snowmobile racing event is truly a win-win.  The venue allows us to generate needed funds for cancer patients and exposes the brewing company to new people from all over Maine.”

The vintage sled racing event also will invite youngsters to race on sleds called 120s.  The kids’ racing will feature three classes: 120 Stock, 120 Improved and Kids Modified.  There are a Women’s Open, Teens Open and multiple other classes ranging from Vintage Single Stock to Vintage IFS Stock (up to ’92).  The event’s total payout will be $2,000.

Funds will benefit Brian’s Ride, a special fund created in memory of Brian Caldwell, who died from cancer.  Over the past two years the fund has helped 77 local cancer patients and their families and raised more than $40,000.  The fund is managed by the Jefferson Cary Foundation.

In addition to snowmobile racing, the event will feature outdoor music, a bonfire and food.  Admission to the event is $10 for adults and $5 for students and those under 12.  There is a $20 registration fee per sled entering the racing program.  Pits for sleds will be open at 8 a.m. and racing starts at 11 a.m.

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