2nd annual sled run to raise local funds for Aroostook Relay for Life

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — On Saturday, Feb. 6, the Aroostook County Sled Run will return for its second year of daylong snowmobile rides, all aiming to support the local Relay for Life efforts.

The inaugural event — held in February 2020 before the COVID-19 lockdowns — featured 30 snowmobile riders and more than 100 total participants and volunteers. The Striking Out Cancer team, a Relay for Life group consisting of 12 MMG Insurance employees and community members, raised $6,500.

The group is making several changes to this year’s event due to the pandemic, and organizers are encouraging people to register online at prior to Feb. 6. 

Those who wish to register the morning of the event at the Presque Isle Snowmobile Club must maintain social distancing and wear masks or face coverings. Striking Out Cancer will determine the limitation for people inside the building prior to the Sled Run.

Team member Heidi Estabrook said that all funds will go toward the American Cancer Society as part of the group’s annual fundraising for Relay for Life. 

“Our fingers are crossed that we meet our $10,000 goal this year,” Estabrook said. “But most of all we want everyone that has been impacted by cancer to know they are not alone in the fight. We will continue to do whatever we can to help, even during a global pandemic.”

In-person registration will open at 8 a.m. on Feb. 6, with the snowmobile rides beginning at 10 a.m. Participants who registered prior to that day will not need to arrive until 9:30 a.m. At that time there will be a pre-ride meeting outside the snowmobile club.

Participants can choose between a 90-mile trail that begins at the Presque Isle Snowmobile Club and follows trails in Fort Fairfield, Caribou and Washburn before returning to Presque Isle, or a 50-mile trail that goes from Presque Isle to Easton, Mars Hill and back to Presque Isle. 

Despite the pandemic-related changes, Estabrook said that the community’s response to last year’s Sled Run has motivated Strike Out Cancer to keep the event going in whatever way possible.

“We had overwhelming support throughout Aroostook County last year. Once the word was out, we had people reaching out to us to see what they could do to help,” Estabrook said. “People are eager to participate in a meaningful event.”

Event information can be found on the Aroostook County Sled Run Facebook page.

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