A 'magical day' on club's snowmobile trails

WOODFORD — Local trails were bustling with excitement as riders traveled through the woods, all sporting bright smiles.

On Saturday, the Woodford SnoBusters held their 33rd annual Special People Ride at McKenna Barn. The event provided snowmobile rides throughout the afternoon to children and adults with special needs.

More than 150 people were estimated to have attended the event, according to Jeanne McKenna, one of the event organizers. She reported that this year's has been the largest event yet, since her and her husband, Gene, began hosting it seven years ago.

The club organizes the event as a way to give back to the local community, and to help ensure that everyone has the chance to enjoy the thrill of snowmobiling.

At one point during the day, the yard was clear of sleds, as they all were out on the trails with happy passengers. Thirty sleds were towed around the mile-long loop, and roughly 40 volunteers from the club helped with the day's activities; lunch was provided to riders. Local law enforcement helped out by driving some of the snowmobiles.

"I think the volunteers enjoy [the event] as much as the riders do," Jeanne McKenna said. "It was a magical day."

Some volunteers return from previous years, just as some riders return each year, with each looking forward to when the event is held again.

Six-year-old Jacob Pello and his father, Tim, attended the snowmobiling event for the first time this year. It gave Jacob a chance to get out and do something fun during the winter. During the summer, he attends a surfing camp that teaches children with autism how to surf, his father said.

"It was awesome, we had a really good time," Tim Pello said. "It was a much-needed happy time in the middle of winter. Jacob loved it and he was in heaven. I think he tried just about every snowmobile that was there."

Jacob bounced from sled-to-sled, radiating excitement, eager to get back out on the trails. High spirits were felt by all who attended the event, Pello said.

"Everyone there had a smile on their face," he said.

Pello said that the event made him feel like he was at home, and that it felt good to have so many people come together for a shared cause.

"It's rewarding and great to see everyone enjoy the event," Jeanne McKenna said.

The Woodford SnoBusters, established in 1984, is one of Vermont's biggest snowmobiling clubs. The group helps maintain snowmobiling trails, and provides daily reports of trail conditions on both their website and the group's Facebook page.

Next week, the SnoBusters will be hosting their annual Charity Hot Dog Roast on Saturday, Feb 18. It will be held at the parking lot on Airport Road in Somerset, beginning at noon.

To learn more about the Woodford SnoBusters, visit their website at www.snobusters.org, or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Woodford-Snobusters-646389785465516/


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