le Vendredi 27 janvier 2023
le Mercredi 25 janvier 2023 13:22 Tribune-Express (Hawkesbury)

Snowmobilers help promote autism awareness

Time to get ready and hit the trails for the Second Annual Snowmobile for Autism rally February 11. Close to 200 riders are expected to take part in this year’s event to enjoy a day of exploring Prescott-Russell while helping to promote public awareness and support for programs that benefit people and families dealing with autism.  — supplied photo
Time to get ready and hit the trails for the Second Annual Snowmobile for Autism rally February 11. Close to 200 riders are expected to take part in this year’s event to enjoy a day of exploring Prescott-Russell while helping to promote public awareness and support for programs that benefit people and families dealing with autism.
supplied photo
Paul Taylor Senior spent his Sunday evening grooming some of the local snowmobile trails to help keep them in perfect condition for next month’s Second Annual Snowmobile Ride for Autism.

« I already have under a hundred registrations, » he said, during a phone interview. I expect we’ll have close to 200 riders. »

Paul Taylor Sr. Is one of the founders of the ASD United Snowmobile Ride for Autism, which is one of several recreational events that the non-profit group organizes and promotes in the Prescott-Russell region to help raise funds and awareness about autism and the need for support programs for individuals and families in the region who deal with autism spectrum disorder.

The Snowmobile Ride for Autism hits the trails February 11, starting from the parking lot area of the Place 1967 restaurant and motel in Plantagenet.

Most snowmobile rallies are poker runs, with participants collecting envelopes with cards inside along their trail routes and then presenting their card hands at the end of the day to see if they won a prize. What makes ASD United’s event different from those snowmobile rallies is that it is a scavenger hunt, with riders following a route map filled with clues about items or places to find as they spend the day exploring Prescott-Russell.

« So there is no specific route to follow, » said Taylor, « because it is a scavenger hunt with people hunting for clues. We’ve received a lot of positive feeback on our event. »

The Snowmobile Ride for Autism has become the winter event for ASD United to balance its summer Flotilla for Autism, which is also a scavenger hunt. Participants in either event have fun creating a photo record of their adventures on the trails or on the water, creating photo album scenics and selfie shots at some of the points of interest they find during their scavenger hunt search.

Most of the participants in the ASD United events are local, but both the flotilla and the snowmobile ride are attracting interest in Ottawa and Toronto, across the Ottawa River in Québec, and down in the United States with people making the trip up to Prescott-Russell to take part.

All of the proceeds raised from the event goes towards support programs and special actvities and excursions for the benefit of individuals with autism and their families who live within the region.

Registration for the event can be done at www.ridesforautism.ca, by advance email to ridesforautism@gmail.com, or between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. the morning of the event on February 11 at the Place 1967 site in Plantagenet. Riders start heading out on the trails at 10 a.m., after they receive their trail maps with all of the clues they need for taking part in the scavenger hunt.