Prairie Women on Snowmobiles will soon be embarking on their 19th journey across the province. A core group of ten riders will set out on February 2nd and make their way through many Saskatchewan communities, ending their mission on February 8th. The purpose of the ride is to raise provincial awareness and focus attention on breast cancer and the recreation of snowmobiling as well as raise funds for breast cancer research. Since inception, PWOS have raised approximately $2.5 million.
Core riders raise a minimum of $3,000 once they are chosen to ride and are required to provide their own snowmobile and gear; however, many riders are able to obtain the use of a snowmobile from a dealer and donated gear.
Once riders are chosen, the route is mapped out and they try to visit as many rider hometowns as possible. Since the map is designed prior to winter, it is impossible to ensure that there will be enough snow to ride. If snow levels are low, the riders are transported via van to each community and continue to make their stops as planned.
The group will be making a stop in the community on February 7th. A steak and chicken dinner will be held at the Adobe Inn and will include a 50/50 draw, Dutch auction and silent auction. The event will be hosted by the Martensville & District Kinsmen Club in cooperation with the Saskatoon Snowmobile Club.
The local Kinsmen Club first became involved with PWOS in 2017 when they were approached by the group. “Another area organization was supposed to be organizing it for them, but unfortunately, they had to back out a month before. The Kinsmen accepted the challenge and organized the banquet for them,” Kinsmen President Arnie Deschner stated.
This year’s event will mark the second banquet the Kinsmen have organized for PWOS and they are looking forward to being a part of such an incredible event. “The Kinsmen’s goal is to serve our communities greatest needs. Breast Cancer touches all members of our community and we are honored to be involved with PWOS as they work to raise awareness of the disease and helping to raise funds toward researching for a cure,” Deschner added.
Martensville resident Gerri Brataschuk-Sametts has been involved with the organization for numerous years, as both a rider and an organizer. Sametts explained that at these stops, the core riders introduce themselves and explain the reason that they became involved with PWOS. “Another neat thing that they do at each stop throughout the ride is their Survivor pins. It is a special PWOS pin that is presented to anyone in the crowd that is a breast cancer survivor or to their family members if they passed away,” Sametts explained.
“The whole experience of joining a mission was amazing; the people, the cause, the ride itself! There is nothing that compares to this experience. You meet so many amazing people in each community and they were all there because they’ve been touched by this disease in some way,” Sametts said. Some of Sametts most memorable experiences occurred in smaller communities, where they witness an entire town attend. “Some days are tougher than others as you meet a lot of survivors, ladies currently fighting the disease and sadly, some family members of those that passed away. It is a very emotional week because you are away from your family, physically tired from riding so many kilometers and emotionally tired from all the things you have seen and done.”
For most of the riders, there is a personal connection to breast cancer, which drove them to want to participate in the annual fundraiser. Although recounting their personal experiences each night can be difficult, Sametts says that every single person that rides in a mission says it’s an amazing experience and they would do it again in a heartbeat.
For more information about PWOS, visit ‘Prairie Women on Snowmobiles – We Salute You!’ on Facebook. To purchase tickets to the Martensville event, contact the names on the poster located to the right of the article.