Off-road riders are once again coming together to help raise funds for charity.
As many as six riders will travel the winter road in January from Fort McMurray to Fort Smith for an 'Ice Road Expedition' – raising money for Waypoints and the Sheepdog Lodge in Canmore, a foundation focused on PTSD.
The ride will take about three-days to complete, covering around 400 km.
Event Organizer Mike Haberoth tells Fort McMurray News there long, cold trip will be all worth it after being able to raise funds for these groups.
“Everyone has someone or somebody who’s close to them and dealing with it, especially since the fires in 2016 – I think it’s one of those areas that nobody really likes to talk about but needs to talk about it.”
Haberoth, along with two other riders, made the same trip earlier this year. They were raising funds and awareness for Wacey Morrison – a firefighter who was paralyzed from the waist down after an accident.
The event has been a tradition for many riders since 2009 where they've helped raise money for Waypoints, the Wood Buffalo Food Bank, and the Fort McMurray SPCA.
Interest in the year’s ride is quite high.
“I was down in Mexico and there was a lot of people down there that seen the pictures, wondered what it was all about – it’s just one of those rides you can’t do anywhere, so people are kinda perking their ears from all corners to see what we got going on,” added Haberoth.
Joining the riders will be a support squad of four trucks.
Haberoth notes the group, Oil Country Cruisers, is from Edmonton while a photographer is coming from Los Angeles.
“Their support rigs are dialed in with diesel heaters, all the necessary supplies to keep everyone going as far as tents and stuff – we might even given it a go and try and winter camp.”
The official campaign gets underway on November 12. Over the next couple of months, the riders plan on holding fundraisers, raffles, and hosting other events to raise as much funds as they possibly can.
“It doesn’t take much, you just gotta get out there and do it.”