The Sovereign Lake Nordic Club is looking for funding for a new groomer. (Trish Gobeil photo)

Sovereign Lake Nordic Club fundraiser seeks new groomer

A fundraising campaign has been launched for the volunteer-driven club

One of North America’s, and certainly the North Okanagan’s, largest cross country ski clubs is looking for help raising money for a new groomer.

The Sovereign Lake Nordic Club’s campaign seeks to purchase a new PistenBully 400 groomer for the volunteer-driven club.

“Grooming 54 kilometres of trails daily not only requires a great grooming team but also top-notch equipment. Wear and tear on our high mileage grooming equipment has reached the point where maintenance costs and downtime have impacted our ability to groom our trails to the standards that our members and guests expect,” said Guy Morazain, fundraising campaign chair for the club.

“After a detailed analysis, we decided to forgo our previous practice of purchasing a used groomer, which traditionally had a life span of three to four years and high maintenance cost, to take advantage of recent technological advancements by acquiring a new groomer, which should provide reliable and eco-friendly service for 10 to 12 years.”

However, that equipment upgrade comes at a cost, Morazain said.

The estimated cost of a new groomer is $450,000, an amount that exceeds the club’s capital reserves. In an attempt to make up the deficit, the club has reached out its membership and the public with its campaign.

As of Tuesday, Feb. 26, the campaign had reached $71,335. The campaign runs until the end of April.

Related: B.C.’s top young skiers hit Sovereign Lake for championships

Related: Sovereign Lake hosts elite cross country ski race

According to the campaign, the intent is to ensure delivery in time for the 2019-2020 season, which will see the club play host to the 2020 Canadian National Ski Championships with more than 800 participants anticipated.

With more than 2,000 members, the club issues more than 25,000 day passes per season, Morazain said. The club also introduced Nordic Skiing to more than 2,700 children through its partnerships with North Okanagan schools each season.

“Our race program draws competitors from all over the world to the Okanagan,” Morazain said. “We host an annual NorAm Championships that have recently amalgamated with the American US SuperTour race series to host over 500 athletes from across North America each November. This race series is a World Cup calendar and Olympic qualification event for both Canadian and American skiers.”

For more information or to donate to the campaign, visit www.sovereignlake.com.



parker.crook@vernonmorningstar.com

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