From the community

1Oth Annual Andy Santerre SNO-RUN Charity Event Exceeds Expectations

Posted Feb. 18, 2014, at 11:15 a.m.
2014 SNO-RUN charity event benefits youth sexual assault victims in Aroostook County. Photo by Sign Place.
2014 SNO-RUN charity event benefits youth sexual assault victims in Aroostook County. Photo by Sign Place.

Caribou, ME – On Saturday, February 8th, the 10th Annual Andy Santerre SNO-RUN fundraiser to support AMHC’s Sexual Assault Services earned $53,100. The SNO-RUN is the only fund raising event that AMHC Sexual Assault Services holds dedicated to raising funds to provide victim services to youth and child victims of sexual assault in Aroostook County. The annual event serves to improve community awareness about the seriousness of sexual violence and assault and to encourage the community to be involved in prevention and early intervention.

Andy Santerre reported how excited he is to be in Northern Maine and how proud he was to have his NASCAR friends join him, including Darrell “Bubba” Wallace, Jr., the first African American to win a NASCAR sanctioned race, Darrell Wallace, Sr., car owner and Eric Lukas, former jack-man on the Andy Santerre Motorsports pit crew. Also joining Andy were other racing personalities: 2-time Oxford Plains Late Model Champion, Shawn Martin and the New England Pro-4 Modified Open Wheel Champion, Rob Richardi, Jr., from Easton, Massachusetts. A special thank you goes out to all sponsors, donors and participants who supported the SNO-RUN event this year and played such an integral part in its success.

The day-long event started at Griffeth Ford in Caribou with the SNO-RUN/walk sponsored by Pines Health Services and Cary Medical Center. 21 runners and walkers participated and the run/walk overall winner was Marie Beckum with a time of 22.56 minutes. Following the departure of the run/walkers, the vintage snowmobilers took off on the 30 mile round trip to the Washburn Trail Runner’s Club House for lunch.

The 80 SNO-RUN participants then headed off on the 100-mile ride toward Van Buren and the international border. Joe Chamberlain, organizer of the SNO-RUN event, was very excited to work with the Gateway Snowmobile Club’s Jay Lajoie to lead the SNO-RUN towards Van Buren. “The trails were awesome”, says Chamberlain and he reported how much he appreciates all of the clubs that groomed the trails to make the SNO-RUN a great experience for all of the sledders.

Arriving in Van Buren, the snowmobilers stopped in an open field and, joining with the Gateway Snowmobile Club, formed the 2014 World Acadian Congress Star for an aerial photo captured by photographer Paul Cyr. 80 SNO-RUN sleds formed the star with Andy Santerre on the North Point; they were joined by 50 Gateway Snowmobile Club members and supporters who formed the word “Acadian” in the middle of the star. This is the third time that the SNO-RUN has put together a design in the snow for a flyover photo; previously it was done in 2009 and 2011. Lunch was hosted by American Legion Post 49 of Van Buren by local veterans and club members.

That evening, more than 300 supporters joined Santerre for a social hour/dinner and live charity auction held at the Aroostook Centre Mall; dinner was catered by Chopsticks and Ruby Tuesday. As in the past, the live auction offered an excellent selection of donated items to choose from, such as autographed NASCAR memorabilia and race ticket packages, hand crafted items, and many gift cards from local business and vendors. Bert Winslow, the event’s volunteer auctioneer, did an outstanding job again this year engaging all to support the worthy cause. The most coveted item drawing the highest bid was the Custom Handcrafted/ Schlitz Circus Band Wagon with 2 Black Quarter Horses, made by E. Clair Russell of Hartland, Maine and donated by Artie Fox in Memory of Gary Fox of Perham. Raffle winners were Christine Brown of Caribou, winning a Bill Landes custom crafted Birdfeeder, and Michael Conley from Atkinson, Maine, who won the Pro-R 120 Polaris Youth Sled donated by County Sports Polaris of Caribou.

This year’s SNO-RUN event was sponsored by Silver Cup Sponsors AMHC, Andy Santerre Motorsports, Cary Medical Center, County Sports Polaris, Key Bank, Pines Health Services, TD Bank and Townsquare Media. Bronze Cup Sponsors are Aroostook Centre Mall, Barresi Benefits Group, Castle Products, Inc., Clukey’s Auto Supply, Cushman’s Embroidery, Dead River Company, Griffith Ford/Lincoln/Mitsubishi/Honda, Hampton Inn, SW Collins, North Country Auto, Sign Place, TAMC, The Plourde Furniture Co., and Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club Champion sponsors are APS HealthCare, Evergreen Trading, LLC/Evergreen Manufacturing, Inc. and United Insurance.

AMHC’s Sexual Assault service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to anyone who has experienced sexual abuse or violence in their lifetime. It is also available to those who are family members or friends of those who have been abused seeking out how to be supportive to their love ones.

AMHC is one of 9 Sexual Assault centers throughout Maine offering free confidential services as a member of the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MeCASA). Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Centers value empowerment and promote the dignity and respect of all persons. AMHC offers specialized services which have been developed based on the belief that persons who have been sexually assaulted have the right to determine their own response to the assault(s), and the immediate availability of crisis intervention and support services helps to facilitate their recovery process. If you or a loved one is in need of services or you would like more information to get involved with keeping our community safe, call 1-800-871-7741.

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