MAY 6, 2011: Prostate Extreme Team charity ride coming to town

Next year’s Family Day could see a lot of sledders in town.

Gravenhurst will host the 2012 Prostate Extreme Team Charity Ride, Snowcrest Riders Snowmobile Club president Bob Clarke has learned.

The local club has been working to attract the organization’s annual Sled Ride of Hope, which this year was held in Parry Sound on Saturday.

“It’s growing,” Clarke said of the event that raises funding for prostate cancer research. “It’s becoming comparable to the Kelly Shires Ride for Breast Cancer.”

Accommodation for the event will be provided by the Marriott Residence Inn at Muskoka Wharf.

For the past six years, a group of Kahshe Lake snowmobilers banded together to run their own ride to benefit the extreme team’s cause.

The group of about 16 riders has raised $20,000 over six years.

Now they are looking forward to hitting the trails with the main event next year.

Michael Wayling explained the Kahshe Lakers had wanted to participate, but issues with trailering snowmobiles made it difficult to travel to where the ride is held.

“Now we can sled over there (to the Marriott) and participate, or stay for the weekend,” said Wayling. “Won’t have to worry about how we get to the main event, it’s coming to us.”

Steve Hutton, Prostate Extreme Team founder, said the group receives a lot of community requests to host the event.

“I wanted to be in Graven­hurst for a while, but we never had the accommodations,” said Hutton. “The Marriott was the game changer.”

He’s expecting 75 to 100 sledders to help the team reach its annual fundraising goal of $20,000.

“On average we see 65 to 75 riders, but Gravenhurst may be a lot different because it’s further south and a little more central,” said Hutton.

In 2010, the event’s fifth year running the trails, nearly $15,000 was raised for Wellspring Halton/Peel, Wellspring Chinguacousy Foundation and Prostate Cancer Canada.

The Prostate Extreme Team is a non-profit organization run by volunteer outdoor enthusiasts to bring awareness to the disease that is as prevalent to men as breast cancer is to women.

An estimated one in six men will be diagnosed with the disease within their lifetime.

Men 40 years and older are encouraged to undergo annual testing as early detection can save lives.

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