Snowmobile club, fire department team up to raise funds for ATV to maintain trails, aid victims

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WEST LEYDEN — The Southern Tug Hill Snow-Riders snowmobile club and the West Leyden Volunteer Fire Department are teaming up to raise money for a new all-terrain utility vehicle to be shared between the agencies.

A GoFundMe.com crowd-funding page has been set up to purchase the Polaris Ranger XP 1000, according to Matt Kaido, vice president of the snowmobile club. They have set a fundraising goal of $40,000 — roughly half of the expected cost — and have several retail quotes for the machine.

“It’s just a way to branch out to the community and hopefully gain some more attention,” Kaido said about going to GoFundMe to make the purchase. GoFundMe campaigns receive all of the money raised, even if the fundraising campaign doesn’t reach the stated goal amount.

The GoFundMe.com page can be found under the names “Christopher Rinck” and the “Southern Tug Hill and West Leyden Fire UTV.”

Kaido said the West Leyden Fire Department is one of four Lewis County rescue agencies that respond to emergencies on snowmobile trails. He said the department has been using an old snowmobile and sled on calls, but they want a more capable ATV to respond to trail emergencies, remote camps, logging roads and more.

The fire department reached out to the snowmobile club, which is also looking for a better vehicle to use when maintaining the 66 miles of snowmobile trails in southern Lewis County.

“We’ve also been looking for something like this, so we jumped on their offer,” Kaido stated.

The purchased ATV will be shared between the agencies and stored at the West Leyden Fire Department. It will primarily be on standby to respond to emergencies, while also being available to the snowmobile club when requested.

The fundraiser will be running through the summer, with the hopes of getting the new vehicle by winter, Kaido stated.

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