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Blackwoods Blizzard Tour coming February 7-10

Jan 10, 2018 07:39AM ● Published by Editor

By Laurel Beager, I-Falls Journal - January 9, 2018.

Tim Watson says he took on a challenge last year for those who live with a daily challenge they didn’t ask for.

“This year shall be no different,” he said of his plan to ride for a second time in the Black Woods Blizzard Tour, a three-day, 400-mile snowmobile ride that has for 17 years raised money for the ALS Association’s Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota Chapter.

He described his experiences in the 2017 ride as “among the greatest things I’ve ever done.”

As a first-time rider and at the age of 70, the group he was assigned to ride with was concerned about his ability to keep up.

“I was determined to take on the challenge to ride, for those that are challenged each day as they live with ALS,” the long-time Lake Kabetogama fishing guide said.

The 2017 event drew 225 riders who raised $1.13 million in what’s known as “The Ride to Fight ALS.” The tour’s motto is “Never Surrender.”

Money raised by the tour benefits people living with ALS in the ALS Association’s chapter.

ALS stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and was once called Lou Gehrig’s Disease, for the New York Yankee baseball player who suffered from and brought awareness to the disease. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that slowly robs a person of the ability to walk, speak, swallow and, eventually breathe. With no known cause or cure, a person can expect to live typically two to five years from the time of diagnosis, reports the association.

The ALS Association is the only organization leading the fight to discover a cure for ALS from all angles — through robust research, care, and public policy programs, describes the association’s website. “Our solution is an integrated approach that will lead us to viable treatments and cure for this terrible disease,” it said.

ALS has no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries and in only 10 percent of cases there is a family history of ALS.

The ALS Association website provides information about its mission and the tour. A mailing address for donations is included.

In addition is a place to donate in Watson’s name. Go to the Black Woods Blizzard Tour website, look for the donate button, which will feature a list of riders. Scroll down to find Watson’s name and make a tax-deductible donation using a credit card.

Watson said he is notified when a donation is made in his name.

The Black Woods Blizzard Tour starts with a reception at the Black Woods Grill and Bar in Proctor Feb. 7, departs the following morning for Lake Vermilion’s Fortune Bay Resort & Casino, the next day’s ride heads to the North Shore and Two Harbors, where riders spend the night and return to Proctor Feb. 10.

Follow this link to learn more on the MN ALS website.  http://web.alsa.org/site/TR?fr_id=12792&pg=entry

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