ISLAND FALLS, Maine — With sun and above-freezing temperatures forecast for Saturday, snowmobile race organizers are preparing for hundreds at the Island Falls track.
The Tame the Track Tour fundraising event, hosted by Land for Veterans nonprofit, will start Saturday with registration at 7 a.m. and racing at 10 a.m.
Last month’s race drew 108 racers and 350 spectators, and organizers expect more on Saturday.
“It is a fairly big fundraiser,” Land for Veterans founder Scot Walker said. “We raised over $5,000 at our first race in February.”
The Tame the Track Tour used to travel around the state, hosting about 10 snowmobile races a season. But Walker purchased the Tame the Track Tour and equipment from Jere Humphrey and Nancy Haggerty this year with the goal of raising funds to help veterans purchase homes.
Race sponsors paid for the costs of the race, and all proceeds from race entries, admissions, a gun raffle and a 50/50 will go to the Land for Veterans and the Big Valley Sno Club Trail System Grooming Fund, Walker said.
Walker started Land for Veterans around six years ago to help bridge the housing financing gap for veterans, he said.
The nonprofit helps veterans with deposits and closing costs for land and homes that do not qualify for the federal VA Loan Program.
“Homes that need repairs or do not have foundations or are off the grid won’t qualify for VA financing and so veterans are shut-out,” said Walker, who also owns First Choice Realty in Island Falls. “We created Land for Veterans to fill that need.”
Saturday’s amateur race is at Va Jo Wa Golf Course and Country Club, 142 Settlement Road in Island Falls by car, or on trail 60 near Pleasant Pond by snowmobile.
The actual track is almost 6/10ths of a mile. The race includes 21 different race categories, including the Kids 120 Stock for 9 and under, the 440 Stock, Couples Combination, IFS-Outlaw 530 and the Trail Open.
There will be food indoors and outdoors from The Slice Restaurant, a bonfire, door prizes and trail groomer rides for kids, Walker said.
Registration is from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Saturday at the track. The races run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $10.