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Snowmobiling: Sledders to golf for fun and funds

If you are itching to get out on the golf course, you don’t have to wait until the course is green and the air is warm. On March 3, a winter golf tournament will be held on North Pond in Rome.

Proceeds from the tournament benefit two groups — Project Learning Tree (the educational arm of the Maine Tree Foundation) and the Pine Tree Camp, with a great deal of help and organization from the Maine Snowmobile Association.

Project Learning Tree is a teacher training program that includes a K-12 curriculum and provides workshops for teachers on the economic and environmental benefits of a working, sustainable forest.

"We teach children about the value of our forests and natural resources," said Pat Maloney, coordinator for Project Learning Tree.

"We help teachers realize that they can take students outdoors and teach them any of their curriculum."

Educators can take students outdoors to teach science, technology, engineering and math as part of STEM, a nationwide educational initiative. Project Learning Tree provides opportunities for teachers to use these initiatives in the field and outdoors.

The Pine Tree Camp offers camping and other outdoor opportunities to Maine children and adults with disabilities, regardless of their ability to pay.

The MSA advocates for snowmobilers and educates its members about safety, respect for the rights of landowners, and the proper use of sleds.

"We needed to do a fundraising event that was fun and in the outdoors," said Maloney. "One of our steering committee members suggested that we talk with Harvey Chesley of the Pine Tree Camp and Bob Meyers of the Maine Snowmobile Association, who were both very enthusiastic about working with us."

The course will be challenging, featuring nine holes laid out parallel to the shore front of the Pine Tree Camp in Rome. There are three starting times for golfers, 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. There are three categories for teams of four people — students, clubs and corporations — with costs varying from $100 to $300 per team. The price for registration covers four golfers. Tennis balls are provided, but golfers are asked to bring their own clubs. The winning teams will be recognized for their accomplishments.

There will be food for sale in the Harold and Bibby Alfond Hall, with proceeds to benefit the Pine Tree Camp. The goal is to raise $10,000 to $15,000 for Project Learning Tree and the Pine Tree Camp through registration fees and donations from businesses.

Registrations are limited. For more information contact the MSA at [email protected]; Maloney at 626-7990 or [email protected]; or visit mainetreefoundation.org for a registration form and more information.

THE MSA PAGE on Facebook is a great way to keep up with current snow conditions, events and everything else that is going on in the world of snowmobiling in Maine.

There is a link to the MSA website that shows you trail conditions for each region of the state, which can be extremely helpful when planning a trip. You can also chat with fellow snowmobilers, share photos of great places to go sledding and learn about special snowmobiling-related activities.

"We see it as just another way to help get the word out, whether it’s safety or a meeting or hearing or some kind of event," said Bob Meyers, executive director of the Maine Snowmobile Association.

"We started it this fall and are pleased with the way it is working out.

"It mostly focuses on the fun, because that’s what snowmobiling is all about, and we hope that the Facebook page is a reflection of our members and clubs who are wonderful, and the great times they have in the winter."

FOR MORE INFORMATION about upcoming snowmobiling events, safety courses and an itinerary form (click the link for MSA members) visit the Maine Snowmobile Association website at www.mesnow.com.

For information about snowmobile laws, registration and safety courses, visit tinyurl.com/853hzjm.

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