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2005 Vasa News #3

Thu, Jan  20, 2005 - By Jim Dombrowski

Hello from the North American Vasa!

The Vasa would like to thank everyone who attended the Northern Michigan premiere of “Unlimited, Clean Oxygen Fed Sport” last Friday night. The event sponsored by The North American Vasa, Women’s Winter Tour, and Brick Wheels was able to raise nearly $900.00 for the cross country ski teams from Traverse City Central, Traverse City West, and St. Francis High Schools. In addition to the great skiing footage there was also a waxing clinic and a Nordic walking clinic. We hope to continue this fund raiser in the future as new films become available. 

The Vasa Volunteer party will be held on Sunday January 23rd at 5:30PM at the Timber Ridge Nordic Center in Traverse City. If you are a volunteer or would like to become one you are welcome to attend the party. For those who do not have an assignment for the race we will have sign up sheets with various volunteer opportunities available. The party will feature food and door prizes. Call 938-4400 for details.

Tickets are now on sale for the 2005 TART Trails Grooming Raffle. Tickets are $100 each and the Grand Prize is $8000 (if all 200 tickets are sold). The proceeds from the raffle are used to offset the cost of trail grooming, buy new grooming equipment, and to repair and maintain existing equipment. In 2004 TART purchased a new workhorse snowmobile and a grooming attachment. Both of these purchases have been used to convert a thin icy base after several thaws and rain this winter. The result has been a pleasant surprise to many skiers who were expecting icy conditions and a hard rough surface.  The relatively thin base has prevented the use of the big LMC Groomer. To purchase tickets you can call the TART Trail office @ (231)941-4300 or visit Brick Wheels on 8th Street in Traverse City.  The winner of the Raffle will be drawn at the Vasa Race Awards Party on February 12th. 

Remember the Vasa Pasta feed and packet pick up will be held at the Northwestern Michigan College Hagerty Center on West Bay. The Culinary Arts Department of NMC will be hosting the pasta dinner which will include Penne pasta with two red sauces (meat and meatless, as well as Alfredo style sauce. Also included are salads with choice of two dressings, bread, Lemonade or water. The cost is only $8.00 per person for all you can eat. An assortment of Brownies will be available for dessert at additional cost. The Vasa Pasta Feed will be a fundraiser for the NMC Culinary Arts Department. Everyone is welcome.

The weather forecast for this week calls for more snow and no thaws. The skiing should be great this weekend. A Vasa trail open house will be held on Saturday January 22nd at the Acme parking lot from 12 noon until 3PM. Tart Trails will offer complimentary hot beverages and snacks as well as a warming fire at the trailhead. Arriving early will give you a better chance to sample some of Missy’s homemade cookies (they are the first snacks to disappear). 

Because of the Vasa race, the Grand Traverse area now is home to the beautiful permanent Vasa trail. In the early days of the race the trail was constantly changing year to year because of development and other factors. These changes were not always favorable. Then, thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers led by George Lombard, the existing trail was designed and built and was dedicated in 1991. In 2000, thanks to the efforts of Doug Scofield and Jim Heffner, the headwaters trail was opened. Doug and many other volunteers continue to devote countless hours every year to trail and equipment maintenance. There is always something that needs to be done at the Vasa trail such as removing downed trees, brush cut back, wood chip spreading, or getting the grooming equipment ready for the ski season. Then when the snow arrives, Doug coordinates the grooming crew to provide the best grooming in the Midwest. We are truly fortunate to have such dedicated people in our community so that we can enjoy one of the areas finest assets. If you see any of these people on the trail smile and say thanks.

Jim Dombrowski
Vasa News