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I just spent the weekend in Waterloo, IA for the Iowa State Snowmobile Association's 33rd Annual Convention. Our local club decided that the president and myself (v.p.) should attend the convention and agreed that the club would pay for lodging and registration for the convention.

The snow show and vintage sled show was pretty good. Not too many of the vintage ones, but there were a few really nice ones...

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The iDNR was on hand to get us up to date on everything we need to know about the upcoming season, trails, insurance concerns, etc. Jim Willey from Camoplast made an appearance to show everyone what goes into to making a track, they even donated a new pre-studded (Ice Ripper, I think) track to be auctioned off for charity. There was a great hospitality night on Friday, Saturday was all the seminars and meetings. There was a huge brunch at 10:30 then a huge banquet at 6:30. I ate like a pig!

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After dinner, there was an awards ceremony for all the clubs, dealers, groomer operators, and individuals that have gone above and beyond the call of duty throughout the year.

Then came the auctions. There was a live auction and a silent auction. All the items that sold ended up bringing in almost $3,000.00 for our charity of choice... which happens to be the Spina Bifida Association. There were other donations from the clubs and various other things. I don't have a total number for this year, but last years' donations totalled well over $20,000 from Iowa snowmobilers.

At the end of the evening, there was a raffle of items that had been donated by various individuals, clubs, businesses, dealers, and a couple items sent from Polaris.

Rob (the president of the club) and I ended up only buying 12 raffle tickets each (6 for $5). We'd spent most of our extra cash on the bar! [:D] No, none of the extra cash was from the club funds. Rob had his eye on this pretty nice Arctic Cat jacket that was black and white. Not a bad jacket, for Cat stuff, but not something I was going to be too interested in. Can you believe it, that was the ONLY item out of 200+ items that I won! Unfortunately for Rob, the size was too small for him. But, as luck would have it some doctor wearing an Arctic Cat jersey really wanted the jacket for his wife. He offered to buy it from me. Earlier during the live auctions, this doctor had bought a Polaris Coastal jacket (not sure why he bought a Polaris coat), so I ended up trading him. I thought his wife was gonna kiss me... she was really happy she got the coat. So, I got myself another Polaris coat and this one only cost me $10.00!

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I think the real highlight of the weekend was the seminar on Avalance Awareness. I know what you're thinking... "Why did you have an avalance awareness seminar in IOWA??!?!?!!" Well, because it's IOWA and we have NO SNOW, so lots of us go west into the snowies!

We were very fortunate to have Bob Comey of the Bridger-Teton National Park Avalance Center come to Iowa to host a 2 hour seminar on Avalance Awareness. He had some really great videos and pictures to show us, not to mention all the information to be had. I think this was the best part of the weekend for me. I don't know if I'll ever make it out there, but at least I'll be a little better prepared if I do!

After everything was all done a few of us ended up across the street in the lounge of the Ramada Inn for a few cocktails to finish off the night.

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Sorry so long and boring, just wanted to share my weekend. [:D]
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