ANNUAL FAMILY SNOWMOBILE RALLY - FEBRUARY 15-17, 2019

Thank You Chet and Malinda Brewster

Aug30

Chet and Malinda Brewster are long time volunteers with the Club – 20 years.  Chet started volunteering by cleaning trails in 1999.  Around 2002, Dan Guenette brought in this young 20 something kid to his first fall meeting, they left the meeting and Chet said “What the hell did you bring me into, a bunch of old guys’ club?”.  Dan shrugged and said “ya, but it’s a pretty cool group” and after that, Chet was heavily involved.  He was a big part of the Carson Cabin build in 2004 .  He was a handy young guy on the tools and worked hard.  The “old guys” – Dale Gunderson and Alex Manweiler were pretty impressed by his workmanship.  (Carson Cabin Project Build – logged 650 man hours, with a cost to the club at $3590.00. The Carson Cabin logs were donated by ANC, with equipment and other materials donated by other companies; total donated cost of project- $35,000, not including volunteer hours)

Malinda came to Whitecourt as a Co-Op Student from Saskatchewan in 1997/1998.  She came back to Whitecourt for another Co-Op term and after that, Infratech hired her and Chet and her moved to town.   Chet was always a great guy to help with trail cleaning and was a good member as he started bringing some of his young friends to the club – Mitch Sharp and Denis Blain.  It was great having all these young guys in the club – Ken, Dan, Chet, Mitch and Denis.  Since 2004, Chet has been on the Executive Board as a Director or a Trail Boss. He is a volunteer for the Rallies, organized rides,  3 cabin constructions, 3 Lookouts and pretty much every other event or Trailblazers’ activity.

Malinda worked with Alex and Dale on developing maps for the Club.  They would manually look at the Forestry Aerial Maps and then design where the trail was on paper with many, many long hours deciphering the exact locations.    Developing the Trailblazer’s website, occurred between 2001 and 2003 and Malinda worked on it with Jim Halawell, Alex Manweiler, Peter Smyl and Williard Strebchuk.  First the link was created with the Town of Whitecourt Website and then the Trailblazers site was added.   Malinda, since the website inception, has volunteered on the maintenance of the site, annually adding Club information, events, calendars etc.  Malinda has been a part of the marketing and promotion of the Club through all her graphic work through her company – Case and Point:Media.  She has donated her time for all the graphics for the rallies and the 2009 Invasion.   She continues to add information to the website, help produce and design graphics  (banners, posters, logos, clothing, merchandise etc) and the website for our events such as the 2015 Invasion.  She is our graphic guru.  Malinda has also volunteered at all the rallies with registrations.

Chet and Malinda, thank you so much for your support and volunteerism, we are sure glad you moved to Whitecourt and that Chet, you continued coming to the meetings, even with the old guys!!  (PS, now you are one of them)

Chet and Malinda Brewster are long time volunteers with the Club – 20 years. Chet started volunteering by cleaning trails in 1999. Around 2002, Dan Guenette brought in this young 20 something kid to his first fall meeting, they left the meeting and Chet said “What the hell did you bring me into, a bunch of old guys’ club?”. Dan shrugged and said “ya, but it’s a pretty cool group” and after that, Chet was heavily involved. He was a big part of the Carson Cabin build in 2004 . He was a handy young guy on the tools and worked hard. The “old guys” – Dale Gunderson and Alex Manweiler were pretty impressed by his workmanship. (Carson Cabin Project Build – logged 650 man hours, with a cost to the club at $3590.00. The Carson Cabin logs were donated by ANC, with equipment and other materials donated by other companies; total donated cost of project- $35,000, not including volunteer hours)
Malinda came to Whitecourt as a Co-Op Student from Saskatchewan in 1997/1998. She came back to Whitecourt for another Co-Op term and after that, Infratech hired her and Chet and her moved to town. Chet was always a great guy to help with trail cleaning and was a good member as he started bringing some of his young friends to the club – Mitch Sharp and Denis Blain. It was great having all these young guys in the club – Ken, Dan, Chet, Mitch and Denis. Since 2004, Chet has been on the Executive Board as a Director or a Trail Boss. He is a volunteer for the Rallies, organized rides, 3 cabin constructions, 3 Lookouts and pretty much every other event or Trailblazers’ activity.
Malinda worked with Alex and Dale on developing maps for the Club. They would manually look at the Forestry Aerial Maps and then design where the trail was on paper with many, many long hours deciphering the exact locations. Developing the Trailblazer’s website, occurred between 2001 and 2003 and Malinda worked on it with Jim Halawell, Alex Manweiler, Peter Smyl and Williard Strebchuk. First the link was created with the Town of Whitecourt Website and then the Trailblazers site was added. Malinda, since the website inception, has volunteered on the maintenance of the site, annually adding Club information, events, calendars etc. Malinda has been a part of the marketing and promotion of the Club through all her graphic work through her company – Case and Point:Media. She has donated her time for all the graphics for the rallies and the 2009 Invasion. She continues to add information to the website, help produce and design graphics (banners, posters, logos, clothing, merchandise etc) and the website for our events such as the 2015 Invasion. She is our graphic guru. Malinda has also volunteered at all the rallies with registrations.
Chet and Malinda, thank you so much for your support and volunteerism, we are sure glad you moved to Whitecourt and that Chet, you continued coming to the meetings, even with the old guys!! (PS, now you are one of them)

2018 Chet and Malinda – Shiningbank Lookout
2018 Chet and his “John Deere Ski-Doo” and group at Summit Cabin

2018 Kyle Labossiere and Chet at Summit Cabin
2017 Chet Brewster, Rodney Koscielny and Dan Guenette roasting Ken Linford
2017 Derek Rooks, Don Price and Chet Brewster
2019 Chet and Kyle just installed the solar panel at the Carson Cabin. Plans are to install solar panels at all the cabins on the trail system.
2012 Summit Cabin construction – Chet Brewster, Rodney Koscielny, John White, Jeff Brooks, Cindy Brooks, Rizzoli and Ken Linford

Thank you to Rick Evasiuk

Aug27

Thank you Rick for your volunteerism and support for over 2 decades. Rick and his brother Dave own and operate Whitecourt Transport which has been also a great supporter of ours. As President in 1995/96, you lead the Club through the fight against the Bylaw changes for riding sleds/ohv in town, again, which would have stricter fines and confiscations of those abusing the Bylaw. There was a plebiscite question issued: “Do you support banning of OHV’s in Whitecourt?” and the vote was obviously in our favour. Rick spoke out about the impact it would have on the community with the Golden Triangle System and the Trailblazers’ trails. The changes would be detrimental to the economic impact of our community and affect the image we have as the Snowmobile Capital of Alberta. There are always some bad apples that ruin things, however the vote was “no” and the Bylaw remained the same.

Rick was involved in the Rallies that were held on the Golden Triangle in 1995, 1996 and 1997. In 1995, the Club hosted Race Line Super Trax Sports Magazine that came to town because of the increased popularity of the area for recreation and Whitecourt’s designation of the Snowmobile Capital of Alberta. In addition, he helped with the construction of a warm up shelter and bathrooms that were placed at the start of the Golden Triangle Trail and other locations in 1996. Rick also held other positions on the board for over 10 years such as Memberships, Director, Safety and Sgt at Arms. Many projects were completed over those years that Rick was involved with: Golden Triangle opening, races, rallies, Snowaramas, Trike Races, Silver Summit Trail Development, lots of riding and trail cleaning as well. “Rick was one of the best guys to go out trail cleaning with, and Rick was also known to be a bit accident prone, as he broke his foot on the grader walls at the snowmobile races that were held in the field across from the St. Joe’s Church” quotes from members. He loved to race in the NWSA – loved the speed and competitions. He would also spend hours talking sleds and performance with Dale Gunderson.

Now Rick and Jane travel south for the winters, but he still rides when he is home. Thank you Rick for your many years as an extraordinary volunteer!!

1997 Rick Evasiuk and Jim Halawell

1992 Windup Doug Hay, Rick and Bob Ebertz
1993 Trailblazers Executive
Alex Manweiler, Dale Gunderson and Rick Evasiuk

History Article in Whitecourt Press

Aug17

Thank You Jim and Maureen Halawell

Aug16

40TH ANNIVERSARY – VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION
“Jim and Maureen Halawell”
Jim was involved with the Trailblazers Club in the early 80’s and 90’s. He was President in 1983/84, Director 1984 to 88 and Treasurer 1989/90/91. Unfortunately for the Trailblazers, Jim and Maureen moved away in the early 2000’s.

In 1983/84, when Jim was President, they had a busy season. They started in December with the Drag Races, on the river. The Club also held their first ASA Jamboree (2 days) in February, which was themed “Snow Country” and held at the Rodeo Grounds. They had pancake breakfasts each morning. On Saturday, they held a snowmobile parade, a Cross Country Trail Ride with 300 riders and a dinner and dance. On Sunday, there was a Snowmobile Gymkhana Event with 100 riders participating and ended with a wiener roast windup that night. Later in February, a Hill Climb had been planned, but was unfortunately cancelled. In March, they held an ASA Interclub – Zone 1 – 125 mile ride up to Swan Hills.

Jim was involved with many events and activities throughout his time with the Trailblazers – Oval and Drag Racing, Hill Climbing, 2 Jamborees, Snowaramas, Rallies, awards, dances, Christmas Parties, barbeques and year end parties. The Club also volunteered outside the snowmobile season for the Trade Fair and Riverboat Races. In addition, the club held their own Trike Races in the summer. Jim was always helping out with various events.

Jim liked to trail clean and was always up for a ride. He was known to skip across open water on meadows and trails even though it might mean him getting stuck in the middle and then have to beg for help from his fellow riders – Cyril, Alex and Dale. It was a tough time trying to dry up in the middle of the winter with a small fire, but he managed to make it out ok.

Jim had been given many Trailblazer awards: He was given a Special Recognition Award and also an award in the 1991/92 season for the Most Kilometres rode – 4023 km.

Jim liked to race his Rupp sled in the drag races and would often place as a top rider when he raced. As well, he loved to tinker on his sleds. The rest of the family were also involved in the Trailblazers. Maureen volunteered with registration at the rallies and was always willing to be involved with entertainment, annual awards and fun nights. Cheryl represented us as Miss Trailblazer in 1989 at the ASA Jamboree.

Jim and Maureen were a big part of all the good old days, lots of laughs and fellowship. Thank you to the Halawells for their support, hard work and good times!

Cheryl and Maureen Halawell
Joan and Nick Slootweg, Alex Manweiler, Jim and Maureen Halawell
Nick Slootweg, Cyril Lanctot and Jim Halawell

Thank You Leo and Hazel Zelinski

Aug09

40TH ANNIVERSARY – VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION
“Leo and Hazel Zelinski”

Leo has had a passion of snowmobiling from a young age.  He became a member of the Alberta Snowmobile Association in the 70’s and started attending their meetings.  Through various discussions with folks from the ASA (organized in the Calgary area and by the Alberta Forestry Service) Leo, Glen Kingdon and people from Whitecourt began meeting and formed the Club in 1980. During this time, the Town’s Bylaw of snowmobiles operating in town limits was in jeopardy of being abolished, because of rules not being followed by other sledders.  Members met with the Town of Whitecourt Council and advised that a club had been formed and that they were organized and could be responsible.  To this day, the By-Law still remains in effect.  The Alberta Forestry Service partnered with the Trailblazers and had them take over the old Forestry trails and staging area.  There were trails developed in Whitecourt, Swan Hills and Fox Creek.  These trails were designated for snowmobilers and as the club expanded, a Golden Triangle was established between the three communities.  This trail became a part of the cross-Canada Snowmobile Trail, now known as the Great Canadian Trail.    In the early 80’s, the Trailblazers hosted a jamboree that attracted 300 riders and it was recognized as an important sport that had a great economic impact on our community.  The Chamber of Commerce loved it, as the club filled hotels in the recession. Leo was involved with many rallies in Whitecourt, jamborees, a hill climb, oval drag races, ice drags on the McLeod River, Grass and snow drags, rides with other clubs, first timed snow race, local winter carnival and Golden Triangle Rallies.  He was involved with the Incorporation of the Whitecourt Trailblazers, development of the Golden Triangle and the designation of the “Snowmobile Capital of Alberta”.   He served as the President for several years and held other positions in the club.  In addition, Leo was Vice President of the ASA and held other Director positions.   He has worked with many local and provincial organizations, businesses and government offices. 

Leo is still known to volunteer with the club and rides with his family throughout the season.  He has his favorite secret trail areas and loves riding across country on ungroomed trails.  Still a Trailblazer, Leo is in his mid 70’s and is a very dedicated recreational enthusiast and sledder.   Leo’s family – wife Hazel, sons Daryl and Murray have been a part of the Club as well and have passed on their passion to their children.  

Leo has been awarded and recognized through his various community involvement with the Chamber of Commerce, the Town of Whitecourt and the Province.  Leo has been recognized with awards from the Whitecourt Trailblazers for his valuable services with the club.  He was awarded the ASA “Louise Sherren Award” last year.  

Hazel has been an extraordinary volunteer as well throughout the past 40 years, volunteering at the events and activities hosted by the Trailblazers.  Their dedication to the club has been appreciated.  Leo’s collaboration with many organizations locally and provincially has helped shape our club and the sport in our province.  Thank you Leo and Hazel!

2017 Leo and Grandkids



Hazel and Annetta Lanctot

Thank you Glen Kingdon

Aug01

Thank you Glen Kingdon, a Whitecourt Trailblazer founding member. Thanks for your efforts in getting the Club organized, founded and operating. Your volunteer hours over the 4 decades – 70’s, 80s, 90s, 2000s are appreciated and recognized by the Club and snowmobile world. We are very thankful for your commitment and volunteerism for snowmobiling in Whitecourt, the Province and Country.

In the late 1970’s, conversations of an organized Club began. The Trailblazers Club was formed in the 1979 and 1980 season. In the 1980/81 season, 34 families had memberships and during that season the Trailblazers were recipients of the ASA Snowmobile Club of the year. In November, 1981, members of the Club met with the Alberta Forestry, who would help develop the trails to connect the 3 Communities – Fox Creek, Swan Hills and Whitecourt. The Forestry also committed to constructing a staging area, known today as Eagle River Staging. Construction of trails and the area began in 1982. It was also stated at that time, that a network of trails would be developed off the main trails, when money became available or allocated by the Government.

In the 1980/81 Season, 43 memberships (including families) were sold for $15.00 ($5.00 went to the ASA). 63 Memberships were sold for the 1981/82 Season. The 1981/82 Executive consisted of President – Leo Zelinski, Vice President – Frank McHugh (ASA Zone Rep), Secretary/Treasurer – Grant Mollberg, Trail Boss- Glen Kingdon, Social Director – Ernie Osinchuk, Director – Ron Webster and Director-Mark Watson. As Trail Boss, Glen began developing the maps and working with the Forestry on the trails.

Glen held other positions on the board, including Director from 1980 off an on until 1990 and then was President in 1991-1993 and 1996-2001 . He worked on all the Trailblazer events (rallies, fundraisers-Snowarama, drag and oval races, hill climbs interprovincial rides, provincial rides (BC)), Club parties, work parties and behind the scenes for many years (late 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s). He was a part of the development of the trails, Eagle shelter, OHV Bylaw to ride in town, Whitecourt – Snowmobile Capital of Alberta designation, many ASA Jamboree’s, Golden Triangle System development and many other projects in Whitecourt. During Glen’s volunteerism, many accolades/awards for the Club were given to thank him and other volunteers such as the ASA Club of the year, Ski-Doo New Generation National Club of the Year and many other awards from the community and A.S.A.

As a part of the ASA Jamborees decades ago, snowmobile floats were built for the annual parade. For the 1986 ASA Jamboree in St Albert, a snowmobile parade on the river was planned and the Trailblazers built a float that would get recognized for many years. The design of the float had to be incorporated and driven by a snowmobile. Glen designed a 3 part float which was made of donated and scrounged materials-plywood and flexible panelling curved to look like an old fashioned coal train. The train had an engine, coal car and caboose and with the help of Alex and Cyril the ASA Express was constructed. The Train was impressive and won the prize for the most original design. The train was driven at many other local and out of town parades promoting the ASA and the Club.

In 1992, Glen was nominated for Snowmobiler of the year through the Alberta Snowmobile Association and given the CCSO National award. He has many accomplishments with the ASA: 1 year as Chairperson of the ISC, 1 year as Co-Chairperson, 1 yr as Co-Chairperson of the Western Chapter of the ISC, 11 yrs on the Executive of the ASA, 5 years as President of the ASA and many years on the Executive of the Whitecourt Trailblazers.

A big part of Glen’s success was his wife, Jan, she was a large part of the Trailblazers throughout his volunteer time. Beside most of our male volunteers, many of the wives are involved in the Club just as much. Thanks Jan for all your support with the events, organizing and helping Glen with his jobs. Glen and Jan thank you for all your countless hours in helping to develop and shape how the Trailblazers look today as a club, but also the trails, staging area, Club’s reputation and honour. Thank you for your participation, guidance, input and knowledge into the Alberta Snowmobile Association, Canadian Council of Organized Snowmobile and the International Snowmobile Council. We thank you and appreciate you for everything you have done for the sport and our community.

George Vanberg, Glen Kingdon and Doug Hay

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