Fueling A Sense Of Adventure

We spoke with a well known and long-standing volunteer, Nunzio, about his love of snowmobiling, how it all began for him and his experiences as a volunteer. Here’s what he had to say…

It all started when Nunzio’s father purchased sleds in the late 80s. They had a cottage in Haliburton where he, his father, and brother Ross would help clear nearby sections of Peterson Pathfinders’ trails. And his mother and sister would join them for local rides in the area. This is where he got ‘the bug’ and his first taste of what it takes to create a great riding experience. On their family first trip away from the cottage, they participated in the 1991 Sudbury Indy 500 Poker Run (the largest poker run in Ontario), sponsored by The Shop Industrial. They arrived not knowing anyone and left the event having met some locals that they still call friends today! Fun fact: Nunzio ended up winning of the event and a brand new 1991 Polaris Indy 500. It was then that Nunzio switched from his history with Yamaha to his future with Polaris.

Ten years ago, Nunzio and his partner of 13 years, Karen, moved to the Huntsville area and bought a pair of sleds.  This is when Nunzio first got involved with organized snowmobiling. He became a volunteer of the Du Yu Wanna Trail Riders, attending monthly meetings, gaining knowledge about the operations of organized snowmobiling and learning what it took to get the trails ready to ride. A few years later, he moved closer to Gravenhurst and started volunteering with the Snowcrest Riders. The club was in the middle of an executive transition and Nunzio thought it would be a perfect opportunity to try other out some other roles. He joined the club as a Board Member, then became Secretary and eventually Club President. All the while Karen has been his biggest supporter and pitches in when needed. Without her support, Nunzio feels he wouldn’t have been able to fulfill his responsibilities as a volunteer with Snowcrest.

To share his experiences and encourage others to see all that snowmobiling offers, Nunzio became a Polaris ambassador 4 years ago, which he describes as an “amazing experience to say the least”. That opportunity has also tied nicely into his Club President role. The combination of his roles allows him to promote his way of life. It’s a natural platform for the grassroots voice of organized snowmobiling in Ontario.

When asked what he has observed over the past 10 years of volunteering, Nunzio commented that “there is more organization, better communication and education, more awareness of the issues and challenges within the trail system and landowner relations.  Plus, machines themselves have changed.” He noted “it is hard work with a priceless payoff.”

In their spare time, Nunzio and Karen fuel their sense of adventure by exploring Ontario trails together with friends and family. Karen is truly ‘one of the guys’, and naturally takes the lead with coordinating trips and navigating. The phrase ‘Couples that sled together, stay together’ rings very true for this pair.

Nunzio now enjoys getting to see his nephews (ages 15 and 17) follow in his footsteps and getting involved in the sport that he loves so much.  Last season, they were fortunate to enjoy a weekend ride up north together, the next step after so many day rides together. Nunzio takes pride in getting to ride the trails that many volunteers, like himself, have worked so hard to prepare. Watching his nephews enjoy it as much as he does gives him a sense of handing the ‘torch’ to the future generation of caretakers for Ontario trails.

Photos and content provided by: Nunzio I.


Is It Your Time To Volunteer?

Ready to experience volunteering first-hand? Many hands make more less work and finding your local club is easier than you think! To start with, click YES at the time of permit purchase when asked about your interest in volunteering. If you want to reach out directly, simply search them on Facebook or online to get started. And if you can’t find your club, contact your district office and they’ll help you find the perfect club to match your interests and skills. Let’s get started on making a positive impact together!


Calling All Volunteers

Calling all OFSC Club, District and provincial volunteers! If you want to share your volunteering journey, we’d love to hear from you. We believe that every volunteer has a unique perspective and story to tell, and we want to help you share it with others who may be considering volunteering in the near future.

Plus as an undisputed Hero of Winter, it’s a good story to share! If you have 30 minutes to spare for a virtual interview, please reach out to us. We can’t wait to hear what you’ve got to say!