Memorial vintage snowmobile ride, honoring local pair and raising funds for non-profits, set for Jan. 28

LEE CENTER — Although a winter short of steady snowfall has played havoc with operations, the annual John Schoff Memorial Vintage Ride is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 28, at 10 a.m. The event will raise money to benefit the Rome Humane Society, the Lewis County Humane Society, and Believe Big Cancer Treatment and Support.

Schoff was a pioneer of snowmobiling and the first Polaris dealer in the area, organizers said, adding that he and Sandy Schoff started Schoff Polaris in West Branch 1967. John Schoff passed away on Jan. 7, 2017.

The ride will start at Schoff Polaris at 6315 Elmer Hill Road in Lee Center. The ride will go from Lee Center to West Leyden.

In West Leyden, there will be an outdoor gathering a mile out of town at the Higby residence with a fire pit for grilling and at the Milk Plant Tavern.

“All years, makes and models of snowmobiles are welcome, but we encourage you to get those old machines running,” event organizers say.

“Also, new this year, there will be prizes for best in show sleds (from the 1960’s to the 1990’s) and Polaris Playmate Races, featuring the Schaller Brothers, Vernold vs. Vernal and Tim vs. C.J.,” organizers added.

“We started the ride six years ago with a group of about 30 riders,” said C.J. Schoff, John and Sandy’s son and one of the organizers of the annual memorial ride.

“It has grown overtime to become one of the biggest organized rides in the state with well over 100 snowmobiles,” he added.

Organizers are also raffling off a 1989 Indy 500 snowmobile, organizers said, as well as custom cornhole boards, Polaris gear, a stainless steel grill, a maple syrup gift basket, lottery tickets and other items.

Tickets, for $10 each, are available at Schoff Polaris.

“Last year we raised over $5,000 and hope to double that amount this year,” C.J. Schoff added.

There is no registration fee to participate in the memorial vintage snowmobile ride.

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