Here it is, the first shot at a newsletter.  More to come and improve over the next few months, but here we go! (this one is long, so grab a soda/glass of wine/beer/or whatever your beverage of choice is and enjoy!)

Hardly seems like summer is over , but –Happy Halloween/Thanksgiving/Veteran's Day !...A new season of riding is upon us. Let me say, speaking of Halloween, last year was a “trick” and definitely no “treat”. Of course that being said, it was the year of “Snowmobile preservation” and we should all be ready to go.  So, welcome to the 2016-2017 DRAG season of snowmobiling. Certainly was an interesting year. We met some unusual people along the way. Here’s a statement by Gladys Ohvurr- Wow, I can’t believe I didn’t ride once last season unless you count the short trip around my garage. I used over 2oz. of gas! Another comment by Luna Tick- After riding on dirt, gravel, sticks, leaves and ice chunks my sleds not looking to good.

I guess it’s true you DO need snow for a better ride. Lastly a poem by Hugo Phurst- At the end of the trail there was this cliff- My sled was breaking and my back was stiff- They seem to run better when there’s some snow- But it was all downhill so I decided to go- Look’n back I should’ve stayed in bed- Could’ve saved my sled had I used my head.


First thing is first, we need snow!  A couple weeks ago, Speculator got tease.  The ground was covered with the white stuff we all pretty much equate to gold!  Let's keep our fingers crossed that we get more soon!
The preseason has presented us with plenty of opportunity to get our trails ready for the upcoming months.  Big Mike and his Trail Army have gotten things dialed in, and we are ready for Mother Nature to do the rest.  We have even had 2 after trail work gatherings (FOOD FOOD FOOD).  A big thanks to everyone that has helped out this fall.  There have been a few changes to the overall trail system, but rest assured, there will be options for quality riding.  One of the most notable changes will be the south end of Perkins.  Although it is not part of our system, our trials are a main link to that corridor.  There will be a fair amount of logging early in the season.  The town of Lake Pleasant has taken care of things and has provided an alternate path to circumnavigate the logging route.  Closures on Elm Lake Road and other areas of the Tree Farm are also notable changes to the trail system.  Make sure you grab a map and check it out.  When the snow flies, we will be keeping you all posted on how the trails are!
The heart and soul of our club are our groomers and the people who operate them.  The latest addition to our fleet, the PB-100 we purchased 2 seasons ago, just went in for some preseason maintenance and repair.  It wasn't cheap to fix, but the repairs were necessary.  The rest of our fleet is due for a facelift, and that is what we are looking to achieve with this year's fundraising efforts.  We would like to get another Pisten Bully or equivalent to replace our BR as well as a Viking for the tighter trails to replace our Skandic.  Both of these come with a price tag that we will need a little help with.
www.dragofspeculator is our website as you all know.  Please be patient with us as it is about to undergo a facelift.  Please send us your requests of what you would like to see on it.  In the meantime, Facebook has been our primary source of communicating information and updates.  Please check us out if you haven't followed us already. D.R.A.G. of Speculator, Inc.
This year, we have a few options to help us reach our goals.  Most of you know we have hoodies ($50) and beanies ($20) for sale.  We also offer sponsorship levels that can get your name or business on our groomers, website, facebook page, and this newsletter.  We will also will be selling the NYSSA Super Raffle tickets for $5 apiece.  You will be getting a mailer soon with a few enclosed.
Since fundraising is so important to our success as a club, one of our members has some thoughts for you all to consider:

"The club has a tremendous  opportunity in conjunction with NY state for a grant to enable the club to purchase a new trail groomer. For those that have ever had any dealings with a state grant program it’s a maze of paperwork and regulations. As a club , a machine like this would greatly enhance the local trails and give us great riding. BUT THERE’S A SHORTFALL OF FUNDS WE NEED TO ADDRESS. We as club need to raise $30,000.00 to fulfill our obligation to the state contract. We have close to 400 members at DRAG and we need contributions to make this happen.

Just imagine if 400 members donated $100.00 each….we’d be done and have surplus operational funds for things like, gas, maintenance, repairs and other costs. Now I don’t expect that 400 people will give $100, but surely as a rider of the trails, a local resident, a frequent rider in Speculator and a snowmobile enthusiast or a friend who’s been riding with a member you have all seen how greatly the trails have improved and how often they are groomed. We have the best trails anywhere right in our back yard.

$100 may seem lofty to some and I fully understand the economy is lack luster at best, but I am asking that you consider $20 or $50 to help out. I had asked in a meeting if there wasn’t anyone that couldn’t contribute $20. I truly believe if all the members were in a room and a plea went out for just $20 that we would at minimum raise $8000, but I believe we have people that appreciate the great job DRAG has done and will rise to the financial occasion.

On Oct 1st just 3 volunteers went out to perform some light weed whacking on a couple of the local trails to make way for the new season, including my wife. Maybe not everyone wants to volunteer to do manual labor, but would feel comfortable donating money. That’s ok too, but life is easier when more participate.

We are in November and winter comes fast. There will be other opportunities for us to try and gather funds , but a direct  appeal is really what I want to place on your heart . I also want to remind everyone to register your snowmobiles as soon as possible through DRAG to save on registration. If you have not already done so, consider becoming a member or renewing with DRAG.

Please go to DRAG’s website, Facebook page or contact Rick Swift  or Jason Serra (reply to this email) to contribute. Thank you seems inadequate , but your help financially is so appreciated, after all…it’s just us that we are counting on."

With that, the list starts with the thank you's to our current sponsors this year!
Capital Sponsors: Charlie John's Store, Melody Lodge, The Lemon Tree, Mountain Market, Village Motorsports Yamaha, J&R Eldredge, Ace Reprographics, Patriot Consulting, Cedarhurst Motor Lodge, O'Connor Automotive.
Platinum Level Sponsors: Greenwood Lake Snowballers, Constantine Lenas
Silver Sponsors: Roger and Cheryl Hanenberg
The next meeting will be at Zeiser's in Speculator Saturday, November 19th at 7pm.  At the meeting, we will be holding our second of three "Member Only" drawings for DRAG apparel.  The first drawing was for the Hoodie and Beanie, and it was won by Tom Vollers.  This drawing will be for a hoodie only, and the winner could be YOU.  All you need to do in order to enter is be a registered member!
We are always looking for ideas.  To date, our main social gatherings have been the "Trail Work Days" and subsequent get togethers coordinated by Big Mike.  This season, we are entertaining ideas.  One of our thoughts it to hold a "Tour our Trails." This would be an event where club members take others out on a guided ride of our trails to show them around the area.  When the time comes, we will be looking for volunteers to help us out!
If you made it this far, thank you!
Comments are welcome on the format, and ideas are welcome!