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Tue., Oct. 6
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Local snowmobile race raises money for young cancer patient


CHAUMONT — Snowmobile enthusiasts spent a snowless Saturday in a cornfield racing for a good cause.

Some of the proceeds from the Snowmobile Hill Climb Racing Association-sponsored drag race behind Lynn’s Small Engine this weekend will be donated to 12-year-old cancer patient Joseph McConnaughy Goutremout.

His second cousin, Dessiray J. Goutremout, and her fiance helped to make the race, which originally was not intended to be a fundraiser, into a charitable event.

For every $15 admission ticket sold, $2 went to Joey’s family.

“We weren’t expecting it, to say the least,” said his mother, Holly L. Rubacha, Dexter.

Joey was diagnosed with stage 2A Hodgkin’s lymphoma in September. About three days a week, the young fishing and dirt bike enthusiast goes to Syracuse with his family for chemotherapy.

Travel and hospital bills have added up for the family. Mrs. Rubacha said she is a fitness instructor and organized a Zumba fundraiser at General Brown High School last month. Two spaghetti dinners also helped raise funds for the family.

Ms. Goutremout, who was staffing the admissions booth with family and friends, did not have a fundraising goal for the day. “We’re just going to make whatever we can,” she said.

The race was organized by Snowmobile Hill Climb Racing Association founder Richard D. Daly, Union Springs, a professional snowmobile racer.

He spent most of his time flicking a neon orange flag to mark every race. Two at a time, racers barreled past him, leaving a wake of dirt clods.

“I knew Lynn from Lynn’s Small Engine, and he said this was an enthusiasts area,” Mr. Daly said. “And here we are racing in a cornfield and having fun.”

He founded the association to allow trail riders to race in a nonprofessional class.

“With the economy, very few people can travel now,” he said. “About 90 percent of the racers here are local trail guys. Our motto is ‘we’re bringing the race to you.’”

He estimated there were 400 people out at the race about an hour after the event started, about 100 of whom were racing. By then, “Team Joey,” as Ms. Goutremout called it, would have made $800.

Many of the racers and spectators, such as Cory R. Barton and Edward S. Casler, LaFargeville, did not know Joey, but were at the event to support friends. “This is the first one I’ve been here,” Mr. Casler said. “When there’s snow on the ground, I snowmobile. When there’s not, I four-wheel.”

In an email, Mr. Daly said he wouldn’t be surprised if the fundraiser made money outside of the admission fee.

“Snowmobilers are a very tight community, and I’m sure some of the drivers will put their winnings in the benefit,” he wrote.

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