Muskoka Events: Dog Sled Race For Victim Services Charity
January 24, 2014 in Uncategorized
For the past 2 years members of 53 Division Toronto Police Service, Victim Services Toronto, as well as partners from Wai Nui O’Kanaka Canoes and Coach Peter Buday have come together, trained relentlessly, and with determination paddled Lake Ontario by outrigger canoe. team 53 Division will be trading in paddles for dog sleds with sights of crossing frozen tundra instead of warm waters.
Our new event is truly part of our Canadian culture and heritage; it will pit man, dog and sled against the frozen elements of the north with a goal of covering over 100km in 4 days, and 3 nights. For this first inaugural year the event will be fast, fluid and manageable, involving only 2 sleds, 2 dog teams of Alaskan huskies, expert guide Jamie Sands from Chocpaw Expeditions, …and me!
The idea is straight forward; first there will be several sled training days up at Chocpaw in the fall of 2013 and then again in January 2014 to hone my skills at mushing, reading trails and handling the dog team, and then on February 10, 11, 12 and 13th, the expedition leaves the Chocpaw kennel in South River Ontario and ventures deep into Algonquin Park’s pristine wilderness.
Snow, wind and ice permitting we plan to run the sleds over 30km per day ending each evening with the priority of… looking after the dogs of course. They are the true heroes in this expedition, they will give their all, and only once the dogs are unlined, fed, watered and laid down on a bed of straw, will the guide and I prepare our own meals before crawling into our cavernous tent for the night!
The event is designed to capture the imagination of the public to the rigours of a winter expedition and thus to appreciate the rigours faced by our city’s victims each day, and the crucial role VST plays in counselling and healing particularly with the children and youth of this city.
Last year VST assisted 6,400 children and youth through their Victim Crisis Response Program. This program is where they work with victims on scene and provide crisis intervention, practical assistance, follow-up and referral services.
Also of note is the T.E.A.R. Program (Teens Ending Abusive Relationships) which is an educational program designed for youth aged 12-18 years of age. This workshop is delivered in local High & Middle Schools. Last year T.E.A.R. conducted 150 presentations in over 90 schools and reached close to 10,000 students.
This winters event could not be made possible without the help of outstanding partners including; Chocpaw Expeditions for their kindness and generosity in being our expedition sponsor, Jamie Sands my wilderness guide and stalwart mountain man for his training and guidance, 53 CPLC for their expedition donation and Matt Lappin-Fortin general manager of Yonge and Eglinton SportChek for their amazing and lifesaving gift of cold weather gear and clothing.
As my training continues this winter I will update this website with commentary and photos, so pleases visit us often. (http://makingtracks.myevent.com/?cp=1)
All the best,
Staff Inspector Heinz Kuck