From humble beginnings to the best in the west, the St. Walburg ATV Club knows how to rally

Reprinted with permission from the St. Walburg & Area Gazette

April 26, 2009

By Carol Minty

The St. Walburg ATV club has become an important part of the community since its formation and has continued to grow and experience many changes.

Back in 1997, Frank Schiller, a member of the fledgling Eagles� Board, tried to get a Liquor and Gaming Commission license to raffle off a quad.

This was not possible due to technicalities, including the age of some Eagles members. However, Schiller had noticed that a snowmobile club had a license to raffle and, on inquiry, learned that an ATV club could do the same, and the St. Walburg ATV Club was born.

The club, which held its first rally in the Fall of �97, used the funds raised to help the St. Walburg Eagles until the Eagles no longer needed the assistance.

At that point, the St. Walburg ATV Club, which is also a member of the Sask. ATV Association, started to give funds for the Cancer Society, a classroom hearing system for St. Walburg School, special chairs for residents of Lakeland Lodge, and others.

The ATV Club continues to donate, such as to the school groups that come out and help at rallies for school activities, such as grad or the Travel Club. The ATV Club will help any organisation needing help with educational, health and similar projects.

The first St. Walburg ATV Club Spring Rally took place in �98, and the club has held Fall and Spring rallies every year since then.

The only weather glitches that had a significant effect of the rallies were the gusty winds in September �02 that blew a tent off its moorings, and the snow and cold in May �05. Although the rally went on with a little over a hundred riders, a �rain date rally� was held on May 28th.

In 2000, they started to offer Quad Pulls. There was a new location for the start of the run in Spring �03, their fifth anniversary.

In the Spring of 2004, Dale and Colleen Neumann donated the use of some of their land for a permanent starting point for the rallies. A clubhouse donated by Border City RV was moved onto this land in Fall 2005.

In September 2006, it rained the week before the rally and was record-making muddy.

In May 2007 there were almost 700 riders and major sponsors from Suzuki attended. Kenji Hirozawa, Takehito Mashiba, Dave Howson and Greg Lamb came, said Hirozawa, �to see how ATV�s were used in Canada,� and, �to send information back to the factory.� This was when they realized how important it was to have a winch on the quad.

Kawasaki sponsors Bruce Marcia and Ken Hasib were in attendance at the October 2007 rally. That year, pulls were cancelled because of the rain.

By this time, Darren Millard had built a road out to the site. The day was completed in fine style with a pig roast (looked after by Norm Watts of National Oilwell Varco) and fireworks.

By Spring 2008, the parking lot was cleaned and levelled. This was the first year for ATV Drag Racing. The club purchased a Prostart light tree to start the races. Proceeds of this rally went to the new Fire Hall and the Lodge.

Arctic Cat�s Kory Poliakowski and Pat Vincent joined the Rough�N�Tough crew as sponsors for the Fall 2008 rally. At this rally was the rider from farther away than any other - Andre Morato from Brazil had the ride of his life in a side by side with a Rough � N� Tough driver.

The founding members of the club included Frank Schiller, Paul Schiller, Dale Neumann, Bob Veenstra, Merle Arnold, Don Nicholson, Ken Rutherford, and Blaine Fowler.

By the Spring of 2004, the club had eleven members: Frank and Maria Schiller, Paul and Kim Schiller, Blaine and Tammy Fowler, Roger Larre, Dale and Colleen Neumann, Ron Nasby and Merle Arnold. Many of the current members take charge of, or assist with, specific tasks at the rallies. Gerald Dukes takes care of the breakfast and home base cooking - some of the best hamburgers you’ll ever taste, according to many rally participants. Paul Schiller and Merle Arnold are in charge of drags and pulls.

Members who usually look after the halfway point are Don Nicholson, Ken Rutherford, Dale Neumann, Henry Seguin, Greg Lukan and/or Gary Carnell.

Brian Williamson looks after parking, Maria Schiller is the treasurer, and Frank co-ordinates and provides general assistance.

Also providing help where needed are: Dave and Joe Lukan, Stu Bronken, Daryl Stevenson and Ron Hunter. Everyone helps with cleaning trails and repairing and cleaning the clubhouse.

In addition, there are volunteers who help out - many of them spouses or offspring of the current members - with the rallies, and many cash sponsors and businesses that donate prizes. These can be found on the website- stwalburgatvclub.com

A major sponsor from the beginning was Battlefords Supercycle with Al Fauchon. Fauchon went to Lloydminster three years ago to Rough �N� Tough Powersports.

�Al Fauchon,� said Schiller, �is the main sponsor, and he gets the others in as sponsors.� The latter include Suzuki, Arctic Cat, Kawasaki and Parts Canada (which supplies parts to ATV dealers all across Canada). The representatives of these businesses enjoy the rallies as much as the rest of the riders.

“Today”, says Fauchon, “the spring rally is known across Canada” and added, “it is the best in the west!”

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