LAUGHLIN, Nev. – You might say that the city of Laughlin, Nev., has formed an official partnership with the Southern Nevada Off-Road Enthusiasts.
Fresh off the heartwarming Wish Ride to benefit youngsters fighting cancer Nov. 3 in Laughlin, SNORE returns to the city alongside the Colorado River Dec. 7-9 for its year-ending HOSTYLE Presents Rage at the River, a two-day off-road extravaganza that is expected to draw more than 170 entries.
The Wish Ride, which took a two year sabbatical, came back in full force with 49 cancer victims, their families and their friends converging on the Laughlin Events Park for a day of good times.
SNORE drivers brought everything from buggies to trucks and provided rides over a specially-prepared five-mile course; while giving kids the chance to (a) experience the sport and (b) get away from the stresses related to dealing with life-threatening illnesses.
The oldest off-road racing body in the country, SNORE was formed in 1969 although the Wish Ride was a new addition to the schedule this year.
“This is one of those feel-good events, for sure,” said SNORE President Brittany Burgos. “SNORE is a family club anyway and most of our members have children.
“So when the chance came to help present the Wish Ride, we put the event in high gear and together with the wonderful people of the Laughlin Tourism Commission, we were able to put smiles on a lot of face; and frankly haven’t had much to smile about lately in the eyes of many of those struggling with cancer.”
SNORE Vice President Jon Pellissier and other members of SNORE have worked diligently all year long to not only provide off-road races, but also give back to Southern Nevada at the same time. He was quick to point out that every off-road race requires intense planning and follow up; and the Wish Ride was no different.
“We could not have pulled this off without the help of MJ Smith and her partners of the Laughlin Tourism Commission,” Pellissier said, adding that buses donated by Laughlin Event Partners provided the badly-needed transportation to get the young people and their families to the track.
“Even more importantly, the Laughlin Tourism Commission and its properties provided the rooms for the families; and Brett and Christie Dennis of Laughlin added extra money to cover the expenses of transportation. Dollar Loan Center of Las Vegas also donated funds to help with the transportation.”
Better yet was the fact that the Wish Ride generated about $6,000 for the Make a Wish Foundation of Southern Nevada; and the amount is expected to increase even more considering that SNORE is going to pass the hat at the HOSTYLE presents the Rage at the River.
“We’re not done yet either,” said Kenny Freeman, who serves as SNORE’s race director. “We love coming to Laughlin where we are treated so well by the people there. Overall, we race in several communities each year, but I think it goes without saying that while every site is special Laughlin, is like a second home to many of us.
“And it’s also true that the young people struggling to beat cancer feel the same way considering how well the Wish Ride went this year. All of us at SNORE feel as though the Wish Ride will remain in Laughlin for years to come; along with great auto racing, too.”
Off-road racing is important to Laughlin, according to Smith, who moved from Tucson, Ariz., to assume her role with Laughlin Tourism Commission in 2008.
“For each of SNORE’s events dating back to 2010, the economic impact for each race averages $5 million,” explained Smith. “This race comes to Laughlin on our second slowest weekend of the year. I cannot stress how important this event is to our families of this community.
“It really is important to us and we have strived to make it successful and make sure it continues. We understand that race teams have a lot of choices. It’s humbling for us to see so many race teams return each year.”
SNORE will also bring its 2012 awards banquet to Laughlin the beginning of January. Details will be released later.