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Hilltown People: Vintage sleds gear up Saturday rally

Snowmobilers are keeping their fingers crossed for prime conditions for the 15- to 20-mile Vintage Ride from Liston’s Bar and Grill in Worthington through Huntington Saturday.

Vintage refers to snowmobiles that are at least 25 years old. Participants can obtain a registration for their sleds — as riders refer to their snowmobiles — at the start point the day of the ride.

This is the third year of the Vintage Ride, and the second year that Worthington has been picked as the start point, said Dean Messeck of the 200-member Worthington Snowmobile Club. The ride is one of several planned by the Massachusetts Vintage Snowmobile Club, Messeck said on Saturday, speaking from his Old Main Road home.

Last year 25 sleds showed up for the Vintage Ride, Messeck said. Some had been restored to “almost-new” condition, he said, while others were “old clunkers.”

“I’ve been riding my whole life, for 40 years,” Messeck said. He got his first sled when he was 10, an old Ski-doo that he rode around hayfields.

The ride will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. If it is canceled it will not be rescheduled this year. Meanwhile, members are hoping for “a good freeze,” Messeck said.

For more information, call 238-4486 or 250-7006.

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Ski fest fundraiser

It seems appropriate that a ski tour is being held to raise money to maintain the trails at Notchview in Windsor. The site has been buffeted by high winds and storms, and repairing the damage requires extra staff, tools and chain saws, which all cost money.

To help raise the funds, the Berkshire Trails Ski Club is holding a recreational ski tour at the property on Sunday, Feb. 3, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Notchview is owned by The Trustees of Reservations.

“After the ice storm (in 2008), we ended up with trails washed out and debris,” said ski club member Michele Dodge of Worthington. “Every year there’s something not in the budget.”

Snow conditions permitting, there will be two small loops, one for skating and one for classic cross country skiing, to traverse with friends and family. The loops will converge at a food and water station near the lodge in case participants wish to switch techniques. Registration, which requires a $20 donation, can be done in person or online at www.SkiReg.com through Jan. 31. After that the requested registration fee is $25. Skiers can sign up at Notchview on the day of the tour before 10 a.m. A “no snow” date is set for Feb. 10. For snow conditions, visit www.notchview.org or call 684-0148.

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Gourmet game dinner

The second annual seven-course gourmet game dinner will be prepared by guest chef and Worthington resident Walter Fritz and his team at the Blackburn Inn in Worthington on Feb. 19. The dinner, which begins at 6 p.m., is a benefit for the R.H. Conwell Community School Organization, which supports the private school’s enrichment programs and provides classroom materials and supplies for school staff.

The R.H. Conwell Community Education Center was founded after the Gateway Regional School District closed R.H. Conwell Elementary School and two other elementary schools in June 2010 due to budget cuts. The private school is in its third year and has 47 students in preschool through sixth grade.

“It’s going very well. Kids love it. They’re having fun every day,” said Joanne Dupont, the school’s educational director.

The dinner menu features goose, duck, turkey, rabbit, bear and deer. There will be raffles and door prizes as well. The Blackburn Inn is located at 144 Huntington Road.

Seating is limited to 60 people. Tickets, which are $50, are on sale at the R.H. Conwell Community Education Center at 147 Huntington Road. The phone number is 238-5856.

Laura Rodley can be reached at lrodley.gazette@gmail.com.

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