How Our Club Works

Savoy Kanary Kats Snow Newsletter Submission

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How our club works…

We all love riding the trails, but the vast majority of riders have no idea how much goes into making a club run, they just want trails flat, wide and fast. You might spend a few hours riding, but how often do you think about the thousands of volunteer hours it takes to run a club? Allow me to explain how our club, the Savoy Kanary Kats operates. Hopefully this article encourages you to volunteer or get more involved.

Board of Directors:
We have a Board of Directors consisting of 5 Members along with 4 Club officers who set the strategic direction of the Club. We meet once per year (typically in the summer) to align on goals for the upcoming year. Directors always attend our club meetings, events and are our greatest supporters. They are voted in by Club members once per year.

Club Members:
We range from 350-750 members each year. Last year we had just under 400 and low snow years, our membership drops and other years they rebound. We’re constantly trying to recruit new members and always encourage people to join a club where you ride.
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The Club votes for our officers and like most clubs, we have the standard President, VP, Secretary and Treasurer; but there’s nothing “standard” about this group. They work tirelessly to keep all the balls in the air through the entire year, not just during the snowmobiling season. This group manages all the expenses of the club, landowner and public inquires, membership, newsletters, coordinates fundraisers and interactions with SAM, State and local officials.

There are three things you need for a club… snow, volunteers and money. The Kanary Kats are blessed to have solid financial footing due to careful management of finances and fundraising. Not only do we have the traditional bank accounts but also need to manage special tax forms for our not-for-profit status, lines of credit for large capital purchases, matching grant accounting and the countless invoices and revenue to manage the money going in and out.

We achieve our solid financial footing by a few different revenue streams including our snowmobile raffle, clothing sales and Club memberships. The largest fundraiser is our annual snowmobile raffle. The team aggressively negotiates to get the best sled at a reasonable price for some lucky person to win. The goal is to fundraise the amount of the purchase plus a profit of at least $10,000. Other sources are clothing sales, although we only make a small amount but it’s a great way to show pride and get exposure. With every trail pass sold, we receive either a $25 or $40 membership fee (depending on when you purchase your Club membership/trail pass before or after December 15th). Obviously, this income varies year to year depending on snowfall and Trail Pass sales.
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Grants are a special category and is the reason we have some of the best equipment in New England. Our fleet of a Tucker 2000, three LMC 1800s, two Artic Cat Bearcats, Skidoo Scandic, and other tracked vehicles and drags are purchased mainly by grants funded through the Recreational Trail Program. How it works is the Federal Government taxes every gallon of gasoline and this money goes to a federal fund to replace roads and bridges. Sportsmen asked, “where is our share for off highway use like snowmobiling, ATV, etc. we’re paying the tax, but not using the highways and bridges?”. The Feds agreed and earmarked a portion of the tax money for outdoor recreational use. There’s a few programs and we obtain funding through the RTP offroad motorized vehicle program. It’s a been a huge benefit for the club but takes a ton of time and work to submit the application and a bit of a gamble if your project qualifies. Don’t get discouraged because once you figure out how to do it, it’s very beneficial. There is a matching component that requires either cash from the Club or equivalent volunteer hours to match. If you have a $24k project, you’ll need to provide 20% ($4k) in Club cash or equivalent volunteer hours to get the $20,000 (80%) grant from the program. Some years we have not been selected for any grant award while others have been almost $200k (for the purchase of our Tucker 2000).

We also run our Annual Winter Carnival in February. We started the Carnival to develop a scholarship fund in honor of one of our founding club members, Harold Rice. He was not only a founder, but he also spent many years dedicated to the club and was involved in purchasing our first groomer in the late 1970s. The Carnival is a great family event. We normally have food, a raffle with over 100 items, clothing sales, a 50/50 raffle and poker run. When the stars align, we’ve had music, a bonfire and arrowed trail ride. It’s a great time and proceeds help support the scholarship and donation budgets. In the past we’ve supported Camp SnoMo (a summer in NH where kids with disabilities get to enjoy outdoor activities in a highly accessible environment), St. Jude, Toys for Tots and other local charities. This is a ton of work done by a separate committee, but the benefits of supporting educational needs of local children is amazing.

Special Roles:
In addition to all that, we have specialists who help manage memberships, trail master, equipment manager, mechanics, groomer operators, grant writers, webmaster, etc. Membership applications come in a few different ways including at stores in our community, via mail and on-line. It takes our Membership Chair a bunch of time to fill out all the passes and mail back to the members. We also have a Trail Master who focuses on keeping trails well maintained as well landowner engagement, repair, maintenance, trail trims, etc. We push hard from September to when the snow flies (December-ish) by completing Sunday trail trims on our 74-mile trail system. This work is not only de-brushing but includes bridge repair/re-decking, drainage and erosion repair. To get the equipment ready, we have volunteer/mechanics who work Wednesday nights throughout the year doing maintenance on the wide variety of our club equipment. Once the snow comes, we have 5-6 primary groomer operators who are assigned to a route with the right equipment for the trails they cover. We have some trails that are 4’ wide and other that are 10’+ wide, so we adjust accordingly. We also have people who spend up to a year developing grants to purchase preventative maintenance supplies (oil, filter, belts, etc.) as well as equipment (ranging from chain saws, personnel carriers, grooming equipment, drags, trail hardening supplies, etc.). Finally, we have a website ( and Facebook page which takes time to post events, purchase passes and connect with our members.
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We are incredibly lucky to have some of the best landowners in the State who graciously allow us to use portions of their land. It’s an incredibly delicate balance as we strive to minimize impact of riding though their land and often must deal with disrespectful riders. (Note: if you have modified exhaust, like to speed past farm animals or houses, throw trash, drive Jeeps on snowmobile trails or are otherwise disrespectful to our landowners; you are not welcome in our trail system. You’re hurting the sport and we could lose the trails.)

Community Involvement:
Landowners hold a special place in our hearts but there are other members of our community that require some love too. We strive to have open communication and partnership with our local Town representatives, businesses, law enforcement officers at the local and state levels, as well as members of the non-snowmobiling community. We always try to buy local, and our local business do a great job helping the club with discounts, selling trail passes and otherwise advocating for the Club. Our relationships help us be a strong member of the community.

We do a bunch, and most events are listed on the website, or you can contact a contact a club member. Here’s a quick list:
• Equipment Maintenance: Wednesdays all year long 6 PM (except if we’re riding or grooming)
• Trail Trims: Sundays September through December 9 AM to ~2 PM
• Club Meetings: 2nd Friday of each month (September through April) 7 PM (Groomer Garage located at 90 Tilton Rd, Savoy, MA)
• SAM Meetings: 1st Thursday of each month (September through April) 7 PM via Zoom

• October: Membership Letter Mailing
• November 18 and 19: SAM Sled Expo (Big E, Young Building West Springfield, MA)
• December TBD: SKK Annual Christmas Party (TBD – check our website)
• January 27: Snowmobile Raffle (Pub 116 located at 788 W Main St, Plainfield, MA)
• February 1: RTP Grant Application Deadline
• February 11: Vintage Ride-in (Pub 116 located at 788 W Main St, Plainfield, MA)
• February 17: Annual Winter Carnival (Groomer Garage located at 90 Tilton Rd, Savoy)
• April TBD: SAM Annual Meeting, Dinner and Awards Ceremony
• June TBD: SAM Golf Tournament
• July TBD: Board of Directors Meeting (Groomer Garage located at 90 Tilton Rd, Savoy)
• September TBD: Savoy Emma Miller Road Race (Savoy School fundraiser)

As you can see, there are a ton of ways you can get more involved. We’d love to see you at a club meeting or trail trim. It’s a great group of people who love the sport and we could always use your help. (We often joke that we’re the 2%… which is sadly true. We have about 400 members and regularly see the same 8-10 people supporting the club. Please come and help, I promise you won’t be disappointed!)

See you on the trails and remember…
• Join where you ride,
• Support our local businesses, and
• Volunteer!

Club trail pass locations and supporters of our club:
• Pittsfield Lawn and Tractor:
• South Side Sales and Service:
• Ronnie’s Adams:
• Ronnie’s Pittsfield:
• Pub 116:
• LP Adams:
• Savoy Kanary Kats Meeting or website:
• Snowmobile Association of Massachusetts:

Club News:
Club Contact:

Club Meetings:
Our club meetings start at 7 PM at Groomer Garage (90 Tilton Road) on the second Friday of the month beginning in September through April. Check our website for dates and details.

Trail Trims:
Our trail trims start in September and run until we have ridable snow. Please join us on Sundays at 9 AM at 90 Tilton Road, Savoy, MA and we usually wrap up shortly after noon for some burgers and dogs.

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Sled Raffle:
This year we’re raffling off a 2024 Ski Doo MXZ-X 600R E-Tec 129. It retails for $14,299 and tickets are $20 each. See a club member, our webpage or supporting locations listed above for tickets.

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As always… stay safe, join a club and get out and ride!

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