Rusty Coombs: 2016 Snowmobiler of the Year
Published on April 13, 2016 in Awards, News & Updates
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Rusty Coombs honored as the 2016 Snowmobiler of the Year

This story dates back a few decades, to a time when a local club had fallen into disrepair and how an enthusiastic volunteer resurrected it.

Having a passion for snowmobiling since boyhood, Rusty Coombs interest in snowmobiling was rekindled when he had children himself. A winter recreation for the whole family to enjoy became an obsession.

It was a time in snowmobiling when nothing seemed to be organized, there was no pasion. So what did Rusty do? He rallied the troops – his zest for snowmobiling became contagious.

He helped lay the foundation to reestablish the Colrain Sno-Drifters, starting from scratch, at a time when the club had nothing. No equipment, no members and a disjointed trail system. In those early days it was extremely challenging, as the trails were fragmented, terrible at best.

Rusty spent numerous hours meeting with landowners to establish good working relationships, with a goal of reclaiming old trails and establishing new ones. His diplomacy, genuine concern, and good humor continue today, to help create strong and lasting bonds between the club and its neighbors in the communities where the club is active.

Rusty Coombs 2016 Snowmobiler of the Year

Twenty years later and he still carries on tirelessly. He stores the club’s groomers in his shop, where he maintains and repairs the equipment at all hours of the day and night. He goes above and beyond to ensure that the equipment is in tip-top shape, and will run around to locate and purchase specific fixtures or equipment as needed.

Rusty Coombs is a SAM Delegate and attends the association’s monthly meetings to help stay abreast of changes in the sport and to advocate for the club. He helps write grants, and due to his tenacity, the club has been awarded numerous such grants to purchase equipment and implement trail improvements.

And he grooms… all night long, often until 2:00 in the morning, so that club members will have safe and pristine trails to ride. Those are the nights when his wife becomes a snow widow, waiting for him to come in at the wee hours of the morning from the cold.

In the fall he organizes all the trail work and checks with the landowners for permission, which is a critical part of maintaining positive relationships in the community. He checks the signage on the trails and ensures that markers are in good condition and repaired or replaced when necessary.

He is an ambassador for the club, fostering support for the club, its members and the community.

Having been the club’s figurehead, and one of its most committed members since becoming club president in 1995, it’s clear that he is deserving of the honor of Snowmobiler of the Year. His hard work and dedication are invisible to most but the results speak for themselves, as snowmobilers flock to the area to enjoy some of the best-groomed trails in Massachusetts!

He doesn’t seek glory or recognition, but now is the time for us to finally recognize all of his hard work and tireless commitment.

The 2016 Snowmobile Association of Massachusetts, Snowmobiler of the Year award goes to Rusty Coombs, of the Colrain Sno-Drifters


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