The mission of the Northland 300 is to raise funds for Special Olympics Minnesota through year-round activities planned by an all-volunteer Board of Directors.
The Northland 300 is committed to positively impacting the lives of Special Olympics Minnesota athletes through hands-on learning experiences. By opening doors of opportunity for people with intellectual disabilities, the Northland 300 strives to teach the athletes new and improved fundraising techniques to take back and implement within their own teams. With the athletes always in mind, the Northland 300 aims to present all those involved in Special Olympics Minnesota with priceless life lessons.
Tell Me About The Northland 300
The Northland 300 is a 300 mile, 3-day, charity snowmobile ride, made up of volunteer participants who raise funds to support Special Olympics Minnesota. The Northland 300 is never cancelled. The Northland 300 is all about people, snowmobilers, the charity, the towns and the combination therof. The Northland 300 was built on friendships and the friendships continue to grow each year. Friendships and comaraderie of the riders and the folks we meet at our checkpoints in the towns along the way.
The Northland 300 event is planned by and all volunteer Board of Directors for volunteer snowmobile enthusiasts. The Northland 300 is made possible by its Sponsors and Partners so that all funds go directly to support Special Olympics Minnesota. Rider donations are achieved through sponsorships, raffle ticket sales, company and general donations. Activities to raise funds include Road Rallies, golf outings plus other Special Events.
Planning for the first Northland 300 began in 1988 with the actual ride taking place for the first time in January, 1989.Procedures, venues, and activities of Northland functions are planned and administered by a volunteer Board of Directors.
100% of all funds raised goes directly to Special Olympics Minnesota to benefit its athletes. The athletes are the persons Special Olympics serve who are individuals with intellectual disabilities.)
More than 1000 volunteer snowmobile enthusiasts have participated on the Northland 300 since inception.
More than 696,900 miles have been traveled on the North Shore, Two Harbors, Lutsen, Eveleth, Ely and surrounding areas on the Northland 300 event(s) since inception.
The Northland 300 volunteer snowmobile enthusiasts have support the sport of snowmobiling, local businesses in the state of Minnesota and the non-profit organization of Special Olympics Minnesota.
In 1995 it was decided to both diversify and carry on the traditions of volunteerism through safe snowmobiling, thus Teen Northland was established. This was the first charity snowmobile ride for teens.
A decision to end Teen Northland was decided in 2003 due to a lack of snow for 5 consecutive years. It has since been replaced with the Northland Road Rally.
In 2003, the Northland Road rally had its inaugral ride. Its venue contained an Opening Ceremony where the Special Olympics "Flame of Hope" was run in by its athletes to light the cauldron. This even included motorcycles, custom cars & trucks and even a motorhome.
The Northland 300 is recognized as the first Partner/Sponsor of Special Olympics Minnesota. This is a commitment to raise in excess of $100,000 per year.
The Northland 300 reached over $2 Million in its fundraising efforts in 2004... thus becoming the Two Million Dollar Ride.
The Northland 300 and Special Olympics Minnesota made history as first time ever Special Olympics Athlete Steven Eull and Coach Jason Reinsch participated and completed the 2009 Northland 300.
The Northland 300 reached over $3 Million in its fundraising efforts in 2009... thus becoming the Three Million Dollar Ride.
In 2014, the Northland 300 inducted a new torch to light the "Flame of Hope" commemorating Billy Meister, son of Pooker Meister and past participant of the Northland 300.
The Northland 300 reached over $4 Million in its fundraising efforts in 2014... thus becoming the Four Million Dollar Ride.
2016 - Northland 300 was given the Special Olympics Distinguished Service Award of 'Outstanding Nonprofit'.
2018 - Northland 300 celebrates 30 years of fundraising for Special Olympics Minnesota
2020 - Northland 300 reached over $5 Million in its fundraising efforts for Special Olympics Minnesota - thus becoming a FIVE MILLION DOLLAR RIDE
2021 - Northland 300 was closed without having the event due to Covid - 19
From 1994 through 1998, the Northland 300 has won state, national and international awards for their example of safe and responsible snowmobiling, along with exemplary volunteerism and fundraising.
First Partner/Sponsor Special Olympics Minnesota (committed to raising a minimum of $100,000 per year)
Recognized by the National Snowmobile Institute
Participant in the Tread Lightly Program
Honorable Mention Award International Snowmobile Conference
First Runner Up - National Yamaha Pride Contest
Minnesota State Winner - Yamaha Pride Contest
Participant in STEER CLEAR Program for Responsible Snowmobiling
National Winner - Yamaha Pride Contest
Minnesota State Winner - Yamaha Pride Contest - Supported by MN United Snowmobilers Association
Member/Participant in the Safe Snowmobiling Program
Home of the first teen charity snowmobile ride - Teen Northland
Winner of the International Snwomobiling Foundation Charity Award
Teen Northland is the winner of the International Snowmobiling Foundation Charity Award
Exceed the $2Million mark in funds raised for Special Olympics Minnesota
Northland 300 became a Premier Partner of Special Olympics Minnesota
History is made for the Northland 300 and Special Olympics Minnesota as first time ever Special Olympics Athlete Steven Eull and Coach Jason Reinsch participate in the Northland 300
Exceed the $3Million mark in funds raised for Special Olympics Minnesota
Mayor Randy Bolen (Two Harbors, MN) presents the "Key to the City" to Volunteer Event Director, Kathy Karkula and declares January 24th "Northland 300 Day."
Tyler Bengston, Special Olympics Minnesota Athlete participates and completes the Northland 300 for the first time ever riding with his Dad (Steve Bengston)
First Time Ever Night Time Opening Ceremony held at Grand Ely Lodge, Ely, MN
Induction of a new torch to light the "Flame of Hope" commemorating Billy Meister, son of Pooker Meister and past participant of the Northland 300
Exceed the $4Million mark in funds raised for Special Olympics Minnesota
Northland 300 was given the Special Olympics Distinguished Service Award of 'Outstanding Nonprofit'
Northland 300 celebrates 30 years of raising money for Special Olympics Minnesota
Northland 300 exceeded the $5 million mark in funds raise for Special Olympics Minnesota
Northland 300 was forced to closed the event due to COVID 19. However still raised over $138000.00
The Northland 300 is recognized and supported by its peers at:
- Minnesota United Snowmobile Association
- The International Snowmobile Institute
- Steer Clear Program
- Special Olympics Minnesota Distinguished Service award of 'Outstanding Nonprofit"
Growth of the Northland 300: Event Year ending Totals.......