Erickson Merkel Foundation members Jeff Hare, Tyson Bittner and Mike Renner stand with the foundation's prototype dummy during a recent outing to the Tom O'Leary Sledding Hill.

Erickson Merkel Foundation members Jeff Hare, Tyson Bittner and Mike Renner stand with the foundation’s prototype dummy during a recent outing to the Tom O’Leary Sledding Hill.

BISMARCK, N.D. – A popular wintertime event could be coming to the area thanks to the efforts of a nonprofit organization with local ties. The Erickson Merkel Foundation is aiming to host a Winter Dummy Race later this month to raise money for local scholarships. The dummy race will pit homemade dummies on otherwise unmanned snowcraft against each other in downhill races.

Dummies could go down the hill on sleds, snowboards or skis. Awards will be given for those dummies that go the fastest, or the farthest, down the hill without crashing.

“We’re hoping to put together a fun event that will bring people out during the winter,” said Communications Director Chris Erickson. “This type of event has a lot of promise and allows people to tap into their creativity to race against each other!”

The event has been scheduled to take place Saturday, Feb. 20 at Tom O’Leary Sledding Hill in Bismarck. Should the unseasonably warm weather continue, the event will instead take place at Huff Hills south of Mandan. Races will begin at noon, with registration starting one hour before that. Entry fee for a dummy is $10 at the time of registration. All proceeds from the race will go toward the nonprofit foundation’s scholarship fund.

For more information, contact Chris Erickson at 701.391.5699 or ericksonmerkel@gmail.com.