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.

This Saturday, Feb. 11, Erickson Merkel Foundation’s North Dakota team will once again hold the Winter Dummy Race!

Last year we were able to raise more than $500 from the day’s events and associated donation drive. We had 10 dummies slide, flailĀ and glide down the slopes at Huff Hills, south of Mandan. Everyone had such a great time we were asked to do it again!

Registration will begin at 8:45 a.m. at the Huff Hills Lodge. Dummies are to be at the starting line at 9:29. The registration fee is $10 per dummy, with no limit on the amount of dummies you bring. They can be as simple or complex as you want.

The Winter Dummy Race is a pretty basic idea for a family-friendly event where you can get together with your family, friends or coworkers and have some fun. Basically, take household items and fashion them into a dummy. Then, fasten it to a sled, skis or a snowboard, and push it down a snow-covered hill.The N.D. Team’s dummy was a “skeleton” made out of wood and PVC, wrapped in some paper mache and covered with a Bigfoot costume. Then we attached our Bigfoot dummy to skis and pushed it down the hill.

PROTIP: Once you push the dummy past the starting line, there’s no telling where it will end up since there’s no way to steer it. Keep that in mind when you position it at the start!

The event is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 11 at Huff Hills. All proceeds going to fund scholarships through the Erickson Merkel Foundation (ericksonmerkel.org). Our Facebook event page is listed here. We’ll again have medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, and a “Traveling” trophy for Most Creative, as well as another trophy for the Chili Cookoff/Tasting to follow. Both trophies will remain on display year-round at Huff Hills.

Refreshments will be available inside the lodge at the concessions stand! Please share this with your friends! Thanks in advance and we’ll see you at Huff!