Northwoods Spotlight - Blind snowmobile racing Jan 29Submitted: 01/29/2014
Story By Marisa Silvas

PHELPS - Imagine driving a snowmobile, while blindfolded.

"Not being able to see totally disorients you," racer Jeremiah Chmiel admits.

Another racer, Ray Kangas explains, "It's a freaky feeling cause you're only
going by what someone is telling you."

This unique fundraiser came about in memory of Ken and Peto Buell. The Phelps
community rallied around the idea.

Race Coordinator Cindy Regozzi is proud.

"Blindfolded snowmobiling race! We're a fun, goofy place and have lots of great
ideas," Regozzi says. "That came up in a discussion one night and we tried it.
That was last year and it was very successful so this is our second year."

This is the helmet the drivers used to go around the track. They assured me
that once you put it on, you can't see a thing.

"There is absolutely zero vision," Chmiel adds. "If you're claustrophobic it's
probably not the best thing to put on, cause there's nothing there."

The weather didn't cooperate, but the experience was like nothing else you've
ever seen.

"It sounds scary, but once you do it, it's exciting and you'll want to do it
again," racer Ron Buell proudly explains.

Three Phelps seniors are competing to win a scholarship from the money raised.
The decision will be made based on academics, extra curriculars and community

Jackie Samuelson - a Phelps senior has big goals.

"I plan to go to the University of River Falls for Pre-veterinary medicine,"
Samuelson says. "I'm going to try everything I can to get a lot of scholarships
and this is one that I'd greatly appreciate."

"Hopefully we can draw some more people, raise some more money," Buell points
out. "Help these kids out and give them a better chance to go on in life."

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