River Valley State Bank Donates $5,000 to Snowmobile Challenge

By Marcia Goodrich | Published

With a donation of $5,000, River Valley State Bank has become the first local business to support the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge at the Silver Sponsorship level.

Set for March 19-24 at Michigan Tech, the Clean Snowmobile Challenge is the Society of Automotive Engineers' newest collegiate design competition. Teams of engineering students from participating schools take a stock snowmobile and reengineer it to reduce emissions and noise while maintaining or improving performance.

“We believe that to some degree, as Michigan Tech goes, so goes the Keweenaw. To support an event so closely tied to the university is to support the entire community,” said Bob DuPont, vice president and branch manager of River Valley State Bank in Calumet. “In addition, the noise-reduction and pollution-control technologies that come out of the Challenge have the potential to improve the environment for all of us, as well as to create jobs and boost the local economy.”

Teams from 14 universities across North America will be competing in the Challenge, including four who are entering all-electric sleds in the special zero-emissions category. A number of schools are entering snowmobiles powered with E85 ethanol.

“We’re very excited to have River Valley State Bank as a sponsor,” said Jay Meldrum, executive director of Michigan Tech’s Keweenaw Research Center and the lead organizer of the Clean Snowmobile Challenge. “This donation underscores their commitment to engineering, to education and to snowmobiling in the Keweenaw.”

The public is invited to view the Grand Opening ceremonies, which start at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 20, at the Keweenaw Research Center. Teams begin the Endurance Run to Copper Harbor immediately afterward.

The snowmobiles will be on display from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, at the Copper Country Mall. The public is also invited to view the Polaris Acceleration and Objective Handling events at 10 and 11 a.m. Saturday, March 24, at the Keweenaw Research Center test course.

The awards banquet will be Saturday, March 24, at 6 p.m. in the Memorial Union Ballroom at Michigan Tech. Tickets are $25 and may be ordered from Sue Kerttu, 487-2750, cskerttu@mtu.edu, before noon on Friday, March 23.

For more information, visit River Valley State Bank Donates $5,000 to Snowmobile Challenge.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.