In July of 2016 the St. Helen Chamber of Commerce had to cancel their annual ORV Jamboree. In an effort to keep the event alive local a couple community members stepped up to see what they could do. They began recruiting volunteers and pulled off a big save. The following years new people emerged and the event was literally taken over as a private company with no apparent transparency and an allusion of “nonprofit” status by seeking donations and volunteers. Many have expressed concern over this as the event was created to be for the community by the community and held on taxpayer funded property open to the public. This resulted in the formation of The 222 Recreational Foundation.
The mission of the Foundation is to promote and enhance the public participation in Northern Michigan’s Recreational Experiences. The Foundation shall raise money to promote and enhance local events benefiting tourism, local business and community involvement and awareness. The Foundation shall promote and enhance respect and cleanliness of the off road trail systems. The Foundation shall raise money and awareness for charitable works through the ORV community and their activities.
Not only does the Foundation intend to continue the ORV competition in August but to also hold various charitable rides, conduct trail clean-ups, create a scholarship program and host a winter event. Members of the committee are made up of local business owners, community members as well as members of various ORV riding groups to create diversity and solidarity. The Committee hopes to recruit volunteers from all spectrums of the local ORV recreation and to work together to benefit the community. Currently, members of The Foundation are working directly with members of the St. Helen Chamber of Commerce, Richfield Township and The St. Helen Bluegill Festival to coordinate scheduling and activities.
No person on the Committee will be paid as this is a volunteer, 501c3 organization. No one person will handle the finances or dictate the activities and regulations of the events. All activities and finances will be discussed in public forums and voted on by the Committee. Meetings are currently scheduled for the 3rd Friday of the month at 7:00pm at the St. Helen Civic Association. Membership can be obtained via the website www.222rf.com as well as a copy of the bylaws. The Committee will also post meeting minutes and treasurer reports in full transparency to our members and donors.
Please consider following our Facebook page, bookmarking our website and supporting this mission to promote and enhance the ORV community at Exit 222.