40TH ANNIVERSARY - VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION
"ALEX & KAREN MANWEILER"
Alex and Karen are long-time members of the Whitecourt Trailblazers Club. He served on the club executive for over 30 years in various positions. As well, Karen served in positions. In addition to local involvement, Alex has served on the ASA Executive and still volunteers at the ASPS event. The Trailblazers owe a lot of their success to Alex as he has been a huge part of the club. The Manweiler Trail was opened in February 2011 with a ceremony on the trail attended by ASA, local and provincial government reps, and many Trailblazer friends and family.
Alex has been involved in organized snowmobiling since 1979 when the Whitecourt Trailblazers Club was formed. Prior to moving to Whitecourt, he lived and sledded in Saskatchewan. In the early 1970’s, Alex enjoyed snowmobiling in Meadow Lake, SK. There was no formal club, so his family rode with other families. In 1976, Alex moved his family to Whitecourt where they still reside. Before the elaborate trail systems, Alex rode ditches and powerlines with local trappers and other sled enthusiasts. Alex still rides right from their garage in the Whitecourt and thoroughly enjoys it.
In the late 1980’s, the concept of the Golden Triangle and a snowmobile trail link between the communities of Fox Creek, Swan Hills, and Whitecourt began to take shape. Alex was involved in this process. He was involved in scouting and signage for the Golden Triangle that then became part of the TransCanada Trail System and is now called the Great Canadian Trail.
Alex and Dale Gunderson helped Westlock form a club in 1987. Today, Westlock is one of the most successful snowmobile clubs in Alberta.
The Trailblazers, led by Alex and Dale, approached the Town, County, and MLA back in 2003 to investigate acquiring a groomer for Whitecourt. Alex spearheaded a fund-raising campaign to raise $40,000 locally in 2 weeks to match some grant money in order to purchase a groomer and drag. The equipment was delivered in April 2004. Alex received training from Bombardier and groomed up until 2015.
Alex is a great role model for other members of the Trailblazers and a great representative for the entire sport. He use to eat, sleep, and breathe snowmobiling. On any given day throughout the year, Alex was volunteering for snowmobile-related tasks. Whether it was hanging signs on the trails, speaking with the Town/County/SRD, meeting with resource companies that are crossing trails, or attending ASA functions, he was always active. One of his favourite sayings is/was “just make sure it’s done right".
Alex and Karen have received many awards for their service and dedication, including the Louise Sherren Lifetime Achievement Award for the sport. They are still volunteering for the rallies, invasions and selling raffle tickets. We are so grateful that they moved to Whitecourt back in the 70's. They have shaped our club. Thanks for everything you two. Alex was fortunate enough to ride their "Namesake trail - the Manweiler Trail" this past season. Hope to see you on the trails next year Alex.
THANK YOU TO THE MANWEILERS!!