FIFE LAKE — It’s a game of cardboard, duct tape and glue versus the 2.6 quadrillion snowflakes — or thereabouts — in each square mile of 5-inch-deep snow.

How those materials are used to make a sled and how it’s decorated is up to each participant, though, said Tammie Budrow, organizer of Carly’s Hill Snow Fun Day Cardboard Classic.

“Some people are pretty crafty and come up with some interesting things,” Budrow said.

The cardboard classic, now in its eighth year, is set for Jan. 25 at Springfield Park and Recreation Area — the corner of Lund and Creighton roads in Fife Lake.

Registration runs from 11 a.m. to noon, with the event itself running until around 3 p.m.

In addition to the sledding competition, there’s hot drinks, lunch, supervised toddler sledding, helmet fittings and safety games led by Safe Kids and more.

“I think it’s the best community event we have going on,” said Bonnie Gonyer, Springfield Township treasurer. “It’s one of the few events that we have in the township that it really is a family affair.”

There’s no cost to participate in any of the activities, but donations are accepted, Budrow said.

Donations mainly go toward funding the following year’s event, but some might help purchase helmets for sledders or with maintenance of Carly’s Hill or other places at the park, she said.

“All of the prizes, all of the food — everything is a donation,” Budrow said. “If I’ve had to buy something, it’s because I had money from the donations last year to do that.

“It’s all 100 percent volunteer- and donation-run, right down to the ketchup,” she said.

First-, second- and third place awards are given for best design, best costume, coolest helmet and best wipeout, Budrow said.

There’s also a prize for the sled that goes farthest, she said.

There typically are 50 or more entrants for the cardboard classic, Budrow said.

There’s no age restrictions — children and adults are equally welcome to participate, she said.

Safety is a huge thing at the event, something Budrow has been pivotal in stressing, Gonyer said. Helmets are required for all sledders with no exceptions, and are provided for those who don’t have one, she said.

The cardboard classic was added to the Snow Fun Day in 2013 after the original event began petering out, Budrow said.

Attendance was getting low and volunteers were dwindling, but the continuation of the event was important to her, Budrow said.

Budrow’s daughter, Carly Belknap-Budrow, died at the Snow Fun Day in 2007 after the inflatable tube she was riding careened into a young maple tree on the side of the hill, as previously reported.

She was 8 years old.

Carly’s family got permission from the township board to renovate the hill in mid-2007 to make it safe for use, as previously reported.

The hill was dedicated as Carly’s Hill in January 2008 during the Fife Lake Winterfest.

Many people mistakenly think the cardboard classic is a memorial for Carly, and it’s not, Budrow said.

“Carly loved the Snow Fun Day,” Budrow said. “She loved going out there and seeing her friends. Both of my girls loved going out there. So it was important to keep that going to me.”

“It’s all 100 percent volunteer- and donation-run,
right down to the ketchup.” Tammie Budrow, organizer

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