DATE OF INDUCTION: January 16, 1992
CAREER SPAN: 1964-1990
AGE AT INDUCTION: Posthumous
A visionary who saw clearly the potential of snowmobiling and snowmobile racing to change the world of winter, John Alward was a key figure in creation and early establishment of the first snowmobile races in Eagle River, Wisconsin. After some early winter planning sessions with Walt Goldsworthy and Sparky Meyer, Alward put tremendous time and effort into coordinating the first-ever “Derby” on Dollar Lake on February 9, 1964, near his Eagle River Resort, the Chanticleer.
An ambitious publicity campaign produced by Alward with help from his wife, Betty, in the weeks prior to the event resulted in important regional and national publicity for snowmobile racing and helped the first ever Derby to be a roaring success, the first of many for the race which would later become the World’s Championship.
As the event grew and gained momentum, Alward worked with his Eagle River neighbors, The Eagle River Lions Club. As the early leader in snowmobile racing John helped to develop the United States Snowmobile Association and to build the race track facility that annually hosts what is without question the most famous and successful snowmobile race in the world.