1st Vice President
Founded in 1988, our Club will celebrate its 26th anniversary this year.
The Long Island Sno-Seekers snowmobile club was formed in 1988 by a group of guys who met in the Smithtown Diner (George Berenz, Jim Bickel, Rudy Klein, George Martinez, Alex Sonnenburg, led by Bob Shuman the club’s first President. Bob was a true leader who worked with the rest of this small group of snowmobile enthusiasts to grow the membership to about 85 until his untimely death in 1992 from Lymphoma. The club quickly outgrew the diner and meetings moved to businesses owned by club members and local churches. Growth over the years has always been primarily through word of mouth, Trailside conversations, visits to local dealers and ads placed in the local Pennysaver.
Brad Hores and Tom Giancaspro met George Berenz (Club Secretary and Treasurer) on the trail at Lake George and he told us about the club. We attended our first meeting in 1992 at Alex Sonneburg’s Nursery in Nesconset a few months after second club president, Jim Bickel was elected. The club had grown so much that people were standing outside because we ran out of room. Jim did an excellent job leading the club by being humble, but direct in his approach to leadership. About a year later Jim died, also from Lymphoma.
At that point the club voted to keep the office of club President permanently vacant in honor of the first two Presidents. Shortly thereafter Bruce Parker and Tom Giancaspro began helping George Berenz with the club duties – finding meeting locations, club trips and handling club finances. Around 1995 when George retired from the club and the new board was formed consisting of Bruce Parker, Chris Volkerts, Chris Downs and Tom Giancaspro and later joined by Don and Lorrie Barrett. During our tenure of about 12 years on the board the club grew to over 200 members. Also during that time, snowmobile technology and cold weather equipment had advanced so much that weekend trips for small groups of guys to upstate NY consisting of low mileage days with multiple stops (Both planned and unplanned) turned into club run trips all over the Northeast and into Canada for both Family and hard core riders. The largest club trip I remember during that time was with over 60 people to St. Jovite, Canada were we all spent an entire week snowmobiling, skiing and tubing.
Over the years the club has brought together many avid snowmobilers that probably would never have met otherwise. Speaking for myself, my family and I have met many life-long friends through our involvement in the club.
written by Tom Giancaspro
Past Founding Officers / Members