The Iron Dog is definitely a big event for many of us here in Alaska, and to most it’s all about a snowmachine race…but for many of the competitors and communities, the Iron Dog can be a mission of hope, charity and giving.
For many years the Iron Dog racers have brought attention to issues that are close to their hearts. This year is no exception, as we have quite a few great causes that we hope will get attention such as suicide prevention in rural Alaska or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Suicide Prevention and Awareness for Rural Alaska
Cynthia Erickson is a long time volunteer, community leader and outspoken voice from rural Alaska. She and her husband own Tanana Commercial, the local general store in Tanana, Alaska which is the last holding spot for our Iron Dog Pro Class racers before they blast off toward Fairbanks for the finish line. Cynthia recently wrote this open letter to bring attention to the epidemic of teenage suicides that has been plaguing rural Alaska in the last few years. (Read on Alaska Dispatch)
Last year’s Pro Class champions Tyler Huntington and Chris Olds (Team #10) will be riding this year with an emphasis on educating and bringing awareness to the prevention of suicide. These riders are often seen as role models and heroes for many in the villages and we commend them on their mission this year!
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Billy Long of Team #27 has pledged to give all winnings and donations he receives to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. It’s selfless acts like this that really demonstrate the character and compassion that many Iron Dog racers bring to this event. All the best Billy, may you win BIG this year!
Find out more about St. Jude at:
Wounded Warrior Project
For several years now the Iron Dog has had one or more teams riding for the Wounded Warrior Project. We are proud of our men and women who serve – and grateful for the racers that bring attention to this charitable organization that reminds us to never forget those who have served and sacrificed. This year, Team #31 will again be riding to raise funds and awareness for this great project!
Find out more here: http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org
These are just a few of the great causes, charities and projects that our Iron Dog racers promote each year. We hope you’ll take a moment to reflect on the blessings you have in life and give these riders your support and encouragement as they race for their causes this year.