It's not a very howdy ho day because of the horribly horrible events in Willow, Alaska this past week.
As you may (or may not) know, there was a horrible, very icky fire that struck the town of Willow this past week.
As of last count, 26 homes were lost, and one of those homes included our 2012 North Wapiti North HQ. Thankfully Jamie, Harry, and the pups, cats, and horsies of 2014 North Wapiti North HQ were spared, but they did have to pack everyone up and evacuate just in case.
This nasty fire struck right in the middle of Iditarod Musher central. Most of the homes lost were musher homes. THANKFULLY there was time to evacuate almost all of the dogs. The entire community reached out and got all manner of animals out of the fire before it was too late. We are saddened to hear of a small few who did not survive, but it could have been much MUCH worse if not for the mushers, their families, the community, and other mushers not affected by the fires helping out when needed.
The mushing spirit is strong, but they will need some help rebuilding and getting their lives back together. Some lost everything they owned and from the ashes comes reminders of better times.
|Bob Chlupach's 1977 Iditarod finisher belt buckle|
The Willow Dog Mushers Association (WDMA) has started a YouCaring site to help raise funds to help all of those affected by the fire.
Click on this link to donate online: WDMA YouCaring Site
For those of you who want to donate using a check, make the check payable to WDMA
In the memo line write: Fire Relief Fund
Mail your check to:
PO Box 858
Willow, Alaska 99688
WDMA will be distributing funds to those in need.
Here is the list (as of recently) of mushers who have lost their homes:
Scott Smith (Individual fundraiser here)
Bob Chlupach and Jan Steves (individual fundraiser here)
Justin and Jaimee High (Individual fundraiser here - this is their second loss to fire)
DeeDee and Mike Jonrowe
Mary Helwig (who bought NWN from Donna Quante recently)
Peter and Joyce Duncan
Joar Ulsom and Millie Porslid
Leo Lashrock (Individual fundraiser here)
TC Wait and Dave Wurts
You can also send a check directly to a specific musher if you wish. All of them receive mail at the Willow Post Office, and according to Donna Quante, they will get it as Willow is a small, tight knit community.
Mail your donation to individual mushers by addressing the envelope:
Musher Name, General Delivery
Willow, Alaska 99688
The Musher and I have some VERY fond memories of Willow, Alaska. It's like the Musher's second home there, and she's very sad that her friends and fellow mushers are going through this ordeal.
The Musher has been in touch with WDMA and we are finalizing some stuffs and things for a hugey huge item to be donated to WDMA that they can use to raise big monies... or something, so we'll let you know, when we know, and then everybodies will know.
If you can spare some money to donate, please do. If you can't, then your prayers and good thoughts are equally appreciated.
Update from a kind anonymous commenter (thank you)
Additional mailing info for those who don't want to send General Delivery:
Deedee and Mike Jonrowe, PO Box 272, Willow, AK 99688
Jaimee and Justin High, PO Box 1096, Willow, AK 99688
Jan Steves and Bob Chulpatch, P.O. Box 931 Willow AK 99688
or send to Musher Name C/O Happy Trails Kennel, PO Box 520997, Big Lake, AK.
Make donation checks to the specific musher name and Martin Buser will see that they get it.