The CopperDog 150 brings excitement, commerce and camaraderie to the Copper Country during an otherwise sleepy weekend in March. Planning and support of the race requires hundreds of volunteers and dozens of sponsors to act as a team.
My intention in writing this is not to overlook these groups, since they are certainly crucial and their support is invaluable, but instead I would like to recognize THE most important, yet often invisible group behind the race: The CopperDog 150 Board of Directors.
Tireless. Devoted. Self-sacrificing. All of these terms are apt descriptors for the men and women that make up the Board. While the race event itself occupies the community attention for three days each winter, the Board meets and conducts race-related business for eleven months of each year.
No kidding. As March approaches and race weekend nears Board members regularly sacrifice family and personal time to an extent that is almost unbelievable to an outsider.
If you followed the race personally this past weekend as it traveled through the Copper Country, you could see the evidence of stress, thread-bare emotions, and depleted stamina in the faces of the Board members. But, like the tireless dogs at the center of the race, they keep marching as a team in pursuit of a common goal.
The CopperDog 150 raises and promptly re-spends approximately $60,000 each race season in support of race activities. Not one cent of this goes to anyone involved with the race - and this includes the board. The CopperDog 150 is operated by an unpaid board of directors. Furthermore, if you investigate the professional occupations of the 12 Board members you will not find a single restaurateur, hotelier, tavern-keeper or shopkeeper: none of the members can be accused of having a financial stake in the event.
Why do they do it? Why do they sacrifice time they could spend with their infant children and spouses? Each may have his or her own individual motivation, but the primary reason is because their chief and most important occupation is Being a Neighbor. And it is neighbors like this that make me proud to live in the Copper Country.
I would like to specifically list the CopperDog 150 Board of Directors here so everyone knows who they are: Doug Harrer, Kim Pici, Walt Kiiskila, Jo Cauvin, Abbey Green, Todd Brassard, Pam Hecht, Jason Makela, Meredith Lebeau, Lesley DuTemple, Renee Cunningham and Ann Gasperich. When you see these people in your community please shake their hand and thank them for their service. Even better, ask them how you can get involved next year.
To the Board of Directors: I extend my sincere thanks and congratulations for your self-less devotion to the Copper Country.