CALUMET — As the Copper Country’s signature dog sled race quickly approaches, a large orchestrated event like the CopperDog 150 would not be possible without help of it’s citizens, and that’s why volunteers are being accepted. Each year the efforts of nearly 500 people make the weekend spectator sport possible bringing thousands to downtown Calumet.
“None of us really have any idea how to run a sled dog race, but all we were trying to do was to get the whole community together for one common goal which happens to be this sled dog thing,” said Jeff Foss, the race director. “And that seems to work out pretty well. We’ve got almost every community involved in the Keweenaw.”
While each of those communities are getting ready for the upcoming event, preparations for the annual late winter dog sled race require many helping hands.
“We are in need of a few more folks at some crossings,” said Volunteer Director Krissy Kovachich.
From cross walk guards, to dog handlers, Kovachich says there’s many openings for volunteers both in and out doors, and volunteer shifts are divided into time blocks, allowing for variety. Other positions in need of filling include checkpoint workers, who account for the mushers and sled team while out on the trail.
“We need people to help with setup in Calumet too, the fencing set up,” said Kovachich. “The more folks we have to help with set up, the quicker they can get out of there.”
Krissy has been a volunteer herself since the organization of the CopperDog 150, ten years ago, and says that volunteering for the race gives an opportunity for direct involvement with the sport, that she would not have received as a spectator.
“The dog handling is tough, especially at the start. You’d better be in shape for that, because those dogs want to go.”
Volunteer registration can occur at www.copperdog150.com, with training scheduled to begin on February 23rd.
“And there will be a couple of dog teams that are there. So if you haven’t dog handled before, I totally recommend coming to learn how to dog handle, and they’ll also give information on what to do at crossings.”