Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Minutes from 3/23/11 meeting

Minutes from the WDMA meeting of March 23, 2011. Please have a look and submit any corrections now or at the April 27 meeting. Thanks.

                                   Meeting Minutes   
Willow Community Center

Date:  March 23, 2011
Called to Order:  7:09 p.m.
Quorum Established
Attendees Present: Donna Quante, Sue Morgan, Jamie West, Tina Cook, Kathie Smith, Jenny Evans, Dale Evans, Christina Rose, Robert Sexton, Peter Duncan, Bruce Paulsen, Chris Stitt, Tami McKellar, Gary McKellar, Susie Dillon, Pat Welch, Vic and Tina, Kari Skogen, Lynda Barcome, JP Norris, Bud Smyth, Dianne Maythorne, Corinne Zurflueh-Smyth
Agenda reviewed and accepted with following changes:  Chief is changed to Manager and
Mat-Su Animal Control is changed to Mat-Su Animal Care
February 23th  minutes approved 
Guest Presentation
Richard Stockdale, manager of Mat-Su Animal Care discussed his prior work experience including a huge dog rescue.  
Best way to contact him is or phone 761-7505. 
He is currently working on disaster preparedness for animals.
Officer Reports:
Member-at-Large – Bob is working on web and Jenny attended the Trails meeting.  There is a Trail Rondy and Wet crossing workshop coming up – both in April.
Secretary – No report.
Treasurer – $8,198 in AK USA checking account, $571.00 in savings, $36 in Pay Pal.
Gaming has $40  for WDMA and $744 for Willow/Tug.  Willow/Tug 300 income $16,954 with expense of $16,210.  Iditarod sales down about $1,000 from last year.
Vice President –  Vacant
President – WDMA got a thank you from Willow Jr 100 race for our support.  WDMA received a nice print from WACO as a thank for your supporting the Carnival dinner. Discussion of what to do with the print.

Committee and Special Group Reports:
Trails – Summer trails plan for review by April 1.
Symposium – Will have it same time in September – thinking about keynote speaker.
Emergency Preparedness  -- Once snow is gone look around your kennel to see what you can do to keep it clean.  Have a buddy kennel for emergency. 
Willow Jr. - Willow Jr. 100 Race will be second weekend in Feb. 
Willow/Tug 300 -  Have not met since race – will have race next year 1st weekend in Feb.
Forestry – Regarding dog mushing signs on Zero Lake Road – bring up after budget so know how much we can spend.
Fundraising – Sold $250 worth of merchandise at Fur Rondy.
Unfinished Business/Reports/Updates
1)  IRS status  - no report.
2) Jerry Purser Memorial Run set for March 27th.
New Business
1) Election Results:
President – Donna Quante
VP – Janet Sweeney
 Secretary – Sue Morgan
Treasurer – Jamie West
Member-at- Large – Box Sexton, Jenny Evans, Kari Skogen
2) Donna would like members to join a committee.  Suggested we have a club historian.
3)  Board will conduct a by-law review.
WACO general elections April 4th
Marathon race July 9th from Shirley Town to Independence Mine – will WDMA run an aid station?
April 1st – All Creatures Vet Vaccination Clinic
Adjourned 8:56 pm
Next Meeting April 27 

Alaska Trails Course Offered

Sustainable Trail Design for Wetland Terrain

Alaska Trails will be offering a 3-hour course on Sustainable Trail Design for Wetland Terrain at the Willow Community Center in Willow, Alaska on the evening on Friday, April 22, at 6-9 PM.  The program will be presented by Kevin Meyer, the Regional Trails Specialist for the National Park Service, who is a nationally recognized expert on ATV/OHV trail design in permafrost and wetlands environments.  The program will discuss fundamental concepts of sustainability, and will present practical management and technical options -- such as trail hardening --  that ensure trails meet the needs of users and provide protection for the environment.  The program will provide an introduction to the wide range of trails management information, assistance programs and training now available to the public.  Cost:  FREE – sponsored by the Mat-Su Health Foundation.

Please RSVP to Erin McLarnon at or 907-334-8049.

WDMA Activities

WDMA likes to be involved with community activities. In the past year we sponsored the opening dinner of the 50th Willow Winter Carnival, as well as held competitions for lead dog and a women's sprint race. We contributed to the Earl Norris and Willow Jr 100 race. We held our first mid-distance race with the Willow-Tug 300, which was a huge success. 

Fireworks open the Willow Winter Carnival.

A team in the Earl Norris race with Denali shining on it.
Lead dog competition.

Jamiee  Knizer's team heads out on the Willow Tug 300.

Members Jenny Evans, Jamie West and Susie Dixon handle
the Iditarod table.

We supported the Iditarod restart with a vendor table.

WDMA supported our community library and elementary school with donations of books about mushing. We also contributed to the Willow Elementary School fund for the 5th and 6th graders class trip to Denali. We marched in the Fourth of July parade and held a pet costume contest that afternoon.

WDMA members pause on Willow Station Rd. during
the 4th of July parade.
Olive was one of the dogs in the pet costume contest.

Our symposiums in September have been a lot of fun with awesome demonstrations, interesting keynote speakers and too many activities to list. In 2010, the Mushing History Conference was held in conjunction with the symposium.

Iditarod Champion Lance Mackey was the first symposium
Keynote speaker.

Mary Shields, the first woman to finish the Iditarod spoke at
2010 Symposium.

Natalie Norris was made the first lifetime member of WDMA
Whenever possible, WDMA supports other Willow Organizations like the Willow Race Series and the Willow Health Organization.
WDMA members DeeDee Jonrowe and Bonnie Church
participate in the Willow Race Series.

All in all, we just like being part of the Willow Community. We invite you to join us in our activities and all the wonderful programs this community has to offer.
(Post and photos by Donna Quante
If you have a post and/or photos you would like to see on this blog, please email them
We want to share this awesome place we call home.)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Jerry Purser Memorial Run

Jerry and Carolyn Purser have been active members of the mushing community in Alaska for many years.  When Jerry passed in 2007, Carolyn asked that in lieu of flowers, donations should be sent to the Willow Dog Mushers Association. A fund was created in Jerry's name. The question became, what to do with the money. With Carolyn's donation of a piece of land, it was decided to build a small mushers' safety cabin on the Yentna River.  Dean Davidson, Steve Charles and Vic Stanculescu were the primary builders hauling materials to the site by boat in summer and snowmachine in winter. It took several seasons to complete.
On March 27, 2011, eight members of the WDMA snowmachined out to the cabin for a memorial run. It was a gorgeous day on the Yentna River with Mt Susitna shining on the horizon. We had a fun and memorable time visiting the cabin and then heading further up river to Luce's for a late lunch. We told stories of each other's mushing adventures and laughed a lot. For some of us, it was out first time this far out from Willow. We each made plans on when and how to return by dog team. Below are some of the photos from our fun day. (Post and photos by Donna Quante---click any photo to enlarge it.)

Eight of us met at the West Gateway Trailhead. Four
snowmachines, two riders, two on dog sleds pulled by
the snowmachines.

Kari and her niece, ├ůsne prepared to be towed. They would
find the ride to be rough through all the moguls and
hard packed trail.

Along the way, we stopped to help two fellows who lost
their load.

What was a local landmark, a huge Cottonwood tree, is
gone. But a sign still marks the spot.
You just can't get lost on the river. :)

The gang doing their best scary tree imitation. Either that
or someone is remaking the "Thriller" video.

Dog teams on the Yentna.

One of the teams is Ray Redington.

A sign points the way to the Purser property. Mushers should
not take this entrance. It is not team friendly. There is another
entrance a little further along.

The safety cabin for mushers. Everything was built 8x8. The
only cuts were made with a chain saw.

How many mushers can fit in a small cabin?

There is even a bunk bed inside. We were talking
about what else we need to add.

The cabin is well insulated with 6 inch thick walls. 

Snacking and talking. L-R: Scott Brown, Steve Charles,
Dean Davidson, Janet Sweeney

Dean, Janet, Sue Morgan, Kari Skogen

It just seemed right to store Kari's sled on the deck while
 we went for lunch.

Luce's looking towards the river. 

Unique bird feeder!

Lots of stories and laughter.

Luce's is an amazing place to eat in the middle of nowhere.

Loved the table and chairs.

There was even a pool table!

Mt Susitna, the sleeping lady.

I think this guy wanted a hamburger too.

Luce's from the river. 

Kari waits for the outhouse.

A fancy outhouse too. Heat lamps!

The gang posing with the lady.
Steve, Dean, Janet, Scott, Kari, ├ůsne, Sue