In June 2015 the Sockeye Fire destroyed more than 26 homes in the area around Willow, Alaska. Several of these properties, including the home of Dee Dee Jonrowe, were owned by mushers who run the Iditarod dog sled race. Thinking back to this event, Dr. Nancy Dodge (Ambassador to ShelterBoxUSA and Rotarian with the District 5010 eClub) came up with the idea for the ShelterBox Iditarod Challenge.


ShelterBox is an international humanitarian disaster relief charity that provides temporary shelter and lifesaving, non-perishable equipment to families immediately after a natural disaster and during a humanitarian crisis. ( ShelterBox is a Rotary International Project Partner.


For the past 9 months Dr. Dodge has been talking to Rotary Clubs, businesses, media, Rotary Youth Exchange students, church groups, the Nome JROTC and anyone else in ear-shot to organize this fundraiser and to get the ShelterBox tent to Nome for the end of the Iditarod Race.  Although it took over 120 hours of her volunteer time, it was well worth it. In true Rotarian fashion, she is demonstrating “Service above Self”. To date, $6500 has been raised with hopes that the goal of $10,000 can be met.


Although the original mushers under the leadership of Joe Redington Sr. set up the first Iditarod in 1973 with the idea of saving the Iditarod Trail, Dr. Dodge hopes that they also had the idea of promoting the 1925 “Great Race for Mercy”   which brought diphtheria serum to the sick in Nome. Just as the 20 mushers and 100 dogs brought help to those who suffered from a disaster, so do the volunteers with ShelterBox travel to the 4-corners of our Earth by any means to help those who have lost their homes to floods, cyclones, hurricanes, fires and other catastrophic events.


Six of the 39 District 5010 Rotary Clubs started the ShelterBox Iditarod Challenge; 4 made it into Nome. 


The winners will be announced at the annual District 5010 Rotary Conference in Talkeetna this May.




Pastor Harvey Fiskeaux, Covenant Church, Nome             ShelterBoxUSA staff

Nome Public Schools                                                            Hi-Res Graphics, Eagle River

KICY                                                                                        Rotary Clubs of: Anchorage Hillside, eClub,

KNOM                                                                                      Anchorage South, Nome, Russian Jack and

Adam Lust, Rotary Club of Nome                                         Seward

Jessica with ABC/Fox News, Anchorage                             Rosie Roppel, editor, Rotary District 5010

Emma Haidacher, RYE, Austria                                             Stan Hooley, CEO, Iditarod Committee

Residents Seaside Center, Nome                                         Dallas Seavey (2016 Iditarod champion) and

                                                                                                  daughter Annie