I'm going to use this forum to try to drum up sponsorship for a young man (not so young! 35yo) I've had the good pleasure to meet. Because I'm hoping to retain a modicum of secrecy regarding fund sources, those reading this will notice lacunae and asterisks in my attempt to thwart search engine queries, were this little attempt to achieve some success, and the recipient then digs around to learn where moneys may have originated. As follows: Dog mushing is the official state sport of Alaska, and the high-profile Id*tar*d race, about 1,049 miles from Anchorage to Nome, is not only the most well-known event to those outside the sport and the state, but even here, represents the pinnacle - for most - of long-distance dog racing. It also is horrifically, stupendously, expensive to enter. Just the entry fee is $5,000, and for a musher to raise and train a team - and be competitive - takes on the order of $50K a year...for starts. If one expects to be able to finish in the top ten on a close to consistent basis, you have to double that number. ***BEFORE I GO any further....if you have objections to dog racing for any reason, please start your own thread, or otherwise keep your feelings to yourself. If I read any such comments on this thread, I will erase it and mention you, specifically, as the reason it disappeared.**** L*v S******s is an electrical engineer by training (C**negie M**lon grad), who was born in Uk*aine and grew up in suburban Boston; he got bitten by the dog mushing bug and moved here three (four?) years ago. As with most rookie mushers...well, actually, as with just about all mushers outside of a hands-worth of fingers who actually have made it as full-time professionals and actually make money at their sport...he is augmenting his funds by taking on odd jobs as he can. We needed some extra hands over the past week and that's how we came to meet him. He struck us not only as capable, no-nonsense AND hard-working, but curiously well-educated for someone in his situation. And very pleasant, too. So, after he departed, we took to learning what we could about him, which is where I found out some of what I wrote above. And also learned the specific reason that gave me the thought of coming to this forum to see if I couldn't persuade some of you to sponsor. Because, when I went to his website, I learned that this electrical engineer...has named one of his dogs...(you guessed it)...T**la. Once I got over my initial laugh, I then got to thinking: "Wow! He could be the first to drive a **sla across the tundra from Anchorage to Nome!" (You drive or run dogs. You never, never mush them. That word can be used only in the phrase "dog musher" or "dog mushing". And you can never, unless you're on a Hollywood lot, tell a team to "Mush!". The entire team would fall on their bellies laughing if they heard that. But enough of an aside). In order to fund their racing, most mushers have turned to sponsorships. One can sponsor an event, a team...or an individual dog. I thought it would be spectacular - and unique in the dogsledding world - if all of a sudden one specific dog received sponsorship after sponsorship. *ev's home page is here: http://www.team[OMIT THIS]ollie.com, and the page for sponsorship is pretty obvious - it's under "sponsors" on the lead banner on the home page. So...come on! Don't you want to see a You-Know-What make it to Nome?