2009 Sled Teams


Jenny raised over $2700 in pledges and came all the way from Oklahoma!Highest Dollar amount of pledges

Jenny Beall
Blanchard, Oklahoma

Jenny raised an astounding $2700 in pledges. While the “northern” mushers thought the 50 degree temperatures were warm, when Jenny left her home state of Oklahoma to come to our event it was over 70 degrees!

12-year-old Jessica Berg-Collman had over 90 pledges and over $2600!Highest Number of pledges

Jessica Berg-Collman
Grand Marais, MN

12-year-old Jessica had 90 pledges at registration and more are coming in. Not only did Jessica have the highest number of  pledges, she was less than $100 shy of Jenny’s $2700 at registration. Way to go Jessica!

Nancy Lang...first team to REACH the Gunflint Trail. Photo by www.brucejohnsonphoto.comFirst Team to the Gunflint Trail

Nancy Lang
Grand Marais, MN
Erik Simula
Hovland, MN

There was a bit of confusion regarding this award. Nancy and her dogs were the first team to REACH The Gunflint Trail, while Eric and his team were the first to CROSS the Gunflint. Sorry about the confusion guys…you both are winners in our books!

Mary Manning and her Pink Tutu'd dogs. Photo by Bruce JohnsonBest Dressed Dog Team

Mary Manning
Hovland, MN

Both Mary and her dogs were dressed in matching pink tutus. When photos came in after the event we also noticed that Carol King and her dogs were also wearing pink tutus. Carol we’ll try to make it up to you next year. (For the record, Carol and Mary are the only mushers to have run all three Mush For a Cure events).

Chris Wall edged out Karen DeBoise for the Most Outrageous Pink Outfit AwardThe Most Outrageous Pink Outfit Award

Chris Wall
Albertville, MN

This was a tough one for the crowd with five people competing. In the end it was a close one with Chris Wall (on left) edging out Karen Deboise. Thanks for getting in the PINK spirit everyone! (In case you’re wondering, Chris is the one on the left…couldn’t tell by his outfit though)


Red Lantern Winner, Karen DeBoise. Photo by www.brucejohnsonphoto.comRed Lantern Award
This is a traditional “sled dog race” award given to the last musher to make it across the finish line

Karen DeBoise
Beach Park, IL

Karen and her team were the last participants to cross the finish line. After an afternoon of being on the trail in 50 degree temperatures both Karen and her dogs were in good spirits.

The participants of the 2009 Mush For a Cure
Through pledges and registrations these folks raised over $23,000 for the
National Breast Cancer Foundation!

shellyandnelson1. John and Nelson Stetson
Epic Sleddog Adventures
Duluth, MN

We are honored to have John and son Nelson running an 8-dog team together in our event. In January, John’s wife and Nelson’s mother, Shelly lost a courageous four-year battle with breast cancer. We were honored when John gave his consent to dedicate this year’s run to Shelly and are now doubly honored to have him and Nelson joining us on the trail. Welcome Stetsons, we hope together we can help find a cure for this disease so another family doesn’t have to go through what you have been through this winter.

jessica_berg-collman2. Jessica Berg-Collman
Hot Dawg Kennel
Grand Marais, MN

Jessica won the awards for the highest dollar amount of pledges and the highest number of pledges in the 2008 event. She raised over $3,000. Wow, way to go Jess!

chuck_ensign3. Chuck Ensign
Running a team from Bark in the Dark Kennel
Duluth, MN

2009 will be Chuck’s second Mush For a Cure.

Welcome back Chuck!

4. Carol King
Hinkley, MN

Carol was one of four women who ran the inagural Mush For a cure in 2007. Carol “biffed it” on a beaver pond that year and received the first “DORK” award. She had to come back in 2008 so she could pass the DORK torch. She’s back again this year to raise money for a good cuase. Carol, this event wouldn’t be the same without you!!!

karen-deboise14. Karen DeBoise
Whirlwind Khaos Kennel
Beach Park, IL

“I have been running dogs for a little over two years now and love it. I work full time as a R & D Scientist for a diagnostic company in Illinois. I have six Siberian Huskies which came from a rescue. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer as well as several of my friends. I would like to help raise money to help put an end to this disease”.

ricq_pattay6. Ricq Pattay
DiamondDrift Samoyeds
Dayton, MN

“I’ve been mushing since 2001 with Samoyeds. We’ve done some sprint racing and did our first mid-distance race this year. We’re looking forward to this mid-distance run as well as supporting and excellent cause-a win-win situation!”

melissa_stephens7. Melissa Stephens
Running a team from
Black Magic Kennels
Hovland, MN

Mel has been working this winter with the Black’s Junior Varsity Team and this will be her first Mush For a Cure. She’s been busy training and practicing staying upright on the sled. You can read all about being a handler living in the bush on her blog, Yeah Yeah’s Big Adventure.

rob_hollingsworth8. Rob Hollingsworth
Running a team from
Black Magic Kennels
Hovland, MN

Just like Melissa Stephens, Rob has been busy this winter training the Black Magic Kennels Junior Varsity team. In the off-season Rob is a Chef at Madden’s Resort in Brainerd (his hometown).

9. Matt Groth
Oomingmak Kennels
Grand Marais, MN

This will be Matt’s second Mush For a Cure and says “I race 150+ mile races. I really enjoy running at this event and raising money for agreat cause”. Matt we really enjoy having you!

janine_sajdak10. Janine Sajdak
Cudahy, WI

This is Janine’s fourth year involved with sled dogs. Last year was her first distance race and this year she is trying to get more involved in distance as “it’s just nice to spend more time on the trail”. She is glad to participate to raise money for this cause. She says “we probably won’t be the first team across the finish line, but at least we can help get a win for the fight against breast cancer”. Good attitude Janine!

11. Janet Cismoski Martens
Brule, WI

Janet is a recreational musher who owns 7 sled dogs but lives and cares for her husband, Tim, 3 horses, 4 llamas, 12 chickens, 2 cats and her pride and joy, her children, Taila and Morgan. Janet’s mother, aunt, two cousins and many friends have survived breast cancer. She has other friends who have died tragic deaths from breast cancer. She would like to participate to show her support of the medical research to improve treatment of breast cancer so that we all might survive this horrible disease.

mary-beth-kolb12. Mary Beth Kolb
Frozen Tundra Siberians
Lake Villa, IL

Mary Beth runs a recreational team of Siberian Huskies, mainly rescue dogs from Adopt a Husky, Inc. She has finished the White Oak Classic rec race twice and has done mid-distance races also. 2008 participant Don Deckert recommended Mush For a Cure to her and she will be running in support of a very good friend who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

leah_hulst113. Leah Hulst
Running a team from Bark in the Dark Kennel
Duluth, MN

Leah says she’s “super-excited to ‘hop’ along the trail with y’all”. Michelle Ethun infected her with dogsled disease about 4 years ago. Leah has raced one sprint race and handled for 3 Beargrease mid-distance races. Leah says “This time, Chel handles for me!” ;0)

erik_simula114. Erik Simula
Bearskin Lodge Kennels
Gunflint Trail, MN

This will be Erik’s second Mush For a Cure and he hopes to pass along the “DORK” award for the best crash on the trail (Erik, we are taking the infamous “loop” out of the course this year). Erik is running BWCA dogsled tours out of Gunflint Trail resort Bearskin Lodge this winter. Erik will be running in support of John Stetson whose wife Shelley passed away in January from breast cancer.

15. Mary Manning
Doodledog Kennels
Hovland, MN

2009 will be Mary’s third Mush For a Cure as she was one the original participants in 2007 and she says she is proud to be part of the run. Mary has a kennel of Alaskan Huskies in the hills of Hovland. She has done some racing but recently has been running for fun and for the occassional BWCAW camping trip. She is running in honor and in memory of her little sister, Christine, who passed away in 2006 after a long fight against breast cancer and in memory of her mother who passed away in early February. Mary we are proud to have you back!

eva_kolodji16. Eva Kolodji
Standing Tall Kennels
Hibbing, MN

17-year-old Eva has been runnning dogs for about 7 years. This is her 2nd Mush For a Cure and she’s coming back because “it was tons of fun last year and it’s a great cause”. Eva has raced in the White Oak Classic, Wolf Track Classic and Beargrease 2009. Eva is running this because she says “it’s a great cause and I”ve had many close family friends that have been affected by breast cancer”. Welcome back Eva.

jenny_beall17. Jenny Beall
From the state of Oklahoma!

Yep, you read that right, Jenny is from Oklahoma. Michelle Ethun gave Jenny several dogs and encouraged her to participate. Jenny has run several times in Minnesota over the past two holiday seasons. Jenny, we sure hope it warms up for you!

cynthia_ropers18. Cynthia Ropers
Rustic Husky Haven Siberians
Lake Zurich, IL

Cynthia began running a recreational dog team about 8 years ago. She had two Siberians and became involved with Adopt a Husky, a Siberian rescue group. She has since adopted ten dogs from them and currently has enough for her husband and her to run two teams. Cynthia has participated in a few sprint races but never a distance race, although some her her dogs have run with her husband in the White Oak Classic. Cynthia is looking forward to doing this event and supporting a worthy cause.

chris_wall19. Chris Wall
AVADAR Siberians
Albertville, MN

Chris says “I am a small recreational musher with a team of 6 Dogs (4 of my own, and 2 from a friend). My wife was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the young age of 27.  She has been cancer free since 1997….12 Years!!!!!  We have participated in the Annual Komen Race for Cure every year since 1997.  So since we both enjoy Mushing we thought that we could do this event and help raise money!!!!!

20. Don Deckert
Tundra Star Siberians
Albertville, MN

Don has been running a small recreational team of Siberian Huskies for about eight years. He has participated in the sportsman and recreational classes in the Jackpine 30 and White Oak Classic Races. Don has also been a guest musher at Gunflint Lodge the last couple winters running dogsled tours for Points Unknown Dog Based Adventures. Don says “I am happy to see many new and familiar faces already signed up for this years Mush For a Cure”.

nancy_lang 21. Nancy Lang
SnowyRidge Kennel
Grand Marais, MN

Nancy and her team will be running in honor and support of her friend Sarah Smith and in loving memory of her friend Maureen Showalter. Breast cancer happens in sled dogs too as Nancy says “Hopefully, my wonderful little lead dog Phoebe will be able to run point in my team. She recently had surgery to remove a mammory tumor.” Nancy, we hope she will be there with you too!

22. Melissa Bloom
Running a team from Sumac Siberians
Big Lake, MN

Melissa is the reigning red lantern winnter from last year and she says she is bound to not repeat receiving the award. (The Red Lantern Award is given to the last team to cross the finish line). Melissa says, “I am looking forward to participating in such a worthy event. I will be running two of my own dogs and the rest will be from Sumac Siberians…” Welcome back Melissa and may you pass that lantern along this year!

tony_kortenhorn23. Tony Kortenhorn
Running a team from Oomingmak Kennels
Grand Marais, MN

Tony is the father-in-law to participant Matt Groth of Grand Marais. This will be Tony’s first Mush For a Cure and we wish him good luck along the trail. Welcome Tony!

24. Jerry Sivets
Kennel Name: None but running a team of happy, well-fed, big, fluffy Siberians
Grand Marais, MN

Jerry and his wife, Kay, have a small recreational kennel of older Sicerian Huskies, most of which are from Siberian Husky Ruscue and/or Adopt-a-Husky. A few years ago they participated in North Star Sled Dog Club skijor races but now they just run the dogs for fun and exercise. Jerry says, “We’re getting involved in Mush For a Cure because we have lost several close friends and relatives to breast cancer and we welcome any opportunity to help defeat this terrible disease”. This will be Jerry’s 2nd MFAC…welcome back Jerry!

25. Stoffel Reitsma
Sumac Siberians
Big Lake, MN

Stoffel has owned and bred siberians for the last 20+ years and says running with them is mostly recreational and a lot of fun. Stoffel says, “this event is just a great excuse to get out with the dogs and thanks to everyone who is involved in organizing this”. Welcome back to your 2nd MFAC Stoffel, we’re happy to give you an excuse to get out with the dogs!

liz_parrish26. Liz Parrish
Briars Patch Sled Dogs
Fort Klamath, OR (Holy cow…that’s Oregon!)

Liz trained her own team, participated in and finished the Iditarod in 2008 to celebrate her first half century. She’s also participated in the Race to the Sky, Eagle Cap 200, Shasta 135, Klondike 300 and Goose Bay 120 (she must like to travel). Liz says “I wanted to participate in Mush For a Cure since I am a childhood cancer survivor and the dogs have been the basis for a healthy whole life-it’s a natural fit. The dogs keep you present and teach you so much, I’m honored to share the trail with them and support this cause. I have a good friend who is on her way to being a cancer survivor and I’m doing the run in her honor”. Welcome Liz!

27. Mary Jo Jauert
Running a team from Epic Sleddog Adventures
Duluth, MN

Mary Jo didn’t have enough fun helping out at registration at last year’s event that she had to find a team to run this year! (Mary Jo we will miss you’re organization, hope we can find someone). Mary Jo will be running a special team as her dogs are from John Stetson’s kennel. Mary Jo can’t wait to see you on the trail!

28. Nancy Moundalexis
Running a Team from Epic Sleddog Adventures
Duluth, MN

This will be Nancy’s first Mush For a Cure and just like Mary Jo above will be running a team from John Stetson’s kennel. Both Nancy and Mary Jo, along with the other teams on the trail, will have the spirit of Shelly Stetson behind them.

29. Eric Morris
No Kennel Name
Port Wing, WI

Eric has been involved with sled dog sports for a long time and began racing about 8 years ago. Eric says he has always enjoyed being on the trail with his dogs and after many years of camping and backcountry travel decided to start racing in order to improve his mushing skills and kennel. He has raced the Beargrease, WhiteOak Classic and UP200 (raced it…he won it this year!).

Eric says “I’m attending the event to support the Stetson family and all who have been affected by this disease. I will be accompanied by my handler Sophie Beauregard who is very excited to spend time on the trail with other teams and support a great event. (Editors note: Eric is alson the owner of Redpaw dog food and is donating product for the door prizes for our teams…Thanks Eric).

30. Sophie Beauregard
No Kennel Name
Port Wing, WI

Sophie will be running a team from Eric Morris’s kennel.

julie_collman31. Julie Collman
Running a Team from Black Magic Kennels
Grand Marais, MN

Julie is Jessica Berg-Collman’s mom (#2 team in the sign-up order). Jessica is the 12-year-old and Mom is excited to be running with Jess with a team from Black Magic Kennels. She says she can hardly wait to get out on the trail with such admiral athletes (editors note: I think she wants Olive to move to Hot Dawg Kennels).

Julie says “this will be my first event to actually mush. Usually I just tain our dogs while Jess is in school. I will be running in honor of my 100-year-old grandmother, Doris Collman, breast cancer survivor and other family breast cancer survivors.

I would like to thank mary and Sue for all their hard work in putting on this event together, 3rd year and running strong!!!” (Yep, she wants a lead dog)  :-)

32. Darlene Leafgren
Superior, WI

This will be Darlene’s first Mush For a Cure. Welcome Darlene!

dave_lundberg33. Dave Lundberg
Little Mountain Siberians
Monticello, MN

This will be Dave’s first Mush For a Cure and he says “I would like to first thank the organizers for once again putting on this event as I have been hoping to get a chance to be part of it.  Most everyone has been touched in some way by someone with breast cancer and when you are, you always wish there was something more you could do…this is one way.  Now, I realize this is not suppose to be a race but I have to tell you that I do like my chances against a bunch of pink-clad, squirrel chasers”.

34. Shae Kosmolski
Chlout’s Siberians
Grand Marais, MN

Bob Chlupach and Shae are recent transplants from Willow, Alaska, dog mushing capitol of the world. Bob is an active sprint racer, has competed in 10 Iditarods, and still serves on the Iditarod Rules Committee. Shae loves to run sleddogs, train puppies and dabbles in racing also. The kennel’s focus is on breeding a competitive Siberian.


1. Jim Benson
Gold Rush Racing
Blaine, MN
Jim says “I have been around for a while so I might be considered (among other things) a musher, a sledder, a skijorer, a handler, a trainer, an event coordinator and in general a dog-powered sports enthusiast and an opinionated ol’ curmudgeon. At any rate, cancer sucks, so we’re out to have a fun run for a good cause, as Ricq (Pattay…sled participant) says ‘its a win-win situation’. Please support one of us or Mush For a Cure in general”. Well said Jim (and Ricq).

2. Adam Treeful
Gunflint Trail, MN
Adam will be running the skijor event with his dog Mick…welcome to Mush For a Cure Adam!
joe_fessler3. Joe Fessler
Eagan, MN
Joe is a recreational skijorer and a novice musher attending his first Mush For a Cure. Joe’s kennel consists of two purebred Siberian Huskies but has hopes of expanding in the near future. Joe says he’s participating “as a way to share fun times with my teamd and my friends, raise money for a great cause and as a relaxing way to end our season.” Welcome Joe!
4. Faith Shariff
Champlain, MN
Thank you for coming Faith!

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