Whitehorse Daily Star

Image title

Photo by Vince Fedoroff

BOOKS IN THE BLACK – Executive director Natalie Haltrich of the local Yukon Quest organization says volunteer fund- raising efforts were a big piece of the financial success for the 2018 race.

Quest organization ends another year with the books in the black

The local Yukon Quest sled dog organization has ended another fiscal year in the black, the third in a row.

By Chuck Tobin on May 25, 2018

The local Yukon Quest sled dog organization has ended another fiscal year in the black, the third in a row.

The financial statement presented at Wednesday evening’s annual general meeting showed net revenue of $25,939 after total expenses of $423,589 to run the race on the Yukon side of the border.

Executive director Natalie Haltrich said Thursday the Quest organization has also finished paying off an outstanding the debt that was sitting at $58,000 when she came on board three years ago.

“I personally feel elated and know it is the effort of the staff and a committed board to be able to achieve that goal,” she said.

Haltrich said this is the first year in her time with the Quest office that they’ve had an operations’ manager year-round.

Credit for a successful year goes to everybody involved with the organization, she said.

Haltrich noted, for instance, that the variety of volunteer fundraising efforts from raffles to auctions, encouraging donations and increasing memberships accounted for $215,000 to support the annual budget.

Increasing revenue from fundraising is sign of the dedication that supports the Quest, she said.

Next to the $107,014 for salaries and benefits, the $84,928 for prize money and awards is the next largest expense, according to the financial summary presented to the membership Wednesday.

The executive director said the responsibility for providing $125,000 US total purse for the 2018 race was split evenly between the Yukon’s Quest organization and Alaska’s Quest organization. But the prize money is in U.S. dollars, so part of the Yukon’s cost in addition to its $62,500-split is absorbing the exchange rate, Haltrich explained.

The largest annual contribution of $171,000 came from the Yukon government, with $150,000 coming from the Department of Tourism and another $21,000 coming from Economic Development, according to the financial summary.

The Yukon Quest International Association is made up of a board of directors in the Yukon and a board in Alaska.

The two boards form the joint international board which has the final say on universal matters like rule changes and such.

The local Quest organization currently has 215 members spread through the four different membership categories.

Haltrich said the turnout of 30 members to Wednesday’s meeting was slightly above average for recent years.

An election was held to fill six vacancies on the board, as eight nominees let their names stand, she explained.

Haltrich said former president Jean-Marc Champeval did not seek re-election, nor did vice-president Elisabeth Weigand.

The 10 members on the board are responsible for appointing the four executive positions every year, within 14 days of the annual meeting, according the organization’s bylaw.

The executive director explained a meeting of the new board will be held within the 14 days to appoint the president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer.

The four returning board members who are in the middle of their terms are Bev Regier, Nicole Horlbeck, Virginia Sarrazin (past secretary) and Jason Campeau (musher rep.)

Re-elected to the board Wednesday was Sabine Morehouse, whose term had expired. Newly elected were James Cummings, Geoff Kooy, Rhonda Kotelko, Kate Nimmo and Anne Tayler.

Haltrich said there were no motions passed, and not a whole lot of discussion.

The former president did provide a quick update in the suspension of musher Hugh Neff of Tok, Alaska. Neff was suspended following this year’s race after the Quest organization found he did not fulfill the requirement for proper dog care.

Champeval told the meeting Neff has submitted a request in writing for an “informal hearing” before a review board, in accordance with his right under the rules of the organization.

There was not a lot of detail about the situation other than were the matter is in the process, she said.

Under the rule, the door is open for Neff to bring forward evidence to show why he believes the suspension should be reversed.

Haltrich said Quest officials are planning to hold the meeting in Fairbanks and are hoping to have the matter wrapped up by the end of June.

Next year’s race begins in Whitehorse Feb. 2.

“Roughly 325 people volunteered in the Yukon alone for the 2018 Yukon Quest,” it was noted in a summary of interesting statistics presented to the membership Wednesday. “We are excited to let you know that volunteers continue to come from abroad and right from our own backyard and range in age from teenager to folks in their 80s. Thank you VOLUNTEERS!”

It was noted that news and stories from the Quest reached 6.7 million people through print, online, TV and radio.

For the start of the race, 463,000 watched the live stream on Facebook.

Be the first to comment

Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.