Year out count down begins toward 2006 Arctic Winter Games

Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2005


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  Norm Blakely and Bill Popp take bids from sell out crowd at the AWG Year out event and auction at the Soldotna Sports Center.

Norm Blakely and Bill Popp take bids from sell out crowd at the AWG Year out event and auction at the Soldotna Sports Center.

With the lyrics of Alaska's Balladeer Hobo Jim ringing in their ears, nearly 300 supporters of the of 2006 Arctic Winter Games departed the Soldotna Sports Center last week anticipating the coming of the greatest sporting event ever to be hosted on the Kenai Peninsula. The song entitled "Spirit" was written by Hobo Jim especially for the coming games. "It's the spirit of the North that makes us who we are. It's the challenges we face beneath a common star. Faster...stronger...reach highergo longerif you really want to winrelease the spirit within...from across the northern lands where the Spirit never restswe welcome all the ones who dare to be the best," sings Hobo accompanied by an inspiring guitar melody.

The Arctic Winter Games organization raised $50,000 at its "One-Year-Out" celebration and auction. "The evening brought the community together in the spirit of the Games," said Dale Bagley, president of the 2006 Arctic Winter Games board of directors. "We truly appreciate all the support given by individuals and businesses to make these upcoming Games the best ever."


Lt. Governor Loren Leman congratulates the AWG Host Society and leads a toast to the coming Games.

Lt. Governor Loren Leman was on hand and offered a champagne toast to begin the one-year countdown to the 2006 Arctic Winter Games. "I talked about the importance of this event for the Kenai Peninsula, the land of my birth, and what they mean to our international relations in the circumpolar regions," said Leman in his weekly capitol report. Other highlights of the night included a performance of "We are One," by Kenaitze recording artist Bunny Swan and a new song dedicated to the mascot of the 2006 Arctic Winter Games, "Ggugguyni," Dena'ina dialect for Raven. "I think it was one of the most elegant events that I've ever attended on the Peninsula," said Bunny.


AWG supporters buy a luminary and a chance to win a trip to Hawaii at Year-out event last week.

The high bid of the evening was made by Barbra Elson, of Wells Fargo Bank, for a Costa Rica fishing trip aboard Alaskan Mel Erickson's "Reel Pleasure" with $1,000.00 airfare donated by Dr. Gonzalo Fraser of the Soldotna Medical Clinic. The money raised at the event will go towards hosting the upcoming games. According to a press release the organization needs to raise $5.8 million in cash and in-kind services to support the Games. So far, it has raised $3.6 million. The Arctic Winter Games will be the largest sporting and cultural event ever held on the Kenai Peninsula. More than 1,900 athletes and coaches, hundreds of artists and performers and 5,000 spectators from the 7 participating circumpolar nations are expected to attend the weeklong games next March.

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