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Team Rubicon to volunteer at Wolftrack Classic

Ely Echo - Staff Photo -
TEAM Rubicon members including Earl Wilson helping out at last year’s Wolftrack Classic Dog Sled Race.

by Parker Loew

This Sunday, Team Rubicon will volunteer at the Wolftrack Classic Dog Sled Race for the fifth year in a row.

Team Rubicon is a veteran-led humanitarian organization that serves global communities before, during, and after disasters and crises.

One of the Veteran organizers for the race is Ely local Mike Pope.

“The race has been hard-pressed in finding enough volunteers in years past, so I thought it was a good way to get local people involved,” Pope said. “We should have 15-16 volunteers from Team Rubicon helping this weekend.”

Team Rubicon often uses events like the dogsled race to train people before they enter disaster zones.

“When you get out to a disaster zone, it’s a whole other ball game with what you’ll be eating and where you’ll be sleeping,” Pope said. “Events like this aren’t mandatory, but it’s always good to do as much as you can to prepare.”

Team Rubicon will be doing road crossing to assist at the race this year.

“We shovel snow across Highway 1 so that the sled doesn’t get scratched up and the dog’s paws don’t get hurt,” Pope said. “When the dogs cross the road, we have two people make sure there is no traffic, then everybody else links arms and creates a human gate so the dogs will stay focused and run straight ahead.”

Team Rubicon has been very busy nationwide recently, providing disaster relief to places such as Florida, the Carolinas, Alabama and California.

“People don’t realize after the news cycle ends just how much destruction there is and how tedious and hard it is to rebuild,” Pope said. “You have to hand-move a ton of the stuff. It takes a lot of bodies, and you need to work your butt off.”

One thing that Team Rubicon never does is take away business from local companies.

“Something that I am proudest of is we do an economic survey. We go to the disaster zones and pick out areas in the lowest part of the economic spectrum,” Pope said. “We pick out the people that don’t have insurance or wouldn’t be able to hire somebody otherwise, and we help them,” said Pope.

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