Agenda for the Evening!

200 have signed up –  There is room for 150 more!

See below for the evening’s agenda – You will not want to miss this legendary event!!

RTL legacy party LOGO

Walk-ins will be welcome, however please consider pre-registering at or email if you plan to attend so we can get best possible estimate for head count. 

Below is the email that went out to those who pre-registered – after reading it we KNOW you’ll want to be part of what is sure to be a legendary event!


Happy Birkie Week!!

So glad you will all be joining us for the first-ever Birkie Fever Legacy Bash at the Steak House & Lodge on Thursday night!  We are looking forward to a wonderful evening of Honoring the Legacy – Ensuring the Futureof the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation.  The Birkie means something different to each of us, but I know it holds a very special place in the hearts of each & every one of you.  The Birkie is no longer just a race that happens one day a year – it has evolved into a community, a family, a year-round lifestyle, and an ideology of healthy, active living – and the lifeblood, the thread that holds it together is the trail and the race itself.  Success with our first ever capital fundraising campaign will ensure our future and make the race and the trail even better.  It will take the support of the entire Birkie Community to make this happen and to make sure the Birkie is around forever.

Before I go any further, I want to clarify the location & time of the event:

WHERE:  The Steakhouse & Lodge on Hwy 27 South in HaywardGet directions HERE

WHEN:  Thursday, February 19 from 6pm – 9pm

I hope you are excited about the event!  We will have quite a crowd – over 200 people have pre-registered.   We can still take about 100 walk-ins – so bring your friends, especially those with big checkbooks J  The Steak House & Lodge will have a great spread of food, Bitch Hill Ale locally brewed from the Angry Minnow, wine, and a variety of non-alcoholic drinks.  Plus, you all will get a pretty cool commemorative beer or wine glass to use and take home with you!  Peter Graves, the legendary “Voice of the Birkie” will be our MC and guide us through the evening – you’ll hear stories from the Tony Wise days, learn all about the Birkie’s plans for the future, and have an opportunity to get some pretty great stuff through our LIVE auction and our raffle.  I’m very excited that many of our elite American racers will be joining us – Holly Brooks, Brian Gregg, Tad Elliot, Matt Liebsch, Bryan Cook, Torin Koos, Betsy Youngman, and Kevin Brochman to name just a few.  This will be a super opportunity to meet these amazing athletes and maybe get a race tip or 2!  AND – All this will make for an incredibly fun evening – It would be great to pack the house!

Ultimately this is a fundraiser for the first-ever ABSF Capital Campaign – some of you have donated once already – thank you very much!!  During the presentation, we’ll focus on Phase 1 which is all about securing a permanent start & trailhead near Telemark, and re-creating the International Bridge at the finish to solve safety and logistical issues.  I can’t stress enough how critical this campaign is to the future of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation and the Birkie events.  I’ve attached an overview of the campaign for your review, in case you want to study up before the Bash. The Campaign as a whole is $2.3 million over 5 years, with Phase 1 being $650,000.  I’m happy to say we’ve raised over $470,000 since November 1st, however we still need to raise another $180,000 by Birkie start time to meet our goal for Phase 1 of the campaign.  This is extremely aggressive – can we do this in just a few days?  I hope we can count on your support!  Please help us spread the word and get all your Birkie friends to contribute – we really do need the help of the entire Birkie community to be successful.  Ben & I are looking forward to sharing our plans to bring improvements and sustainability to the Birke events, so the Foundation as a whole can continue to inspire people to live an active outdoor lifestyle.  There will be an opportunity for you to make your donation at the event, or you can do so online – RIGHT NOW – at   If any of you know someone who wants to buy a bridge or have the official start stadium named in their legacy, get in touch! J

If you want a little pre-party motivation, take a read through your Birch Scroll or check out the “10 Words or Less” article attached.  Over 7,000 people told us what the Birkie means to them – it is truly amazing how the Birkie drives people’s lives and is a great testimony to the fact that we are so much more than just a race!

Here is a general idea how the night will go:

  • 6-6:40 Check-In, Social Time. Food, beer, wine & non-alcoholic drinks will be provided throughout the evening.
  • 6-8:00  Raffle Tickets for sale!  Raffle tickets will be 6 tickets for $20 or 15 tickets for $40! Credit card, check or cash accepted! Buy lots of tickets – you can choose which prizes you want to win!  All proceeds go to Phase 1 of the campaign!   This is your chance to win one or more or all of these great items:
    • Salomon ski boots – Your choice of S-Lab Skate Pro or S-Lab Classic
    • VIP Parking Pass for the start of the 2015 Birkie – yes that is for THIS YEAR!
    • $500 gift card to New Moon Ski & Bike – there are 2 of these up for grabs
    • A limited edition Birkie cycling kit (jersey & shorts)
    • Deluxe wine selection courtesy of Margron Skoglund Wine Imports
    • A lifetime commemorative plaque on the Birkie Honor Wall at OO Trailhead
    • And maybe some special surprise additions!
  • 6:40  Welcome
  • 6:50 Birkie LegacyFounder John Kotar
  • 7:00 Honoring the Legacy – Ensuring the FutureBirkie Future Presentation – Executive Director Ben Popp
  • 7:30 Call for DonationsABSF Board President John Garrett & Peter Graves. Ultimately we are here to raise some money for Phase 1 of the ABSF Capital Campaign! This will be an opportunity to do your part in creating a successful future for the Birkie, so the trail and the events will be around for generations to come. If you’d like to make an additional donation, this event will be a great time to do it!  Thank you very much to those of you who have already donated!
  • 7:40 Live Auction with all proceeds going to Phase 1 of the Campaign!
    • Birkie Lifestyle Pass – Lifetime entry to ANY & ALL ABSF/Birkie events year-round – Potential value is over $250 per year, so if you have 10 years left in you, that’s $2,500, 20 years that’s $5,000.  Never worry about your race fees again!
    • Lifetime Birkie Trail Friends “K” Marker – You’ve seen those personalized plaques along the trail?       Leave your legacy for all to see as they Ski Run Bike Live on the Birkie Trail year round!
    • Original Birkie Trail “K” Marker Post – This dates back to 1973 and there are only a handful in existence, each one is a one-of-a-kind treasure!       Would be a great addition to anyone’s Birkie Legacy collection.
    • Lifetime VIP Parking at the start of the Birkie – NEVER ride the bus again! This is truly priceless as very few people get to park right at the start, let alone for life!  Dig DEEP for this one!
  • 8:10 Raffle Drawings – You must be present to win!
  • 8:30-9  Wrap Up & Check Out – Credit card, check or cash accepted for auction items and donations.

A few things to note:

  • The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  Receipts will be issued within a few weeks after the event.  Items purchased at the auction are tax deductible for any value paid above the current market value of the item.  Please consult a qualified tax consultant with questions.
  • Online registrations will be accepted until noon on Thursday – CLICK HERE to REGISTER. Pre-registration is preferred (to help get an accurate head-count), but walk-ins will be accepted.
  • Payment options for entry fee, donations, auction items and raffle tickets:  Credit card, cash or check.
  • ABSF offers options for donating stock, for sustained giving (commitment to donating a certain amount annually),and for legacy gifts.  Get in touch with me if you are interested in any of these options.
  • In addition to private donors, we are also interested in corporations that offer grants or charitable giving for organizations that support the health and well-being of all people.  If you have connections or ideas to point us in the right direction, please email me.  With a total campaign goal of $2.5 million over 5 years, we will need all the help we can get.  So get in touch if you know anyone who wants to sponsor a bridge that will be photographed thousands of times or have the Birkie Start Stadium named after them!
  • If you have friends who are not able to attend but want to learn more, let me know – I’m happy to meet with small groups or individuals to fill in the details and answer questions. We’ve been doing events around the region, so would love to come visit you in your neck of the woods!
  • See all the campaign details at

Finally – Thanks to all of you who pre-registered by February 13th – it really helped us with planning for the event!  Congratulations to Sandra Bonneville – winner of the pre-registration drawing for a 2016 Birkie Package!

We appreciate your support of the ABSF – Ben & I look forward to seeing you all Thursday evening!

Safe travels!

Amy Rowley
Development Director
American Birkebeiner® Ski Foundation

Posted February 18, 2015 at 12:01 am