As 2019 draws to a close, FEAB & ABSF gratefully look back at the Year of the Volunteer

Hayward, Wisc. (December 28, 2019) – This year, the Foundation for the Endowment of the American Birkebeiner (FEAB) celebrated the Year of the Volunteer; the year they said Tusen Takk, “a thousand thanks” in Norwegian, to the incredible corps of American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF a/k/a Birkie) volunteers. While the gratitude is constant, the Year of the Volunteer allowed Birkie event participants a special opportunity to honor volunteers by supporting the Bidwell Engebretson Tusen Takk Volunteer Fund. With each donation to the fund, donors received a Tusen Takk Volunteer armband to be worn during Birkie events. Managed by FEAB, the income from the Bidwell Engebretson Tusen Takk Volunteer Fund endows the future of the ABSF’s volunteer program for years to come.

Earlier this year, Jane Bidwell and Marcia Engebretson seeded the Tusen Takk Year of the Volunteer Fund with a generous donation of $20,000. Since then, 579 people donated to the Bidwell Engebretson Tusen Takk Volunteer Fund. To date, over $42,000 has been raised in support of ABSF volunteers through the FEAB fund. As an endowment fund, the principal in the Bidwell Engebretson Tusen Takk Volunteer Fund will remain intact, while the fund’s income will be used to support the ABSF’s volunteer program; proceeds will ensure the necessary tools, volunteer bibs, training opportunities, wearables, tokens of appreciation, annual celebrations, and more, will always be available.

“Marcia and Jane’s Tusen Takk Volunteer Fund ensures a great future for year-round Birkie volunteers. Hundreds of donors have already come forward to honor volunteers and we’re encouraged that this support will continue into the future,” said Jim Coors, President, FEAB Board of Trustees. “What a great sight it will be to see Tusen Takk Volunteer armbands on grateful skiers, runners, and bikers, as they interact with dedicated volunteers during Birkie events.”

There is still time to participate in the 2019 Tusen Takk Year of the Volunteer campaign. Donors who submit a gift to the fund before December 31, 2019 will receive a Tusen Takk armband. In 2020, nearly 600, colorful, Tusen Takk Volunteer armbands will be worn by participants at Birkie events; a wonderful and visual way to thank the dedicated Birkie volunteer corp. While the 2019 Year of the Volunteer is ending, the support, gratitude, and celebration in honor of volunteers will not; neither will the Tusen Takk Volunteer Fund. Interested donors can support the volunteer fund into the future by visiting

“A huge thank you to everyone who so graciously donated to the Tusen Takk Fund in this ‘Year of the Volunteer,” said Jane Bidwell and Marcia Engebretson, volunteer fund founders. “The growth of the fund exceeded our expectations so far, but we sincerely hope that people will continue to donate to this important fund to benefit the hard-working volunteers of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation. Tusen Takk!”

Posted December 26, 2019 at 4:45 pm