Birkie Seeks Volunteers

American BirkebeinerJanuary 9, 2016



Nearly 2000 Volunteers Needed for Birkie Week Events Alone

Hayward, WI (January 8, 2016) Based on the population signs outside of the communities of Hayward, Cable

and Seeley, WI, alone, it doesn’t seem feasible that these small communities could play host to the American

Birkebeiner, the “Birkie,” North America’s largest cross-country ski race.  Yet, year after year, nearly 2000

dedicated volunteers band together with pride and in the spirit of Birkie Fever to welcome the world to the

amazing week of Nordic events hosted by the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF).


Each year, nearly 2000 volunteers come for far and wide – some newbies and others seasoned – to donate

their time and energies to help make the American Birkebeiner a world class event.  With over 200 shifts in 60

unique roles, there is a volunteer opportunity for everyone. Volunteers answer phones, sort bibs, support aid

stations on the trail, assist with traffic control, staff information desks, assist with bib pick-up at the Birkie Expo,

coordinate awards, and everything in between. Volunteers play a key role, both indoors and out of doors, in

helping to make the Birkie week of events the greatest show on snow! There are currently numerous volunteer

opportunities currently available for both the Birkie Tour (January 17, 2016) and the Birkie week of events

(February 18-21, 2016).


“We have amazing and dedicated volunteers who step up each and every year and help in an innumerable

number of ways,” said Ronda Tworek, ABSF Director of Volunteer & Participant Services.  “We have

volunteers of all ages, some have volunteered for years and others are new to the Birkie.  We are so incredibly

thankful for each and every one of them.  They are truly indispensable and the lifeblood of the Birkie



The structure of the Birkie volunteer program provides opportunities for folks interested in playing either a

leadership role or those interested in a supporting role. For many volunteer areas, the ABSF has assigned

Birkie Chiefs, or designated leaders of a particular area, for instance a specific key aid station on the Birkie

Trail. Before race day, the Birkie Chiefs work hand-in-hand with Birkie staff members to determine volunteer

needs, requirements, shifts, and anything else needed to ensure a smooth and efficient race day experience

for all. From there, all information is entered into the ABSF’s new Volunteer Local organizational software



New this year, Volunteer Local has made it even easier for volunteers to sign up for their favorite Birkie events,

to find specific volunteer opportunities, to select areas of personal interest, to sign up for specific shifts, and to

track their volunteer hours.  Additionally, Volunteer Local allows volunteers to change or add additional shifts,

stay up to date with last minute details before their scheduled shift, and receive regular reminders from the

Birkie team regarding their volunteer shifts. Interested volunteers can visit, choose

the event they wish to volunteer for, choose the date, time, and shift location they wish to support with their

time and energy. For additional information, email the ABSF at, or call the ABSF office at

(715) 634-5025.


Every volunteer receives a commemorative Birkie hat identifying them as a Birkie volunteer. Additionally,

Birkie volunteers are invited to an appreciation luncheon on the Sunday, February 21, where volunteers are

recognized for their dedication support. Exciting door prizes and a grand-prize will be given away at this year’s

Volunteer Appreciation luncheon.


Giving Back

The ABSF understands the importance of giving back to the community and has developed a volunteer

program for local non-profit organizations, school groups (elementary, middle or high school), and other

organized non-school youth groups or clubs, to raise funds for their group or organization based on volunteer

hours donated to Birkie events.  To learn more about this program, participation guidelines, eligibility, and

requirements, please contact the Birkie at, or call the ABSF office at (715) 634-5025.


About the American Birkebeiner® Ski Foundation and Birkie® Events 

Located near Hayward and Cable, Wisconsin, the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF), a 501(c)(3)

organization, is known for its signature American Birkebeiner Ski Marathon held each February.  Today, the

Birkie has grown to encompass a variety of year-round, silent sport events that promote a healthy, active

lifestyle for thousands of outdoor fitness enthusiasts.  The ABSF also acts as steward of the legendary Birkie

Trail, providing year-round grooming, mowing and maintenance to all 107 kilometers.  From the iconic

American Birkebeiner ski race, to the Birkie Trail Run & Trek, and Fat Bike Birkie, the ABSF and the Birkie Trail

attract skiers, runners, bikers, trekkers, and hikers, from casual day-trippers to elite athletes.  Learn more

at  BIRKIE Ski. Run. Bike. Live!

American Birkebeiner

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