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$4,645 pledged of $235,000 goal
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By Rod Perry & Buzz Rohlfing
$4,645 pledged of $235,000 goal
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About this project

Please help support our full-length documentary film “Iditarod: The Amazing Dogs & Their Mushers.” These daring men and their dogs laid the foundation for the most glittering spectacle on the northern sports stage, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, widely described as, “The Last Great Race on Earth.” 

This documentary details the astonishing 1973 tale of Iditarod’s original racers and their teams. The sled dog team and driver—signature symbol of Alaska’s Native culture. For untold generations, it had stood that way. But then, the introduction of the snowmobile spelled their doom. In but few short years in the mid-1960s, man’s age-old dependency on this canine partnership came to an abrupt end. Village sled dogs all but disappeared and the working dog team in Bush Alaska was fast nearing extinction. The machines performed the former canine tasks so much more efficiently, the people would never return to the dogs. It looked like nothing could be done but watch the bush lifeway take its course and wave good-bye to those wonderful dogs.

But in March, 1973 there gathered an intrepid group of men drawn to test drive a revolutionary new concept: long distance wilderness sled dog racing. One of the stated goals was to fire up new enthusiasm for working sled dogs. The men and teams would battle their way a thousand miles across wild Alaska. Most onlookers thought it impossible. But for sheer adventure and for the dogs the men dared to fail. Today, the Iditarod and many other distance races and thousands of working dog teams have sprung from their daring.

Today, nearly a half century since their historic plunge into the unknown, the ranks of these original saviors of the working dog team is disappearing. Of the twenty-two who completed the first race, only eleven remain for face-to-face interviews. All are now in their 70s, 80s, and 90s. In the past year alone, two more have slipped away,  Any delay in starting this project risks losing another.. We ask you to help us capture their commentary before it is too late.

So now, with the unassailable authenticity only they own, the remaining aged survivors are driven to lock down their founding of the Last Great Race on Earth in that ultimate, “I was there and did it” dynamic.

Here is your chance to save priceless Iditarod history, You, your group, or business can be personally recognized in the film credits and leave a tangible Iditarod legacy.

As George Mellin once said: “It is an infinitely greater thing—to blaze a trail than to follow one.” The greatest Iditarod adventure of all time seeks a telling.

Risks and challenges

Creating this film and getting these interviews will be challenging, but not nearly so much for us as for most. Distances, remoteness, and weather in Alaska can be formidable, but our director Rod Perry is a veteran bush traveler familiar with it all. With adequate funding none of these barriers is insurmountable. Getting to the original mushers who ran the race will involve lots of bush travel by air, boat, and ground, as well as living in the remote Native villages. We have budgeted time and money for the lengthy process it will be for each of these interviews.

We have contacts with each of these original men, given that our film creator, Rod Perry is one of the elite tight-knit brotherhood himself. We are aware of the short window of time we have to capture all of these men on film, and are prepared to take on all travel contingencies to reach them as well as work within the schedules of these men.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Dog Fan Pledge

    E-mailed letter of gratitude and access behind-the-scenes on our web site: menof73.com

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    Team Dog Pledge

    All awards for the pledge level above plus - - - Detailed monthly update on the progress of the project.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Team Wheel Dog Pledge

    All awards for the pledge level above plus - - - Autographed picture of Rod Perry (project creator and director) and Fat Albert (Rod’s inseparable canine friend and Iditarod’s first world-famous lead dog).

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    Team Swing Dog Pledge

    All awards for the pledge level above plus - - - Official Sponsor Decal Sticker. Behind the scenes out-takes access.

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    Team Lead Dog Pledge

    All awards for the pledge level above plus - - - Short video update of behind the scenes progress. Contributor will also receive movie credits at the end of the film.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Valued Patron Donor Pledge Bronze

    All awards for the pledge level above, plus - - - Your name in the movie credits in the next larger font; An autographed copy of Rod Perry’s book, TRAILBREAKERS—Pioneering Alaska’s Iditarod Vol. II (How the world-famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race was born. Rod was in the thick of its creation, having been among the pioneers who dared to run the first race.)

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Valued Patron Donor Pledge Silver

    All of the above, plus - - - Your movie credit in the next larger font; A copy of the book, Iditarod Tails and Tales—Stories of Iditarod Dogs by Father of Iditarod’s veterinary corps, Dr. Terry Adkins, Iditarod’s original on-trail vet.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    Valued Patron Donor Pledge Gold

    All of the above, plus - - - Your movie credit in the next larger font; A picture of each historic original musher being interviewed and documented for this project; A copy of the book about Champion of Alaskan Huskies: Joe Redington Sr. Father of the Iditarod authored by Katie Mangelsdorf.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Valued Patron Donor Pledge Platinum

    All of the above, plus - - - Your movie credit in next larger font; Rod Perry’s book, TRAILBREAKERS—Pioneering Alaska’s Iditarod Vol. I (Rod’s authoritative gold rush era history of how the Iditarod Trail came to be. Rod was appointed by Carter Secretary of the Interior Cecil Andrus to the original Iditarod National Historic Trail Advisory Council).

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Valued Patron Donor Pledge Diamond

    All of the above, plus - - - Your movie credit in next larger font; A personally autographed copy of Chasing Dogs, the spectacular work of Iditarod’s award-winning official photographer since 1981, Jeff Schultz. This coffee-table book is the most drop-dead gorgeous collection of Iditarod photos ever put between two covers.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Major Patron Donor

    All of the above, plus - - - Size of your name in the credits grows to an increasingly distinguished level; A teaser video of key points from each interview with the historic original Iditarod mushers.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Premier Patron Donor Pledge Champion

    All of the above, plus - - - More distinguished level of mention in the credits; Receive a behind the scenes “VIP Shoot Pass” and watch us film/perform in action.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Premier Patron Donor Pledge Benefactor

    All of the above, plus - - - Even more distinguished level of mention in the credits; Receive two tickets to the pre-race Iditarod Mushers Banquet, gala event with world-wide attendance where you can sit with film Creator/Director Rod and producer Buzz Rohlfing, meet and take pictures with the mushers, get autographs, and watch them draw for race starting position.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Grand Patron Donor

    All of the above, plus - - - your mention in the credits takes on an elite, individualized level. Receive a trip to Nome, Alaska (including lodging) fabled gold rush city near the Arctic Circle. With Rod there as your guide, witness the racers’ exciting finishes.

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Funding period

- (45 days)