Birkie skiers for cures supports the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 28, 2010 10:29 am

HAYWARD, Wis., January 28, 2010 – The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation is excited to announce that its fifth annual Birkie Skiers for Cures fundraising program will once again support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

“The response to the Birkie Skiers for Cures campaign has been incredible,” said Ned Zuelsdorff, Executive Director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation. “In the first four years we have raised over $195,000 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Arthritis Foundation, Lance Armstrong Foundation (LIVESTRONGÒ) and the National MS Society.”

“Dr. Ian Duncan of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a long-time Birkie skier, is one of the National MS Society’s world renown researchers,” said Zuelsdorff. “After Ian approached the Foundation, explained his research and defined the organization’s goals we felt the Society and their efforts to find a cure were a perfect match for the Birkie Skiers for Cures fundraising campaign.”

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, often debilitating disease that attacks the central nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. Symptoms may range from numbness in the limbs to paralysis or loss of vision. Progress of the disease, severity and specific symptoms are very unpredictable and vary from person to person.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to partner once again with the American Birkebeiner,” said Colleen Kalt, president and CEO of the National MS Society – Wisconsin Chapter.  “We were overwhelmed by the positive reaction we received last year.”

 ”MS is a significant health issue, particularly in northern tier states,” said Kalt.  “The disease affects far more of your friends and neighbors than you would ever know.  The generosity of Birkie Skiers will have a tremendous impact in changing lives and moving us closer to a cure.”

“This is a great opportunity for women and men to ‘Join the Movement’ with the National MS Society and to showcase her/his own commitment to health and wellness by training for and participating in our ski events,” Zuelsdorff said. “Whether participating on a competitive or non-competitive level, participants boost their own fitness level, contribute to an important cause, and have a whole lot of fun in the process. It’s empowering and a win-win situation all the way around.”

Zuelsdorff said participating in the Birkie Skiers for Cures program is simple. Donors register for the race or ski event of their choice: the 50K Birkie Skate, 54K Birkie Classic, 23K Kortelopet or 12K Prince Haakon. All are held Saturday, February 27, 2010, in Cable and Hayward, Wis.

Donor/skiers voluntarily collect pledges and raise funds for the National MS Society. Donations can be collected online at or a donation form can be downloaded at visiting the support tab and selecting Birkie Skiers for Cures.

Skiers raising the most money will eligible for exciting prizes, including a pair of skis autographed by Bjorn Daehlie, a Bjorn Daehlie ski suit, free entry into the 2011 American Birkebeiner race of their choice, and free stays at area resorts including Lakewoods Resort, Tagalong Resort  and Spider Lake Lodge.

Skiers and spectators can also participate in the program by purchasing a 2010 Birkie Skiers for Cures MS Pin. The cost of the pin is $20 and is available online at, at the Birkie Office, at various stores throughout Wisconsin and at the National MS Society Booth at the Birkie Skier Expo.
Skiers who purchase a pin and wear it on their bib during the Birkebeiner or Kortelopet will also be eligible for great prizes including a Salomon package of racing skis (classic or skate), poles, boots and bindings, Fischer fitted racing skis (classic or skate), gift certificates from New Moon Ski & Bike and the Bicycle Doctor, Atomic race backpacks and Optic Nerve Interchange sunglasses from Outdoor Ventures, a Yakima ski rack from Rutabaga Paddlesports, and more!

The 37th anniversary American Birkebeiner and Kortelopet events are expected to draw 7,500 skiers. Another 2,500 are expected for shorter races and events. To learn more about North America’s largest and most prestigious cross country ski race, log on to, email or call 715/634-5025. To learn more about Joining the Movement with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in the fight to cure MS, log on to

Birkie 2010 is sponsored by Subaru, Becker Law, Marshfield Clinic-Hayward Center, Johnson Bank, Sawyer County Record, and other businesses throughout the region and country.

About the Birkie:  Celebrating its 37th year, the American Birkebeiner (1-800-USA-BRKE;, February 25-27, 2010, is the largest and most prestigious cross country ski marathon in North America. Spanning more than 50 kilometers from Cable to Hayward, the Birkie is part of the Worldloppet series of 15 international races, and part of the lives of citizen skiers from around the world. Sponsors of Birkie include Subaru, Becker Law, Marshfield Clinic-Hayward Center, Johnson Bank, Swiss Miss, Salomon, Hammer Energy, Sawyer County Record and other businesses throughout the region and country.