Terrie Hanke, 2006 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail ™, shared this tale with me:
I have a nice picture of Mitch Seavey changing into fresh Smart Wools at Elim in 2006. There I was inside the fire house with Jasper Bond, Mark Nordman, Danny Davidson and Jeff Schultz. Mitch came in with a fresh, still in the wrapper pair of those heavy duty red/gray ones. After he ate the ham sandwich offered by Jasper, Mitch changed socks – you could see the pleasure on his face.
Keeping your feet warm on the trail is an absolutely necessity and is one of the things that most concerns our adopted rookie musher, Monica Zappa. We decided this was something we could help her out with!
We learned from Monica that the best types of socks to keep your feet warm on the Iditarod Trail are wool socks. Here is a little information for your kids about choosing the best socks: http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/socks.html . We did some research, did some math, and decided that we needed about $340 to be able to buy her a pair of socks for each checkpoint along the trail. So our next task was to decide how we were going to earn the money. They boys brainstormed several ideas, and ultimately settled on creating Rainbow Loom bracelets and necklaces to sell. After a pair of class representatives went to the Headmaster to gain approval, we spent about a month making product to sell and then one day before school in early November we had our sale.
We were a little hesitant about how the sale was going to turn out… lots of kids in school were making the bracelets for themselves. We had done the math and pretty much decided we needed to sell every item we had to make our goal. We just weren’t sure what to expect.
Well… we were blown away! We sold every single item we had! And then, we had younger students in the hallway crying because they didn’t get to buy one! So the boys created an order sheet and started taking orders! We ended up spending the entire rest of the day making and delivering the “to order” bracelets. When all was said and done, we almost doubled our goal! They kids were so excited!
We wrote to Monica with the amazing news and she picked out the socks she wanted – some Merino wool, some alpaca, some hand knit… and left the rest up to us!
Just before we left school on Winter Break, we packed up mini- drop bags for her for each checkpoint. We filled a ziplock bag for each checkpoint with a pair of socks, some hand and feet warmers, and a little note of encouragement! We even sent her a check and she was able to purchase 250 booties for the four legged members of Team Zappa with the extra money!
We are so excited that a small part of us will be travelling down the trail with Monica this year! Go Team Zappa!