About Us

A Membership Club For All Skiers Who Have Completed Twenty or More American Birkebeiner® 55K Classic or 51K Freestyle Nordic Ski Marathons. The Birkie is Part of The Worldloppet Marathon Series.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tony Wise Birkie Spirit Award and Pictures from the Birchleggings Club Breakfast and Awards Ceremony 2015

John Kotar with Nina Kotar accepts the 2015 Tony Wise Birkie Spirit Award at the Birchleggings Club Breakfast and Awards Ceremony on February 22, 2015 in Hayward, Wisconsin!

Steve Carmazon, Birchleggings Club Board Members said these words in introducing John.

Other than our parents, there are two people responsible for us being here today. 

We're going to look at their legacies. The First is Tony Wise. Tony was known for, and successful because of at least 4 major traits.

1. He was extremely gregarious, he loved people, and wanted them to succeed and prosper in life, and he wanted to provide winter jobs, in a time that was primarily a summer resort recreation economy.  Being a ski resort owner, he loved to see people living a healthy lifestyle.

2. He possessed great leadership skills, on what should/could be next, and was extremely creative.

3. He had a great pioneering Spirit, he wanted to be first at what he did, he wasn't afraid to try new things, and even lose money, hoping to make it up elsewhere.

4. In everything he did, he wanted to do it first class, or not at all.

His Legacy changed the Landscape in Nordic skiing, both in America, and the World, with the American Birkebeiner, the Birkie Trail, and the Worldloppet, All His Creations!

John Kotar, our recipient today, is also a creation of Tony's. Tony liked to recognize and reward accomplishment, John and 9 others were designated founders in 1982, the 10th year of the Birkie, after they had skied the first 10years.

In 1992, John Kotar, concluded that were other skiers who deserved recognition for their accomplishments, so he wrote a letter to the ABSF, stating that, the result of which is our Purple, Gold, and now Spirit of 35 Bibs. All of us who wear those bibs have him to thank for that.
The Birchleggings Club is his Creation.

When the idea came forth to build warming huts attached to storage buildings at various food station sites on the Birkie Trail, John was there, as a member of The ABSF Board, to help build OUR Legacy, by saying that the Birchleggings Club would Pay off the construction price, if we could put our Logo on it.

OUR Warming Hut at Mosquito Brook Road is a Tangible, Permanent statement of who WE are, and OUR Commitment to The Birkie Trail, the Sport, and the Race, and being a food station site, the volunteers Serving There Love It, as they have a place to warm up.

When it came time for John to step aside, and let others take charge, in 2013, and 2014, he shepherded us through the Steering Committee Process, which led to forming a board of directors, with by-laws, incorporating, electing officers, and becoming a tax exempt organization.

And now we're off to forming our Legacy, with our first ever expo booth, but we wouldn't be here without his vision, and creativity.

One more thing: He came up with the concept of the Tony Wise Birkie Spirit Award, and He Exemplifies All of Tony  's Attributes and Accomplishments!

On behalf of the Nominating Committee, and the Board of Directors of the Birchleggings Club, it is my Great Honor and Pleasure to announce the Recipient of the 2015 Tony Wise Birkie Spirit Award is our Founder: John Kotar.

To see pictures from the 2015 Birchleggings Club Breakfast and Awards Ceremony please go to this link 2015 Birchleggings Club Breakfast and Awards Ceremony Pictures.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Birchleggings Club Breakfast and Awards Ceremony - February 22, 2015

We cordially invite Birchleggers and guests to the Annual Birchleggings Club Awards breakfast.

Skiers that have finished 20, 30, or 40 American Birkebeiner ski races this year will also be individually recognized and presented with awards.

When: Sunday, February 22, 2015 from 09:00-11:00am.

Where: Lumberjack Steakhouse - Next to the Flat Creek Suites (formerly Ramada Inn)
15860 T Bone Lane
Hayward, WI 54843
Phone: 715-934-4411
GPS Coordinates: 46.003482, -91.484319

Breakfast is $10  - except for new 20 Year Skiers who are free! Guests are welcome.

It’s always a good time so please come and meet other Birchleggers and support the Birchleggings Club!

Membership Drive Award Winners Announced!

The award winners from the Birchleggings Club Membership Drive have been announced.

These Birchleggings Club members have won the following prizes in our random drawing:

William Collett  -  2016 Birkie Registration

Marvin Franson – 2015 Raceday Parking Pass
Kevin Schilling – 2015 Raceday Parking Pass
Mark Berens – 2015 Raceday Parking Pass

Choice of Birchlegger T-shirt, ski hat or ball cap
Carl Lippert
Barb Klippel
Jeffrey Shephard
Carolyn Senty
Chris Larsen
Thomas Herfort
Robert Aldrich
Gary Gerst
Lee Ries
Peter Rayne
Douglas Schumacher
William Czaja
Michael Meissner
Carole Mueller-Brumbaugh
Barb Menge

Congratulations to all the winners!

Friday, January 9, 2015

2015 Birchleggings Clothing Now Available!

The 2015 Birchleggings Clothing is available! See the Birchleggings Clothing 2015 Information below on the website.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Honorary Birchleggings Club Membership Granted to the Late Dan Sanville

Dan Sanville, a veteran of 19 Birkies, passed away November 11, 2014 at the age 60 due to ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.  Dan was a lifelong skier who grew up skiing the trails in and around Escanaba, Michigan. When his disease prevented him from finishing his 20th American Birkebeiner, Dan was granted honorary membership into the Bircheggings Club, of which Dan was very proud.

In addition to his many Birkie finishes, Dan skied several World Loppet races, from New Zealand to Europe. He was a also strong supporter of the high school Nordic program in White Bear Lake, providing key parent support by hosting waxing clinics, chaperoning training trips, and providing pasta feeds over 10 years.

Dan also enjoyed other outdoor activities, including hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with his sons and kayaking the Apostle Islands during the summer.

For those wishing to offer a memorial in Dan's honor, a scholarship fund in Dan's name called the Dan Sanville Nordic Skiing Scholarship, has been established at White Bear Lake High School. Donations can be submitted through the White Bear Lake Educational Foundation's website at www.wblaef.org.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Annual Meeting Minutes and Updated Membership and In Memoriam Lists

The meeting minutes from the Annual Meeting held in October 2014 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin is available at the Birchleggings Club Meeting Minutes Section on the Right.

The Birchleggings Club Members and In Memoriam Lists have been updated and are available in the Membership Lists Section below.

The picture is of Brad Peterson, Birchlegger Class of 1974 and Steve Carmazon, Class of 1975 at the Birkie Event in Golden Valley, Minnesota on November 20, 2014.

Sunday, November 16, 2014