New Year Round Birchleggings Club Activities Posted! Also see Birchlegger Stories...

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Tony Wise Museum of the American Birkebeiner Partners with Birchleggings Club for Museum Exhibitions

This was just published in the December Holiday Edition of the American Birkebeiner Carpe Skiem.

Gale Otterholt, Birchleggings Club President, Tom Rowley, Vice President, and John Kotar, Board Member and Birkie Founder present ABSF Executive Director Ben Popp with a check for $2,000 for exhibits at the Tony Wise Museum of the American Birkebeiner. The Club has joined forces with ABSF to raise money for the Museum in a unique way that will help the Club grow and build support for the museum.

For more than 15 years the Birchleggings Club has worked with the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation to honor skiers at the Birchleggers Sunday Breakfast with awards for 20, 30 and 40 years of racing. Additionally, the Club provides the Tony Wise Award in recognition of contributions to the growth and success of the race, and has provided the funds for the warming hut at Mosquito Brook Road. Now the Club has another feather in its (ski) cap: a $2,000 gift to the Tony Wise Museum of the American Birkebeiner, scheduled to open in 2016. “I am proud and excited that the Birchleggings Club can be part of this project,” said Gale Otterholt, Club President. “It meshes with our mission so well, which in part is to enhance the race traditions of the American Birkebeiner.”

In addition to the Club’s gift, the Club’s Board of Directors has been involved in an effort to seek individual gifts for the Museum from all skiers who have skied twenty or more Birkebeiners. As an incentive, donors of $100 or more – called Museum Founders – will receive a one-year complimentary membership in the Club. “This is a win-win for all of us,” continued Otterholt. “Our Club is growing with a significant number of new members, Club members are renewing their membership early, and we’re getting in on the ground floor of something big – a museum that will honor our race and its legacy.”

Those who took advantage of the complimentary membership offer will be included in the Club’s own membership drive incentives, which includes drawings for prizes, including race-day parking passes. In early November, letters were sent to all skiers who’ve completed 20 or more Birkebeiners. Please contact the ABSF (715-634-5025) if you did not receive a letter, or need a replacement or other information. Contributions may be made at In addition to the aforementioned perks, Museum Founders will be permanently recognized in the Museum, and receive a nifty plaque, a nice addition to those twenty, thirty, and forty year awards in one’s trophy case.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

2016 Birchleggings Club Clothing Now Available!

The 2016 Birchleggings Club Clothing is now available in the Birchleggings Store. Click here or go to the Website Navigation Menu and click on Birchleggings store.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Birchleggings Club Membership Drive!

Birchleggings Club Membership Drive!

Join during our membership drive from Dec 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016 and become eligible for fine prizes in our random drawing.

 How do I get my name into the drawing? Pay Birchleggings Club dues for 2016 by January 31, 2016 and your name will be put into the drawing. See the Membership Menu.

What are the Prices?

 2   Grand prizes – 2016 race day parking passes
15   Other prizes – choice of Birchlegger ball cap, ski hat or T-shirt

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Celebration of Joan Pedersen's Life - November 18, 2015

We are very sorry to communicate the passing of Joan Pedersen, wife of Birchlegger Paul Pedersen, who has completed 31 American Birkebeiner ski races. 

On behalf of the Birchleggings community we wish to express our deepest sympathy to Paul and his family. 

A Celebration of Joan's life will be held on Wednesday. Nov. 18, 2015 from 2:00 - 4:00 PM, at the Lumberjack Steakhouse off of Highway 27 at 15860 T Bone Lane, Hayward, Wisconsin 54843.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Outdoor Ventures Offering Special Discount to Birchleggings Club Members!

Outdoor Ventures has just announced that it is offering a 20% discount on all regularly priced skis, boots and poles to Birchleggings Club members. You must show your membership card and be current with your club dues to take advantage of this offer!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Birchleggings Club Annual 2015 Meeting and Board of Directors Election - November 14, 2015

Birchleggings Club Annual 2015 Meeting and Board of Directors Election

Per the bylaws of The Birchleggings Club Inc, one-third of the 9 Directors are to be elected each year at our annual meeting.

This year, the nominees for the Board election are the three incumbents – Gail Otterholt, Jim Tenorio, and Tom Rowley.

The Birchleggings Club Inc annual meeting will be held on Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 1:00pm CST. All members are welcome to attend. Address is:

5340 Harold St
Eau Claire WI 54701 

Method of Voting.

(a) Absentee Ballots. Download and print the Official Ballot and mail to Dave Balsiger (address below).  Your name must appear on the envelope for voter registration purposes. Completed ballots must be received by November 4, 2014.

(b) In person. Individuals who choose not to vote by absentee ballot may cast their vote in person at the Annual Meeting.

(c) Proxies. There are no votes by proxy.

Mail ballots to:
Dave Balsiger
5703 Lincoln Rd
Oregon WI  53575

Questions to:

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.

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