What began as a waste reduction project to convert over stocked Birkie race bibs into reusable shopping bags (Birkie Bib Bags) has taken on a life of its own!
The BLC (Birchleggings Club) is thrilled to announce that the club has raised over $25,000 to purchase the performance edition of the all Electric NOMAD Utility Snowmobile from Taiga Motors in Montreal, Canada. As far as we know, Taiga is the only company manufacturing EV Snowmobiles and Jet Skis. The BLC is waiting to hear from Taiga that their machine is ready to pick up this Spring/ Summer in Rutland VT, currently the only Taiga service center in the lower 48 states. BLC President Paul Thompson and Board member Ralph Bovard will drive to Montreal to meet with Taiga staff with the intention to invite and confirm Taiga’s attendance at the Birkie Expo at Birkie 50 in February 2024. Then drive to Rutland to pick up our Nomad and deliver to Jim Sokup, ABSF Facilities Manager and his trail team at ABSF. The Nomad will come with a level 1 and level 2 charger that will allow a fast charge of only 3 hours for a complete charge.
The fundraising campaign was given a boost when Olympian and Minnesota native Jessie Diggins endorsed the project and the idea of filming the lead group of racers without leaving a trail of gas emissions to ski through. Jessie donated 4 of her World Cup autographed race bibs and one autographed Birkie Bib to be auctioned off at Birkie #49 last February. The 5 bibs raised more than $3000 and helped to generate more contributions before, during and after the Birkie. The BLC has an agreement with the ABSF to loan the Nomad to the Loppet Foundation for the Loppet World Cup the week before Birkie 50 where Jessie and other World Cup skiers will be racing.
Attached are photos of the lucky Birkie skiers who won the autographed bibs from Jessie Diggins at Birkie 49. They are Joe Luedtke, Ryan Burke, Kevin Schoessow, Steve Weiss and Steve Poulin from SWIX. Steve is not pictured.
When asked about the significance of this project by the BLC, President Paul Thompson replied: “As Birchleggers, we are committed to keeping the legacy and traditions of the Birkie strong and healthy. This can only happen with a healthy winter season with abundant snow. The ABSF has shown a strong commitment to Birkie Green and moving the ABSF towards being a good environmental steward. We want to do our part and lead our favorite event into the next 50 years for generations of skiers to come.
Donations are being received by the Birchleggings Club for the purchase of a second NOMAD for Birkie 50!
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