News & Stories

The Loppet Foundation’s 2015 Annual Meeting

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The Loppet held its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, October 13 — a tradition for the Board of Directors and members. More than 75 Loppet members attended the meeting at Theodore Wirth Park to celebrate accomplishments from the previous year (record attendance!).

The evening started with a group hike from the Chalet to the Upper Stadium, then down to the project site of the Adventure Center. John Munger and Dave Bryan described the project details to the group as the sun set. After attendees grabbed a quick bite to eat the evening’s official meeting commenced.

Program Committee Reports

Introduced by Board Member Mark Bixby, the Loppet Foundation program directors and Executive Director John Munger updated members on each of the organization’s four areas: Adventures, Events, Stewardship and Loppet Nordic Racing.

Adventures Director Anthony Taylor highlighted increased Minne-Loppet participation, growth in Junior Loppet middle schools programs, the new high school liaison position (funded by the George Family Foundation) and growth in adult programs.

Events Director Mike Erickson highlighted the Loppet’s major events: the Loppet Ski Festival, Salomon CITYTRAIL Loppet, UCare Tri-Loppet, and Surly Brewing Co. Trail Loppet. There was a cumulative total of more than 17,000 participants at these events, including record-breaking attendance at the Luminary Loppet. Erickson emphasized that the importance of sponsorships, donations, and countless volunteer hours.

Erickson continued with a report on the Loppet’s stewardship efforts. He highlighted upcoming trail changes in the bog area at Wirth Park and additions to the Back 40. The group broke into applause when Erickson announced that the Loppet was recently selected to host the 2018 Masters World Cup.

Kim Rudd filled in for Head Coach Piotr Bednarski to provide a report on Loppet Nordic Racing. She shared that there was great growth in LNR programming over the year, especially for FAST KIDS and the new mountain bike team. In addition to regional success, LNR Juniors received national accolades as Overall National Champions for the second year in a row.

Board Member Penelope Greene introduced Lindsay Henning, the new Director of Advancement, to provide a report on membership, grants and donations. Henning reported that the Loppet ended the year with a 37% growth in the annual fund and 45% growth in program grant funding. There were a record number of members for the year, but revenue was down slightly (primarily due to a change in fiscal years).

After the program reports Treasurer Scott Gislason shared an overview of the Loppet’s financials of the previous fiscal year. Since expenses were higher than anticipated the previous year (mostly due to timing and a bad snow year), the Board and staff will work diligently to build a cash reserve for the future. Gislason also reported that the Loppet has had three audits, all of unqualified opinion.

Adventure Center Report and Update

Jon Van Horn (Dorsey & Whitney), David Dayton (campaign co-chair), and Dave Bryan (project volunteer) provided a report on the conceptual design of the Adventure Center, an update on the lease and operating agreement with the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board, and a fundraising report. The campaign committee is working towards a $10 million campaign goal ($8 million capital, $2 million ongoing programmatic support).

Junior National Award

Board Member and Coach Mindy Benton shared an exciting and photo-filled presentation on the Junior National Awards. Loppet Nordic Racing continues to be a top club in our nation. Members of the team joined Benton in front of the audience for a special congratulations and photo as 2015 Junior National Nordic Skiing Club Champions.
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Board Elections

One of the final orders of business was to confirm the slate of candidates for the Board of Directors. The Loppet members in attendance re-elected Bill Blazar, Carl Shaffer, Steve Kotvis, and Joseph Duffy for three-year terms. All expressed excitement for their work with the organization in their role as leaders of the organization.

Hall of Fame Inductees and Special Award

The Loppet Foundation inducted four individuals into the Hall of Fame. Recognized for their depth of involvement, impact, longevity and “Loppet Spirit,” these individuals are visionaries, role-models and leaders who through their hard work and dedication have allowed the Loppet to become what is is today. A special thank you goes out again to this year’s Hall of Fame inductees: Claire Wilson, Mike Bono, Ingrid Remak, John Schmitt.

John Munger surprised volunteer Carla Pardue with a special photo award and thanks for her countless hours of work with Loppet events and the capital campaign.

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2016 Loppet Ski Festival Poster Unveiling

Loppet coach and graphic designer Allie Rykken unveiled elements of the official artwork and poster for the Loppet Ski Festival. The poster is designed by Duffy & Partners and showcases the peacefulness of the outdoors and the celebration of winter in our beloved city. The poster will be available for purchase later this fall.

We are looking forward to another successful year as the organization continues to grow through excellence, hard work and our amazing group of supporters, volunteers and members!

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