News & Stories

The Loppet Foundation’s 2016 Annual Meeting

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The Loppet Foundation held its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, October 18 — a tradition for the Board of Directors and members. More than 90 Loppet members attended the meeting at Theodore Wirth Park to celebrate accomplishments from the previous year.

The evening started with a group hike from the Chalet to the Upper Stadium, then down to the project site of The Trailhead. John Munger, Piotr Bednarski and Bert Jackson pointed out the site of the building as well as the new mountain bike event trails and site plans.

Program Committee Reports

Vice President Mark Bixby kicked off the meeting, followed by a Finance and Audit Committee Report form Board Treasurer Scott Gislason. Gislason highlighted strong growth from the previous fiscal year; the Loppet Foundation saw increased revenue from events and fundraising and kept expenses down. Gislason stressed the importance of ending the year “in the black” as the organization ventures into new business lines with The Trailhead. Gislason also reported that the Loppet’s recent audit was of unqualified opinion.  

Introduced by Board Member Joseph Duffy, the Loppet Foundation program directors updated members on Adventures, Events and Loppet Nordic Racing. Adventures Director Anthony Taylor highlighted growth across all programs: Minne-Loppet, Junior Loppet, Loppet Alumni, Adventure Camps and adult programming. Taylor shared that Adventures will be adding school programs and greater involvement with LNR and TRAIL KIDS in the year ahead.

Events Director Mike Erickson highlighted the Loppet’s major events: the Loppet Ski Festival, City Trails Loppet, UCare Tri-Loppet, and Surly Trail Loppet. Loppet events generated increased revenue for the foundation. Erickson also highlighted the Master’s World Cup, which will be held at Theodore Wirth Park in January 2018.

Head Coach Piotr Bednarski reported on the growth and success of Loppet Nordic Racing, including the expansion of TRAIL KIDS and adult programming. Members recognized and applauded members of the Juniors team who won USSA Juniors National Club Championships for the third year in a row.

Board Member Carl Shaffer introduced Lindsay Henning, director of advancement, to provide a report on membership, grants and donations. Henning reported that the Loppet ended the year with a 130% growth in the annual fund and 21% growth in program grant funding.  

The Trailhead Report

Campaign Co-Chair David Dayton and Executive Director John Munger provided a report on The  Trailhead project. Dayton shared the fundraising progress on behalf of the campaign committee — $6.7 Million has been raised to-date, with about $1.8 Million left to go. Dayton recognized contributors and committee members for their support. Munger detailed the recent agreements with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and the two new lines of business for the organization: The Trailhead and  Trails & Recreation. Members of the Anwatin, Franklin, and Northeast Middle School Junior Loppet teams read The Trailhead Proclamation — our shared vision for The Trailhead.

Board Elections

One of the final orders of business was to elect new members to the Board of Directors. The Loppet members in attendance elected Julia Joseph-Di Caprio, Judd Larson, and Marianna (Mia) Como to the Board of Directors. All expressed excitement for their work with the organization in their role as leaders of the organization. Members thanked Board Member Mark Raderstorf, who is rotating off the Board, for his time and service to the organization.

Hall of Fame Inductees and Special Award

The Loppet Foundation inducted three 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 congratulations to this year’s Hall of Fame inductees: Julie Ellingson, David Dayton and Jim Owens (accepted by his family). John Munger surprised volunteer Judd Larson with a special award and thanks for his countless hours of work and guidance towards The Trailhead project.

City of Lakes Loppet Poster Unveiling

loppet-winter-festival-posterJoseph Duffy unveiled elements of the official artwork and poster for the 2017 City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival. The artwork was designed by Lisa Fischer, a new designer at Duffy & Partners, and showcases the unity, diversity, beauty and nature that describe the Loppet Festival. peacefulness of the outdoors and the celebration of winter in our beloved city. The poster will be available for purchase later this fall. Click here to see elements of the artwork.

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!