Alaska Airlines Continues Long-Standing Support Of Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

2/22/2006 10:08 a.m.

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA Alaska Airlines today announced the airline will continue its long-standing support of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. As the official airline of the 34th running of the race, Alaska Airlines' support will include financial sponsorship, volunteer hours, sponsorship of veterinary teams and presentation of the Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award.
     
"We are privileged to be involved with the Iditarod tradition, which honors the rich heritage of our namesake state of Alaska," said Susan Bramstedt, Alaska Airlines' director of public affairs for the state of Alaska.
     
Alaska Airlines will sponsor a team of 45 American and international veterinarians who will support the health and safety of participating dogs. This sponsorship will provide air travel for the veterinarians and their dog-care supplies.
     
The airline also will present the Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award, which recognizes the musher who provides the best care of his or her dogs during the race. The award is named after Alaska's most venerated musher, who traveled with his dogs the longest distance in the 1925 effort to transport diphtheria serum to Nome, Alaska. The award is considered the highest honor a race competitor can receive.

In addition to the airline's sponsorship, Alaska Airlines employees will be extensively involved in the race. The Dog Squad, staffed by Alaska Airlines employee volunteers, will assist mushers and their dogs at the race finish line. Several Alaska Airlines pilots also will serve in the Iditarod Air Force that will fly veterinarians, supplies and volunteers to remote checkpoints along the trail.

Alaska Airlines and sister carrier, Horizon Air, together serve 88 cities through an expansive network throughout Alaska, the Lower 48, Canada and Mexico. For reservations visit alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air newsroom at http://newsroom.alaskaair.com.