|Posted by Barbara Hand on February 21, 2013 at 10:30 AM|
Today starts the 40th Annual American Birkebeiner event. This is known as the largest cross country ski race in North America.
What some people don't know, is that this is held in a Northwestern Wisconsin town with a population just under 2000. That is correct, not 20,000, just 2000. It was started and promoted by Tony Wise, a man with an entrepreneur spirit and vision that few people have. He believed in something and he went for it. I don't know if he saw the potential that it has grown to or if he just wanted to create something that would boost the economics of a small town or maybe it was purely selfish reasons to promote his Skiing resort hidden way back in the woods near Cable, Wisconsin. Whatever the impetus, it worked.
What makes this the spirit of America? It is a small town coming together to host visitors from all over the world. Coming together to do something good, to support their community, to provide an entertaining and enjoyable event for virtual strangers, to smile and be kind to people as they accomplish a dream, physical endurance or in some cases overcoming a handicap or illness. It is with pride and selflessness that volunteers give of themselves and their homes.
This event and many others have been going on for so long that this is now a culture of the community. Volunteer, give of yourself, do for others, support your community, love your home town, state and country, have pride... all ideas, traditions that I fear are lost in some areas but are still alive in actually two Small Towns in Northwestern Wisconsin... Hayward and Cable.
You have to love a place that puts that kind of smile on a young persons face and life.
You can watch a live webstream at http://new.livestream.com/xcountrylive/events/1894604?query=2013%20American%20Bi&cat=event