Student volunteers dig in, help out at checkpoint

By CEDRIC TALL, staff writer

Galena high school students volunteered to help around at the Iditarod checkpoint on the GILA campus near the cosmetology building during the race last week (March 14-21).

“It’s always good to help out other people who need help,” said Matthew Bruton, a freshman from Tok.

The student volunteers had to make a bed of hay for the dogs to rest in front of the cosmetology building. They kept the mushers dogs in team of dogs. They had to scoop the dog poop in a different area from where the dogs were staying.

The smell was sometimes bad – dog poop with a mixture of sweat.

Other students helped make a trail for the Iditarod mushers to go to the checkpoint and out of the checkpoint.

On the Friday afternoon (March 13) that the Hawk Highlights visited the checkpoint, there were a half-dozen students working to keep the Iditarod running.

The names of all the student volunteers who helped with the Iditarod will be published as soon as those names become available.

Students had all sorts of reasons for volunteering.

Kaleb Korta and Kiana Korta, both from Galena, were there to help out their dad Jon Korta because he runs the checkpoint.

“I get to be out of school,” said Cheryl Adams, a senior from Kivalina.

“I enjoy working with dogs,” said Alice Bruton, a sophomore from Tok.