The Pandemic Edition of CHIditarod totally surpassed our expectations setting a new record for fundraising — thank you to everyone that worked so hard to make this a uniquely epic year!
The Greater Chicago Food Depository normally joins us at the starting line, this year we took the party to GCFD bringing food donations and helping pack up emergency food boxes. Our Film Challenge was the perfect showcase of our racer’s wit and creativity, and the Telethon & Award Ceremony tied it all together highlighting the work of the CHIditarod Foundation and our award winners for 2021.
Raised for Community Grants
Meals Packed for the Hungry
Pounds of Food Donated!
Fundraising is the powerful force behind the CHIditarod Foundation’s hunger-fighting grant program. This year alone, our racers, volunteers, checkpoints, and organizers — with the help of their families, friends, and communities — raised more than $123,000 in support of community grants! We will once again be able to support community-centered initiatives that address hunger, food scarcity, and education via the CHIditarod Grant Program.
Fundraising Champions | $36,754
The Nomes took fundraising to a new level this year — between creative concepts like an online dance party and some incredibly generous donors, this team raised 30% of the total for this year — a mind-boggling amount of money in a time when so many are struggling.
2nd place | $13,484
Whether it’s playing elaborate Facebook games with their followers or rallying their friends and family, 3GS&T not only pulled off a new high for their team’s fundraising records, they manage to do so without any corporate matching.
3rd place | $7,532
Salesforce Chicago Trailblazers
With a much smaller team of dedicated fundraisers, this group – now based in Portland – still managed a Chiditarod miracle, doubling their money in the last two weeks in order to capture a prize.
4th place | $6,635
With a last-minute surge, these fundraising stalwarts pulled themselves onto the awards podium (and Unlocked the Mask Level!)
The GCFD Takeover
The Greater Chicago Food Depository has been a huge part of the start of each CHIditarod race collecting food donations from each team. For 2021 we brought teams of volunteers to GCFD to help pack up 959 emergency food boxes. Some teams rallied to compete for the coveted Food Drive Champions award, and we donated over 5,000 lbs of food. That’s enough to provide more than 23,000 meals for Chicago’s hungry! Thank you CHIditarod participants for being amazing all-stars and for making a difference in the lives of many, many people.
Food Drive Champions | 2300 lbs
Team Cartastrophe rocked our film festival taking Best Comedy & Best Costumes. They also brought big energy to GCFD showing up fully costumed donating 2,300 lbs of food, with the majority coming from Jenkins Volkswagen where the entire staff raised funds and food in an effort to eliminate hunger.
Film Challenge Awards
Without the ability to dress up and gather to race shopping carts, a film contest seemed like the perfect way to keep the spirit of CHIditarod alive. Our community delivered in a big way, and it was an absolute joy to watch the submissions, thank you!
The Spirit of CHIditarod Award
Despite the pandemic and lack of race, the ChiditaHAWKS went ahead and did exactly what they would have done for race day: built a cart, put on costumes, created a single-team race through the streets of Chicago, and raised over 500lbs of food and over $5,000 for the Chiditarod Foundation, and had a lot of fun doing it. In just their fourth year, this Art Cart team proved that nothing will get in their way when mushing through the streets and solving food insecurity.
Best in Show & People’s Choice Award
Our film judges loved this submission: brilliant dub overs, story telling & editing, this film is a masterpiece. Drunk Cart Story won both Best Documentary and Best In Show! It was neck to neck for the Chiditarod Film Fest & Telethon People’s Choice Award with 6-Pack Attack winning by just ONE vote. We are amazed at their fundraising and GCFD Volunteering on race day as well.
We Can’t Wait to Put Your Donations to Work
We would like to thank everyone for helping CHIditarod raise the most money to go directly to fighting hunger ever. Humbled doesn’t even being to put into words, how honored we are that people came together to care for others during one of the most incomparable years. One year ago, we realized that if Chiditarod was just days later it would not have taken place. This year despite still facing COVID-19 concerns, people came out to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, more than 5,000lbs of food was directly donated, and over $123,000 was raised and will have a huge impact on food insecurity.
Thank you for all you did this year. We hope to have our grant applications up soon, and in the meantime we will continue to support local organizations, one emergency grant at a time.