Blockditarod: The Pandemic Edition #2 — CHIditarod XVII did not race, but our block party was blessed with warm Spring-like weather, which made for a wonderful day of pageantry and reconnecting with our community.
Teams rallied hard to raise just over six figures in funds for 2022 CHIditarod Foundation Grants, and tons of food and funds were donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository!
For Community Grants
Pounds of Food Donated
Fundraising is the powerful force behind the CHIditarod Foundation’s hunger-fighting grant program. Our racers, volunteers, checkpoints, and organizers — with the help of their families, friends, and communities — raised more than $106,000 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 | $28.488
Nomeward Bound #1
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 | $15,420
3GS&T 16th Ed.
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 | $12,940
We Didn’t Start the Fire
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 | $8,170
With a last-minute surge, these fundraising stalwarts pulled themselves onto the awards podium (and Unlocked the Mask Level!)
The Food Drive
The Greater Chicago Food Depository has been a huge part of the start of each CHIditarod race collecting food donations from each team. For 2022 it was great to see a GCFD truck at the yard again, and we donated over 12,000 lbs of food. That’s enough to provide more than 10,000 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 | 4,856 lbs
The Cart Nutz bring the crazy, but they also bring the food — nearly five thousand pounds, thanks to a network of friends and family determined to help us in our mission to solve food insecurity. Inspiring.
2nd Most Food Raised | 2,438 lbs
Chicago United Riders
With a determination borne of the bike community, the Chicago United Riders showed up in their motorcycle best, but only after dropping off over a ton of food at GCFD.
Blockditarod Pageant Awards
With no race scattering teams across West Town, our block party let us really focus on the costumes, characters, and antics that make CHIditarod so much fun. The judges held court reviewing art carts and giving each pageant team three minutes to charm and/or bribe their way into the winner’s circle — here are the teams and checkpoint crews that took home trophies in 2022!
Best Art Cart & Rookie of the Year!
Cloudy With a Chance of Awesome
This spectacular cart brought to life the children’s book that inspired them. A weather report, pool noodles, and requisite meatballs flew through the air as part of the show, and then we all enjoyed some actual meatballs. An impressive outing for this first-time participant!
AND NOW WE HAVE KIDS
Hand cut strips on bodysuits, this car wash cart cleaned, washed, and had us all laughing, twisting, and having a great time.
Wanna Get Nudie?
A charming presentation of camping cups that were customized on the spot (and then filled with a delightful cocktail), guests at this Graham Parsons-themed cart then had their photo taken in an homage to The Byrd’s famous Sweetheart of the Rodeo album cover.
Mundus Absurdus: Beach Please
A few of our Checkpoint teams decided to do a popup version in the Yard this year, and “Beach, Please” by the Phyllis’ crew was hilarious, and perfectly timed for the weather.
The Phyllis’ Award for Best Opening Credit Sequence
Hank Hill was never funnier… a dead-on impression of the opener to this classic Mike Judge cartoon, who knew that watching 30 seconds of guys drinking beer could be so funny?
The Roots Pop My Cherry Award
Nomeward Bound #2
It didn’t take six tries for this Wordle cart to win us over. In five letters, this cart was SWELL.
The Irish Nobleman Award for Best Opportunity to Improve Your Life
Taking 4th Place in Fundraising, and half of the Frivalry that pushed our fundraising to new levels six years ago, the Chidiots are guaranteed to bring some absurdity to the proceedings, in addition to cash. For The Irish Nobleman Award, the Judges nearly missed this corporate cart until one looked up in surprise, declaring, “Oh, hi! We didn’t see you there…”
The Five Star “In Memorium” Award
An homage to a beloved Burning Man Art Cart lead who passed away last year, this sentimental DJ setup had everyone dancing in the street — literally.
Output Lounge Presents the “Spirit of Expression” Award
EE – Environmental Encroachment
It wouldn’t be a Chiditarod Start Line without the distinct sounds of EE echoing throughout the Yard, and we are proud to say thanks to them with this award.
CHIditarod Love Award
Louie Mendicino & Cobra Lounge
Because we really wouldn’t have Chiditarod the last few years without Louie and the fine folks at Cobra Lounge 😀
We Can’t Wait to Put Your Donations to Work
We would like to thank everyone for helping CHIditarod raise money and food to go directly to fighting hunger. Humbled doesn’t even begin to put into words, how honored we are that people came together to care for others during one of the most incomparable years. This year despite still facing COVID-19 concerns, people came out to one of the MOST beautiful March Saturdays anyone in Chicago could have asked for, more than 12,000 lbs of food was directly donated, and over $105,000 was raised that will have a huge impact on food insecurity in Chicagoland.
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 grant at a time.