2018 Grant Recipients

Advocates for Urban Agriculture – $5,000 – The support from CHIditarod will go directly to growing AUA’s impact on populations that struggle with healthy food access. The impact is two-fold: a larger production of healthy food for the community and economic development of programs that get that food into the hands of Chicagoans. AUA’s training initiative will ultimately help farmers access the tools they need to more successfully do what they do best – grow food that will increase their prosperity and that of their communities.

Bronzeville Neighborhood Farm – $1,000 – Bronzeville Neighborhood Farm is a community urban agriculture site managed by the Bronzeville Alliance and sponsored by NeighborSpace. One year ago, the Bronzeville Urban Site was an empty lot. Today, Bronzeville Alliance has facilitated community construction of garden beds and a hoop house, paving the way for successful crop production in 2018.  This farm is a community anchor, securing long-term residents in the neighborhood through home-grown social connection. This community farm’s mission is to bring people from different income levels and backgrounds together through shared neighborhood effort.

Dignity Diner – $5,000 – Dignity Diner is a local ministry that offers a free three course meal to community members every Tuesday evening. Holy Covenant United Methodist Church—alongside volunteers from the community—have been serving the hungry and the homeless in the Lincoln Park/Lakeview neighborhood since 1992. Over the last 27 years, more than 60,000 meals have been served at Dignity Diner. The cost of food service at Dignity Diner averages $300 a week, including food, supplies, and staff— the grant from CHIditarod would provide more than 16 weeks of high quality meals to local guests.

Figeroa Wu Foundation – $5,000 – The Figueroa Wu Foundation supports groups like the UI Health Pilsen Food Pantry, which opened in January 2008 and serves vulnerable Chicagoans by reducing immediate food insecurity. In as few as nine months, Figueroa Wu has served thousands of people. UI Health Pilsen Food Pantry will use their grant to train more volunteers, increase their food storage capacity, and increase the number of people served.

Gardeneers – $4,000 – Gardeneers is making an impact across Chicago Public Schools. This grant will increase the amount of produce grown for farm stands by expanding the production area of 25 school gardens. Half of the money will be used to physically expand these gardens, covering lumber, soil, mulch, seeds and seedlings. The other part will be used to purchase materials needed for farm stands, such as tables, chairs, shade tents, display baskets, informational signage, recipe cards, and flyers for community recruitment.

Holsten Human Capital Development

Holsten Human Capital Development – $5,000 – Holsten Human Capital Development currently serves 3,500 households in 15 Chicagoland communities in addition to Riverdale and Joliet. This grant is supporting their Riverwalk Heal food pantry, housed in a space recently vacated by the Loving Word Ministries Food Bank in the Riverwalk Homes public housing complex in Joliet. Holsten Human Capital Development stocks the shelves for distribution for the pantry’s Thursday food distribution and emergency food requests.

New Eclipse Community Alliance – $3,000 – New Eclipse Community Alliance offers food assistance through a client model, allowing people seeking services to choose for themselves what products they receive. This makes stocking easier for the pantry, affords the people served dignity and control, limits food waste, and allows the program to tailor the help received to fit each unique situation.  This funding opportunity will help sustain the food pantry,  which serves 54 households and 174 individual clients monthly.

Peterson Garden Project – $2,000 – Since Peterson Garden Project began with a single Pop-Up Victory Garden in 2010, growing food specifically for neighbors in need has been a priority of their Grow2Give program. Over the past nine years, they have trained volunteer gardeners and worked closely with local nutrition partners to grow fresh food just for their clients – our neighbors. Each year, our Grow2Give volunteer gardeners grow, harvest, wash, package, and deliver an average of 2,500 pounds of fruits, vegetables, and herbs for our neighborhood partners: Howard Area Community Center in Rogers Park, Inspiration Café in Uptown, Lincoln Square Friendship Center and First Slice Pie Café in Albany Park, North Part Friendship Center in North Park, and Care for Real in Edgewater. That’s 10,000 servings of fresh food for people in our communities.

2018 Results

CHIditarod XIII

March 3, 2018

14,476 Meals for the Hungry

17,371 Pounds of Food Collected

More than $56,000 Raised to Fight Hunger in Chicago

Nearly eight hundred kindred souls gathered on a balmy 40 degree day to create the annual spectacularly-festive, extraordinarily-costumed, epically mobile food drive and charity shopping cart race — CHIditarod XIII. The sun-drenched Chicago streets were filled with more than 250 volunteers and 97 teams of 5 costumed and thoroughly excited humans, raising food and record-breaking funds in the pursuit of feeding the hungry while racing tricked-out shopping carts through 5 themed checkpoint establishments in the name of charity, prizes, and glory. Truly, a spectacle like none other, and a day to long remember.

The annual event raced through Chicago’s West Town Ukrainian Village neighborhoods, visiting five checkpoints each. Mahoney’s, Phyllis’s Musical Inn, Five Star Bar, Roots Handmade Pizza, and Cobra Lounge hosted costumed superstars with their own themes and contests for teams to participate in. All bars generously donate a portion of their proceeds to The CHIditarod Foundation to aid in our epic mission of fighting hunger in Chicago.

CHIditarod is always finding new ways to positively impact our community and those in need. This year we again collected unused toiletries for Sarah’s Circle, a non-profit agency serving women who are homeless or in need of a safe space. They also focus on women needing support because of domestic violence. Thank You to everyone who donated race day, at ChiditaBowl, and at the Burners Without Borders Chicago Winter Ball.


Food Drive

CHIditarod playfully calls itself “probably the world’s largest mobile food drive”, and we could not be more impressed by this year’s food drive success,

With the help of our friends and at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the CHIditarod XIII food drive collected enough food to provide 14,476 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.



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Best in Food Drive :: The CHIvengers

The Chivengers avenged hunger this year at superhuman levels. This team brought in 2,525 pounds of food to give 2,104 meals to those in need.

Honorable Food Mentions

Chickiditarods were our second most food drive-driven team, bringing in 1,668 pounds of food, equivalent to 1,390 meals! A HUGE THANK YOU to these teams who help us make sure all Chicagoans have the food they need.



Art Carts

The art carts this year were a small but mighty group, diverse in experience and execution. From virgins who lived in a Yellow Submarine, to a Stone Age Secret Gentlemen’s Club, and the stalwart HoboQ dishing out tapas, everyone enjoyed snacks, music, and of course, FIRE!


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Neolithic Noshers

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Yellow Submarine



Epic Fundraising


To date, the CHIditarod Foundation has give out $152,000 in grants to local nonprofits who share in our mission to stop hunger in Chicago. This year alone, our racers, volunteers, checkpoints, and organizers — with the help of their families, friends, and communities — raised more than $56,000 in support of this community grants program! Racers and volunteers raised more than ever before.

We will once again be able to fight hunger challenges, supporting community-centered initiatives that address hunger, food scarcity, and education via the CHIditarod Grant Program.


Most Epic Fundraising: 3GS&T

Once again, 3GS&T were the big winners in Fundraising. For the third year in a row they smashed the prior year’s donation record, raising an incredible $10,451.
In 2018, however, they were chased by a new rival, the breakfast cereal characters of Nomeward Bound.


2nd Most Epic Fundraising: Nomeward Bound

In an epic battle that had fans and Coreganizers alike watching their phones until the cutoff of 5:30pm on race day, 3GS&T just barely edged out Nomeward Bound, who finished with $10,207. That is an incredibly small margin. Nomeward Bound are true heroes in our eyes and deserve just as much admiration.


3rd Most Epic Fundraising: The Chidiots

Last year’s challenger, The Chidiots, rounded out the top three with an absolutely stellar amount of $6,244, and we deeply appreciate them – and everyone who contributed – for helping make this year’s grant pool even deeper.


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While CHIditarod racers do wondrous things, none would be possible without the more than 250 brave and selfless volunteers that make CHIditarod happen. Volunteers are truly the MVPs of CHIditarod.

Not only do many of them fundraise, they also build the starting and finish lines, create immersive and exciting checkpoint environments, keep you safe while mobile, and have a blast right alongside you. To our volunteers, we honor and salute you all. Thanks.

Visit our grant page to learn about the program and how your organization can apply during the next grant cycle.

Thank You Thank You Thank You!
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More Winners!



Best in Show, People’s Choice :: The Art Cart

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Dressed to the Nines :: 3GS&T




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A tour through a mobile gallery, led by a boastful but engaging host was this year’s big prize winner. Stretched over two carts, this art collection included six classic paintings, a sculpture garden, graffiti art, a 60-second audio tour, the obligatory velvet ropes, and of course, wine and cheese. Sight, sound, and motion (Munch’s “The Scream” actually did just that…) made for one of the most creative and interactive carts of the day.

This team was so well-loved that they also have been awarded the 2018 People’s Choice Award based on the feedback received from our post-event all-racer surveys. Stellar effort!
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Don’t let the balloons and tinsel on this Barbie Dream Closet fool you – these are Power Paper Dolls, not lightweights! The ladies of 3GS&T brought life-sized, laminated cutouts of some of the strongest, most influential women around. From TV pioneer Lucille Ball to astronaut Mae Jemison to Lady Gaga (complete with Meat Dress), and of course, The Notorious RBG, these long-time racers swapped costumes amongst themselves and even other racers and Judges a chance to try on. So many outfits, so little time…[/one_half]



Best Bribe:: 5 Angry Teachers

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Rookie of the Year :: Great Scott! Those Are Some Nice Cans



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Another art theme takes a top prize as this Van Gogh cart didn’t merely offer up (gummy) sliced ears. A vision of the artist himself signed handmade, original paintings for Judges and timekeepers alike. Autographed on the spot, each one featured an aspect of CHIditarod, from a Chicago flag, to a Hancock Holdup logo, to a shopping cart, all in the setting of an actual Van Gogh painting.
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This year’s Rookie team took us Back to the Future in their DeLorean model cart, complete with a newspaper predicting their win and a walking, light-up Flux Capacitor who fueled up on Dippin’ Dots.


There are so many more winners at CHIditarod; see below for all the fun numbers.


Race Statistics

[tab title=”Prizes”]


Team Name


Food Drive – 4th Place

Art Cart 1 & 2

552 lbs

Food Drive – 3rd Place

Hobo – Q

590 lbs

Food Drive – 2nd Place


1168 lbs

Food Drive – Epic 1st Place


2525.5 lbs

4th most epic Fundraiser

Great Scott: Look at those cans


3rd most Epic Fundraiser



2nd most Epic Fundraiser

Nomeward Bound 1 & 2


Most Epic Fundraiser

3GST 12th edition


3rd Place Time

5 Rabbits

2nd Place Time

Team formerly known as the 2016 fastest cart

1st Place Time – Fastest Dog


Best Bribe

5 angry teachers

Their lovely handmade paintings

Rookie of the Year Award

Great Scott: Look at those cans

Honorable Mention:

Rookie of the year

Yellow Submarine

Bike Marshals Choice


DisHonorable Mention

Empire Carpet

For giving bribes, not having enough, then asking for them back

Best Photo Award

Elizabeth from Kenosa Kickers

Best Team Costume

3GST, 12th edition

For their dolls

Most Engaging Cart

Crash Cart Dummies

Fast food window

Best Cart Build

Throne of Games

For their actual throne made out of actual games

Best Art Cart

Neolithic Noshers

Secret Gentlemans club built an epic cave man cart

Spirit of Chiditarod – Good Samaritan


For their work in helping 3GS&T raise money once they had met their own fundraising goal

3rd Best in Show


For legit Batman and his gang

2nd Best in Show

The Royal House of Queer Mishaps

Best in Show

The Art Cart 1 & 2

Super Bonus Appreciation Award

Natty Pants

For all her love and epic wrangling

Dick Dastardly Award


Black Tarp Trickery

People’s Choice

The Art Cart 1 & 2


[tab title=”Fundraising”]

CHIditarod Foundation Fundraising and GCFD Food Drive Totals

Team #

Team Name

Food Drive lbs

Fundraising Total


The Royal House of Queer Mishap




Team formerly known as the 2016 fastest cart



5 Rabbits



Neolithic Noshers




5 Angry Teachers




Throne of Games



The Art Cart



Kenosha Kickers



Great Scott! Those Are Some Nice Cans








3GS&T 12th Ed




Nomeward Bound 1




The Chivengers




The Art Cart (2)









Empire Carpet






Crash Cart Dummies




Yellow Submarine



5 Rabbit







Afternoon Delight



Alice in Horrorland




All The Way UP






Barnum’s Animals



Bill Swerski’s Superfans







Blommers Wonka Factory




Bowies in Space



Brownies for the win




Bucktown Chickens




C.R.A.M.D in this Cart



ChicaGOGO Girls Team 1




ChicaGOGO Girls Team 2










Curry in a Hurry




Dawgs Playin’ Poker




DC Swamp Critter




Drunkin’ Donuts



Even more CHIditagods







Gaza Strippers




Going for gold!



Good Grief!



Gwen Stefani shits B-A-N-A-N-A-S



Hash House Harriers



HMS Paula Deen




Hopefully sumthin cool



Hot Tub Time MaCHIne



Into the Wild




It’s All Ogre Now




It’s Always Sunny



Jurassic Park: Bribe-o-saurus Rex




Jurassic Park: Is It Getting Cretaceous in Here or Are You Just Happy to See Me?








Lisa Frank



Mario Kart



Mr. Rogers Neighborhood



Mutiny on the HMS Bounty









Nomeward Bound 2



Not Fast, Just Furious



Not Your Father’s Medicine Cabinet









Right Said Shred



Sara Para Pizza Party



Shake it to the Right



Shamrock Shakes



Spaceballs the Shopping Cart




Spinal Tap Takeover



Stormy’s Troopers






Team JabberJaw




Team Purple



Techno Charile and The Fantasy Factory



The (Beetle) Juice is Loose!




The Chicago Biers




The Cooter Lounge




The Diverse Trash Pandas



The Golden Girls



The Kauai Coffee Beans



The Little Lebowski Urban Achievers



The Scooby Squad



The Velour Comets




The Welderbeasts



The Yung Popes



Trip Deuce Niner



Urban Legends



What About Bob




Wigs Jacked for Jesus




Wonka’s Nerds



Yo Gabba be kidding Me



[tab title=”Timing”]

CHIditarod is in fact a race! Rushing from the start, hitting each bar for a 25 minute rest, and completing a five mile race is grueling work.

Team # Team Name Time in Hours Time in Seconds
1632 BTB 02:52:32 10352.0
1686 Team formerly known as the 2016 fastest cart 03:02:02 10922.0
1620 5 Rabbits 03:09:47 11387.0
1706 Trip Deuce Niner 03:10:21 11421.0
1634 C.R.A.M.D in this Cart 03:12:32 11552.0
1707 Urban Legends 03:26:56 12416.0
1655 Hash House Harriers 03:27:22 12442.0
1653 Great Scott! Those Are Some Nice Cans 03:28:20 12500.0
1642 Curry in a Hurry 03:35:50 12950.0
1675 Not Your Father’s Medicine Cabinet 03:37:09 13029.0
1685 Tatooine911 03:37:32 13052.0
1702 The Velour Comets 03:47:09 13629.0
1657 Hopefully sumthin cool 03:47:38 13658.0
1622 Afternoon Delight 03:48:09 13689.0
1687 Team JabberJaw 03:52:01 13921.0
1708 What About Bob 03:55:55 14155.0
1637 Chickiditarods 03:57:00 14220.0
1646 Empire Carpet 03:59:08 14348.0
1670 NapT1 03:59:39 14379.0
1641 Crash Cart Dummies 04:01:40 14500.0
1681 Shamrock Shakes 04:04:03 14643.0
1710 Wonka’s Nerds 04:07:33 14853.0
1682 Spaceballs the Shopping Cart 04:10:35 15035.0
1680 Shake it to the Right 04:10:49 15049.0
1625 BaltOVE 04:11:07 15067.0
1627 Bill Swerski’s Superfans 04:11:33 15093.0
1629 Blommers Wonka Factory 04:12:13 15133.0
1644 DC Swamp Critter 04:12:40 15160.0
1623 Alice in Horrorland 04:13:11 15191.0
1689 Techno Charile and The Fantasy Factory 04:13:51 15231.0
1631 Brownies for the win 04:14:22 15262.0
1672 Nomeward Bound 1 04:14:54 15294.0
1617 3GS&T 12th Ed 04:15:07 15307.0
1618 5 Angry Teachers 04:16:00 15360.0
1673 Nomeward Bound 2 04:17:16 15436.0
1711 Yo Gabba be kidding Me 04:20:41 15641.0
1619 5 Rabbit 04:21:02 15662.0
1694 The Chivengers 04:21:21 15681.0
1630 Bowies in Space 04:21:38 15698.0
1633 Bucktown Chickens 04:21:56 15716.0
1690 The (Beetle) Juice is Loose! 04:22:45 15765.0
1662 Jurassic Park: Bribe-o-saurus Rex 04:23:37 15817.0
1663 Jurassic Park: Is It Getting Cretaceous in Here or Are You Just Happy to See Me? 04:23:49 15829.0
1643 Dawgs Playin’ Poker 04:24:27 15867.0
1656 HMS Paula Deen 04:25:13 15913.0
1636 ChicaGOGO Girls Team 2 04:25:47 15947.0
1635 ChicaGOGO Girls Team 1 04:26:06 15966.0
1665 Laanaaaa 04:26:20 15980.0
1666 Lisa Frank 04:26:42 16002.0
1660 It’s All Ogre Now 04:27:32 16052.0
1664 Kenosha Kickers 04:28:02 16082.0
1624 All The Way UP 04:28:13 16093.0
1700 The Royal House of Queer Mishap 04:28:37 16117.0
1698 The Kauai Coffee Beans 04:30:28 16228.0
1658 Hot Tub Time MaCHIne 04:31:09 16269.0
1649 FROOT SCOOT 04:34:12 16452.0
1638 Chidiots 04:39:46 16786.0
1671 NAPT2 04:40:48 16848.0
1674 Not Fast, Just Furious 04:42:25 16945.0
1647 Even more CHIditagods 04:43:34 17014.0
1709 Wigs Jacked for Jesus 04:44:40 17080.0
1667 Mario Kart 04:44:49 17089.0
1639 CHIditagods 04:45:20 17120.0
1705 Throne of Games 04:47:02 17222.0
1704 The Yung Popes 04:50:01 17401.0
1669 Mutiny on the HMS Bounty 04:50:15 17415.0
1695 The Cooter Lounge 04:55:12 17712.0
1626 Barnum’s Animals 04:57:26 17846.0
1683 Spinal Tap Takeover 04:57:42 17862.0
1654 Gwen Stefani shits B-A-N-A-N-A-S 05:00:51 18051.0
1691 The Art Cart 05:09:33 18573.0
1692 The Art Cart (2) 05:09:41 18581.0
1651 Going for gold! 05:25:03 19503.0
1684 Stormy’s Troopers Did Not Finish
1621 Achoo Did Not Finish
1628 BLAM Did Not Finish
1703 The Welderbeasts Did Not Finish
1701 The Scooby Squad Did Not Finish
1699 The Little Lebowski Urban Achievers Did Not Finish
1697 The Golden Girls Did Not Finish
1696 The Diverse Trash Pandas Did Not Finish
1640 Cops Did Not Finish
1693 The Chicago Biers Did Not Finish
1645 Drunkin’ Donuts Did Not Finish
1688 Team Purple Did Not Finish
1650 Gaza Strippers Did Not Finish
1652 Good Grief! Did Not Finish
1659 Into the Wild Did Not Finish
1661 It’s Always Sunny Did Not Finish
1679 Sara Para Pizza Party Did Not Finish
1678 Right Said Shred Did Not Finish
1677 Re-Re-Formation Did Not Finish
1676 Re-Formation! Did Not Finish
1668 Mr. Rogers Neighborhood Did Not Finish


[tab title=”Donations”]

Prize, Food, Equipment & Service Donations

logo-active-transportation-alliancelogo-roadsafe-barricadeslogo_Uptown-Underground-Web-Logo-300x113logo_ch distillerylogo_Pompei-Little-Italy-Logologo_vavoom_pinupslogo_solemn-oath-breweryCobra_CircleLogo2five star barlogo-roots-pizzalogo-mahoneys



2017 Grant Awardees

CHIditarod XII was a great success thanks to everyone involved. The CHIditarod Foundation raised more than 25,000 pounds of food for those in need, in a heroic effort to fight hunger. Thanks to generous donors and competitive teams, we were able to meet new fundraising goals to help like-minded organizations trying to better Chicago. This year we are able to again give out $25,000 in funds Chicago-area 501(c)(3) organizations that are directly fighting hunger, making an impact on local food sustainability, and/or empowering individuals and communities through food education. We were truly blown away by the inventive ways organizations are making a change in the communities around them.  There were so many great applications it was hard to choose who to join on their fight against hunger.

The CHIditarod Foundation chose eight organizations doing amazing work.

We are thrilled to introduce the 2017 winning organizations!

Advocates for Urban Agriculture – The AUA, whose membership totals more than 2,000 growers throughout Chicago, engages with individual and community growers in some of the city’s most high-risk neighborhoods. Their Crop Mobs program, with the support of the CHIditarod Foundation, expects to reach a minimum of 500 low-income existing and potential growers during the coming year.

Angelic Organics Learning Center – Angelic Organics Learning Center builds sustainable local food and farm systems through experiential education and training programs in partnership with rural and urban people. They will be using their grant money for the ‘The Eat to Live Project,”  addressing critical food system issues in the neighborhood around growing sites. The Incubator Farm in this project will address the scarcity of locations for new urban farmers to launch businesses on Chicago’s south side, low-income areas.

Common Pantry – Common Pantry was established in 1967 and is Chicago’s oldest continuously run food pantry providing emergency food on Chicago’s North Side while addressing the root causes of food insecurity and poverty. Their grant funds will help support the expansion of their food distribution program for the 2018. As of July 1, 2017 Common Pantry added a distribution day each week and expanded their territory to serve more needy households, as two food pantries in the area recently closed.

Peterson Garden Project – Peterson Garden Project’s mission is to teach everyone how to grow and cook their own food. During the Spring and Summer of 2018, their Feast of Resistance program will provide the opportunity to learn about and support refugee issues on a local level working with Camp GirlForward campers to share stories from their countries as they are taught to grow food and cook together.

Plant Chicago – Plant Chicago seeks to change the way cities develop the critical infrastructure—waste, water, energy, and food access—that will support an increasingly urbanized population. Funding from the CHIditarod Foundation will help expand cooking and nutrition education offerings, give incentives to low-income families to make shopping at their farmer’s market more affordable, and integrate community needs and culturally appropriate offerings into our current farmers market and cooking education programming.

Purple Asparagus – Purple Asparagus’ mission is to educate children, families and the community about eating that’s good for the body and the planet. Funding from CHIditarod, will increase Purple Asparagus’ reach and further its mission, expanding programming into the summer camp setting. They aim to ​develop​ ​and​ ​run,​ ​on​ ​a​ ​pilot​ ​basis,​ ​a​ ​summer​ ​camp​ ​program,​ D​elicious Nutritious​ ​Summer​ ​Adventures​.

South Merrill Community Gardens – The South Merrill Community Garden memorializes Troy Law, a former student of O’Keefe Elementary School, who died as a result of domestic violence. The garden serves as a counterweight and positive influence in a neighborhood that has been impacted by gun, gang and drug-related violence. They will using funding for their Young Growers Program, where students from O’Keefe will become seed to table gardeners. They will learn seed starting and gardening, planting garden management and maintenance, and participate in a harvest to table cooking class.

Urban Muslim Minority Alliance (UMMA) Center – The UMMA project aims bring more fresh produce, nutritional education, and expanded access to locally sourced food to a community surrounded by food deserts. Funding will be used to increase the quality of our food pantry supplies, aiming to include fresh vegetables, meat, and dairy, instead of the usual non-perishables and canned goods. UMMA will also provide more classes on healthy cooking and eating, with local community garden programs training students in how to identify healthy food while shopping, grow produce, and cook healthily.

This year we also hosted an Open Grant Night, where organizations could come out, spread their message and programs and receive votes for an additional grant.

CHIditarod’s grants to Chicago community-based organizations fighting hunger would not be possible without our generous donors, volunteers, and partners. We are grateful for their continued support.

The CHIditarod Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to solving the root causes of hunger through creative events and direct action. Our flagship event — The CHIditarod — brings together 1,000 people annually and has funded $120,000 in small grants for local anti-hunger initiatives since its inception. The CHIditarod takes place annually on the first Saturday in March. On March 4, 2017, CHIditarod marked twelve years of philanthropy, with 565 costumed racers chasing their dreams of CHIditarod glory and making a difference in the fight against hunger. Since its humble beginnings in 2006, CHIditarod has raised more than 172,000 pounds of food and $228,000 in the fight to end hunger in the greater Chicago area.

For more information about CHIditarod and the CHIditarod Foundation, follow us onFacebook, Google+, and Twitter.

Grant Report:: Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance


The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance (GPCA), graciously thanked the CHIditarod Foundation for its support of their efforts to address the need for fresh produce in our local neighborhoods of East and West Garfield Park, which are known food deserts within the City of Chicago. The $2,500 grant awarded to GPCA by the CHIditarod Foundation was instrumental to their two main work objectives: 1) growing and donating produce to immediately address the need for access to healthy foods, and 2) educating, training and supporting local gardeners to grow fresh vegetables to feed their community over the long term.

Working in partnership with the Garfield Park Garden Network and the Chicago Community Garden Association, GPCA was able to engage the community in two fundamental ways during the past nine months. First, they provided educational opportunities so that community gardeners could develop and strengthen their skills for sustainable practices. Second, they provided the material resources needed to ensure community gardeners an optimal start to the 2017 growing season. The Garfield Park Garden Network includes 6-9 operational gardens, which are cared for by 55 community gardeners and an additional 30 youth interns during the summer months.

These community gardeners have taken the lead in addressing the need for fresh, healthy foods in their community by working to grow nutritious vegetables for their families and neighbors. There are numerous variables to the successful planting and growing of a vegetable garden – particularly for novice gardeners. GPCA has supported our local community gardeners by teaching them techniques (such as soil health and proper plant spacing) that increase plant resiliency and will improve the outcomes of their growing season. The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance explains their program further: 

“We also utilized the GPCA greenhouse – a warm, sheltered environment – to grow seedlings for the community over the winter months. GPCA’s Greenhouse Coordinator planned and started the seedlings and scheduled the volunteer shifts to care for the seedlings beginning in mid-February. This year, we have already provided more than 1,000 seedlings to the Garfield Park Garden Network and other gardens who reached out to us with a need for starter plants. We expect to provide at least another 500 warm season seedlings to these gardens in mid-May. We are also providing seed potatoes and seed starts for onions and sweet potatoes that are better started in specialized production. Additionally, all of the seedlings grown here at the Garfield Park Conservatory are nurtured to provide produce for the community. We will harvest produce for the Neighborhood Market Days (2nd Saturdays and following Thursdays, June-October) as well as mid-month for the local food pantries. Last summer, GPCA was able to donate more than 1,000 pounds of produce to the community. With an earlier start to this season, we hope to increase the amount of produce we can contribute over the next five months. GPCA will be tracking that number throughout the growing season and will update the CHIditarod Foundation at the close of this season’s distribution. ”

Following are other ways in which GPCA was able to impact the community with these grant funds:

• Through a ‘How to Plan Your Vegetable Garden’ workshop at the Chicago Community Garden Association’s March conference and a second session for Garfield Park Garden Network gardeners, we demonstrated how to successfully plan your garden to 46 gardeners. Plant spacing and soil health were prioritized in these workshops to increase health and production of the plants.

• In addition to the workshop, we hosted an important meeting of the Bionutrient Food Association, a group that promotes healthy soil and provides education about the challenges of growing in urban environments specifically.

• The Conservatory hosted the Urban Agroecology Class series. These classes were promoted to the community and attendees were encouraged to share what they’ve learned with their respective gardens and neighbors.

• Setting up a volunteer scheduling system for the Fulton Street Greenhouse to maintain seedlings for distribution among Garfield Park Gardens.

• Tool and material replenishment for 2017 market season. This includes biodegradable produce bags, rubber bands for bunching produce for sale, scale for weighing produce, ice packs for

limiting the wilting of greens, and market signage.

• Soil testing and amendments for community gardens (to be purchased in May). This includes straw mulch for garden beds to increase soil health.

Next Steps:

By providing seedlings and educational training, we hope community gardeners can continue to build on their skills and knowledge and share their expertise with the newer gardeners in the group. Through monthly meetings, GPCA will continue to share ideas and tips with community gardeners, and we hope to schedule a garden tour to show off what is happening in each of these gardens with the broader community. This year, we will focus on involving the community gardeners in seed starting – primarily at the Fulton Street Greenhouse, which has partial heat. We will continue to develop and evaluate the success of this growing operation over the summer so that it can be fully set up for the next growing season.


Grant Report:: Experimental Station


Experimental Station is grateful to CHIditarod Foundation for the opportunity to carry out our Crockpot Project. All who participated deemed it a lot of fun and a great success!

The project goal was to provide a series of three crockpot cooking lessons to residents of the low-income Jackson Park Terrace (JPT) apartment complex. The crockpot was presented as a solution to the problem of lack of time at the end of the day to prepare a healthy meal. Additionally, the crockpot provides a solution for those who may lack cooking utensils or a functioning stove on which to prepare hot and healthy meals. Those participants (up to 25) who completed the three-class series would receive their own crockpot, a knife and two cutting boards (one for fruits and vegetables and one for meats).

Two Experimental Station staff members were central to the project: our 61 st Street Farmers Market Manager, who coordinated the project, and our Finance Administrator (an avid crockpot user), who was our Chef Instructor, providing the crockpot class instruction. Coordinating with the JPT apartments management staff, the 61 st Street Farmers Market Manager secured the JPT community kitchen to hold the cooking classes, which were scheduled for Wednesday, January 25, February 1 and February 8. Our Market Manager purchased 25 crockpots, 25 knives and 51 cutting boards for the project. With outreach assistance from JPT management, 22 very enthusiastic participants signed up for the classes, where they learned how to prepare 7 different recipes.

The January 25 class taught participants how to prepare Beef Stew and White Bean Kale Soup. On February 1, they made Lentil Sloppy Joes and Vegetarian Enchiladas. On February 8, dessert was on the menu, with participants learning to use their crockpot to bake Apple Sharlotka and a Lemon Blueberry Cake. They also learned to prepare Overnight Oatmeal.

Following the February 8 class, 20 excited and very lively participants received their crockpot, knife and cutting boards. Class members also received a small recipe book, created by the Market Manager and Chef Instructor containing all of the recipes taught in the class. As two of the class members had not been able to attend all three classes, the Market Manager and instructor held a make-up class to ensure that everyone received a crockpot.

In late-March, the Market Manager and Chef Instructor conducted a phone inquiry of all participants, to learn whether they continued to use their crockpots. We were delighted and encouraged by their very positive responses:

  • One participant had made a whole meal for her neighbors just with her crockpot.
  • One participant gave her old crockpot to her daughter and kept the new one so that they can ‘crockpot’ together.
  • One participant was excited to have cooked an entire roast in her crockpot.
  • A number of participants were using recipes from the class recipe book.
  • One woman came to the farmers market to purchase ingredients for her crockpot.
  • Several participants asked about growing their own vegetables in the resident garden plots, maintained by Experimental Station. We will work with them this summer to help them do so!
  • All participants enjoyed the experience and asked to continue the relationship with Experimental Station around their crockpots!

As a result of the success of the Crockpot Project, Experimental Station will be developing additional cooking classes—including crockpot cooking—for the Jackson Park Terrace residents. Again, we are grateful to CHIditarod Foundation for providing the opportunity to undertake this pilot project.

Grant Reports: NeighborSpace Hermitage Street Community Garden

Hermitage Street Community Garden, Englewood, is one of the many places NeighborSpace has helped to create to encourage healthy eating and relieving food scarcity in Chicago. The CHIditarod grant of $5,000 has supported improvements at Hermitage Street Community Garden and increased in turn the food donations made available to families in the Englewood community. Most of these donations were used by senior residents at Bethel Terrace Senior Residence at 900 West 63rd Parkway. They expanded their garden beds from 23, to now having 34 to expand the garden’s vegetable growing output. NeighborSpace estimates that 120 additional families were helped the last growing season.

Their $5,00 grant also paid for building materials and labor construction costs associated with the raised beds. To ensure healthful vegetables are grown in the new beds, we purchased landscape barrier cloth (to block out any existing toxins in the Chicago topsoil) and organic soil from lake street supply. They have added additional rain barrels and a compost system to be more self-reliant and better serve its own fertilization needs and once again demonstrate environmental best practices for the community.

NeighborSpace, the non-profit that protects Hermitage Street and 108 other Chicago community gardens on behalf of community members, provides fiscal agency to our sites to make funding like the CHIditarod grant possible. Thank you for your support of increased healthy food access in Englewood.

2017 Results

Photo by Bartek Karas

CHIditarod XII

March 4, 2017

Photo by Bartek Karas

18,404 Meals for the Hungry

 22,085 Pounds of Food Collected

$45,000 Raised to Fight Hunger in Chicago

Eight hundred women, men, astronauts, “school kids”, Vegas show girls, wizards, medicine men, tin men, circus entertainers, volunteers, bananas, philanthropists, leisure enthusiasts and enthusiastic mushers gathered on a balmy 42 degree morning to create the annual spectacular costumed charity shopping cart race epic mobile food drive — CHIditarod XII. The sun-filled streets were filled with nearly 200 volunteers and 113 teams of 5 heavily-costumed humans, raising Food and Funds in the pursuit of feeding the hungry while racing tricked-out shopping carts through 5 themed checkpoint establishments on the thawing streets of Chicago. Truly, a spectacle like none other.

The annual event raced through Chicago’s West Town Ukrainian Village neighborhoods, visiting five checkpoints each. Mahoney’s, Phyllis’s Musical Inn, Five Star, Roots Pizza, and Cobra Lounge hosted costumed superstars with their own themes and contests for teams to participate in. All bars generously donate a portion of their proceeds to The CHIditarod Foundation to aid in the goal of fighting hunger in Chicago.

CHIditarod is always finding new ways to positively impact our community and those in need. This year, over 100 pounds of toiletries were donated to Sarah’s Circle. Sarah’s Circle is a non-profit agency serving women who are homeless or in need of a safe space. They also focus on women needing support because of domestic violence. Thank You to everyone who donated race day, at ChiditaBowl, and at the Burners Without Borders Chicago Winter Ball.

Food Drive

With the help of our friends and at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the CHIditarod XII food drive collected enough food to provide 18,404 meals for Chicago’s hungry. Thank you CHIditarod participants for being amazing all-stars and for making a difference in the lives of thousands of your neighbors.

Photo by Justin Goh
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Best in Food Drive :: The CHIvengers

The CHIvengers avenged hunger to astronomical heights in 2017. This team brought in 1,300 pounds of food to give meals to those in need.

Honorable Food Mentions

Hot-n-Ready Samurai were our second closest team, close behind, bringing in 1,130 pounds of food. Neck and Neck! A HUGE THANK YOU to these teams who help us make sure food is not a top worry for Chicagoans.

2017 saw a new partnership formed between CHIditarod and Kraft Heinz, who generously donated 2,055 lbs of condiments, including ketchup, mustard, mayo, BBQ sauce, and ranch dressing!


Art Carts


This year’s are carts took to the streets strutting their stuff, passing out freshly cooked tacos, challenging people to games of dodgeball, and providing an “out of this world” experience. Art Carts are those teams who build bigger, crazier, and insanely interactive carts, delighting racers, spectators, and shocking all those who behold them. One team even built and piloted a school bus through the streets!

Photo by Bartek Karas



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Photo by Robert Werner

Chiditacademy Learnstitute School of Higher Learning K-13



Epic Fundraising

To date, CHIditarod has given out $95,000 in grants to local nonprofits who share in our mission to stop hunger in Chicago. This year our Racers, volunteers, checkpoints, and organizers — with the help of their families, friends, and communities — raised $45,000 for the CHIditarod Foundation — setting a new CHIditarod record.

In 2017 we will once again fight hunger challenges and support community centered initiatives that address hunger, food scarcity, and education via our CHIditarod Grant Program. Visit our grant page to learn about the program and how your organization can apply during our upcoming 2017 grant cycle.


Most Epic Fundraising: 3GS&T

This year’s fundraising was a battle to the end. The 11th (yes, that’s 11 years in a row) Edition of 3 Girls, a Stash, and a Tail, SMASHED the previous fundraising record. It all came down to the final moments of online donations, when they secured their winning lead, bringing in $7,905.43. Epic.

Their theme was a custom rendition of the Garbage Pail Kids ™, customized to each racer. Yes, that’s a live chia helmet.
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2nd Most Epic Fundraising: CHIdiots

In true CHIditarod fashion, the CHIdiots challenged Team 3GS&T to a heated, friendly fundraising rivalry all the way to the end, barely coming in second place with a fundraising total of $7,297.45. They “flew” to their own new heights with an “out of this world” fundraising effort to help secure the 2017 CHIditarod grant program. Truly spectacular.

The CHIdiots outfitted their cart as an Apollo lunar lander. It was huge. And we hear it actually flew.
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While CHIditarod racers do wondrous things, none of this would be possible without the 200 brave and selfless volunteers that make the CHIditarod race happen. Volunteers are truly the MVPs of CHIditarod.

Not only do many of them fundraise, they also build the starting and finish lines, create immersive and exciting checkpoint environments, keep you safe while mobile, and have a blast right alongside you. To our volunteers, we honor and salute you all. Thank you.


More Winners!




Best in Show :: Queer Mishaps

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Dressed to the Nines:: CHIditarOz & Toto Recall



Team Queer Mishaps
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CHIditarOz & Toto Recall


This team touted healing potions, ventriloquism, and mystery, roameing the streets of Chicago trying to save those in need. Their cart was a real traveling wagon, they used snake oils and potions, and were on point all day long. That’s how you win Best in Show.
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Though every team comes dressed to impress, the team that really stood out was CHIditarOz & Toto Recall. They had the Tin Man and Toto, a Wicked Witch and her flying monkeys, and a GIANT rainbow and tornado made out of up-cycled plastic bags. They followed the yellow brick road all the way through CHIditaLand to victory.


Best Use of Duct Tape :: City Dickers

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Rookie of the Year :: Just Peachy




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Photo by Justin Goh


One of CHIditarod’s most coveted award is the best use of duct tape. There were a few teams who got all “duct’d” out, but this one really “stuck” with us. Their Dick Tracy was suited up in a trench coat made entirely of yellow duct tape, duct tape fedora and all. Those lines were so clean, too.
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Just Peachy was in a league of the own, as a rookie CHIditarod team. They had trading cards, gave out peanuts and crackerjacks, had uniforms and really went for a home run bringing a major league performance on race day. This is how you do CHIditarod the first time around. A definite home run.


People’s Choice :: Chiditacademy Learnstitute School of Higher Learning K-13

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Most Honorable Dishonorable Mention :: Derelict Dumpster Fire




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Jocks and nerds, star students and the guy who ditches class. They all hopped on the cool bus and took CHIditarod for a ride. Maybe they engaged you in some school yard games, gave you the answers to the upcoming test, wondered why you were late for gym class, or perhaps drank some beers behind the bleachers with you. You voted, we listened. The Chiditacademy Learnstitute School of Higher Learning K-13 is your 2017 People’s Choice.
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Being a ChiditaVirgin is not easy thing to do. Derelicte Dumpster Fire brought an amazing cart, with approved flame effects, and years of flame experience. However even the pros can mess up, having one of their costumes get singed in the heat of the race. Congratulations on Doing a Good Thing but Doing it all wrong.


Fastest Dogs :: That’s Bulls*#t!

CHIditarod is, in fact, a race! Teams race for an average of 5 grueling miles. Thankfully, they have 25 minutes to rest and water their dawgs at each checkpoint. Mushing into history in CHIditarod XII was team “That’s Bulls*#t!”. As they crossed the finish line, they were thoroughly out of breath and looked ready to puke from hitting the pavement so hard. After four years of vying for first place, they finally made it as the Fastest Dawgs! They beat out some heavy competition, the aptly-named “Team Formerly Known as the 2016 Fastest Cart”, vanquishing them from their title.

These are just a few of the incredible achievements from our teams. There are countless other amazing things our participants create; we wish we had the space to showcase them all. To all who co-created the epic that was CHIDitarod XII — we salute you with highest honors.

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In Honor of Tom LaPorte


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CHIditarod XII is dedicated to Tom LaPorte, who passed away a few days after CHIditarod XII. Tom was a force in creating, shaping, and guiding CHIditarod. He was instrumental in helping to form the event, set the tone, and provide mentorship and encouragement to us all. His guidance interacting with the City of Chicago, forming partnerships and coalitions, building consensus, and helping others was unparalleled and the reason CHIditarod is as successful as it is today. He participated in the event from start to finish from year one through year twelve. Tom will forever be a part of CHIditarod, and a part of us all.

To all of you — Thank you for a record making year. We love and salute you. Mush!



[tab title=”Prizes”]

Award(s) Team Name
Best Bribe The Great Heathen Army
3rd Best in Show The Great Heathen Army
Best Use of Duct Tape Award City Dickers
Hot Mess Award Uncharted Territory
Most Food Donated The Chivengers
Most Epic Fundraiser 3GS&T11thEd
Spirit of Chiditarod The Team Who Must Not Be Named
2nd most Epic Fundraiser Chidiots
3rd most Epic Fundraiser ChicaGoGoGirls
4th most epic Fundraiser GardenWarfare:FeatheralBureauofInvestigation
Best Art Cart Chidiots
2nd Best Art Cart Chiditacademy Learnstitute School of Higher Learning K-13
Bike Marshals Choice Dungeons & Flagons
2nd Place Time The team formerly known as the 2016 fastest cart
3rd Place Time No Money Down
Food Drive – 3rd Place Alternative Facts
Food Drive – 4th Place YOLO 2017
Dressed to the Nines: Best Team Costume Chiditaroz & Toto Recal
Rookie of the Year Award Just Peachy


[tab title=”Fundraising”]

CHIditarod Foundation Fundraising

Team Funds Raised Food Donated
3GS&T11thEd $7,905.43 145.5
Chidiots $7,297.45 134.5
ChicaGoGoGirls $3,817.16 78.8
GardenWarfare:FeatheralBureauofInvestigation $3,388.36 138.4
GardenWarfare:GnomelandSecurity $3,356.45 118.6
TheCareBears (Burger Time 2.0) $3,149.85 98
Coreganizers $2584.74 2,156.6
TheKnightswhosayNi! $1,428.51 151
SecretGentleman’sClubChiditarod2017 $1,263.51 0
RIP2016 $1,259.29 84.8
FordCaulkorDieTrying! $1,043.25 126.8
RogersParkRenegades $985.97 251
CHIditarOZ $749.87 82
Zambronies $721.65 83.5
Sgt.Pepper’sLonelyCartsClub $700.28 99.5
FirewaterLounge&Friends@FiveStarBar $583.79 0
DerelicteDumpsterFire $552.56 114.6
TeamZissou $434.38 121.5
WigsJackedforJesus $416.76 603
NoMoneyDown $395 103.2
GoodGriefGirls $379.24 186.4
WillyWonka’sWetDream $345.73 120.5
Mahoneys Crew – High Noon Saloon of Doom on the Moon $268
RIPRinglingBros. $265 207.5
TheVelourComets $255.27 96.1
Sha’dynasty $237.87 81.8
QueerMishap $215.03 169.5
Boats’N’Hoes $200 164.3
CUBEERS $196.65 69.2
BucketOBlood $195.52 184.4
TenPintsForGryffindor $166.38 160
WILMA!! (SPACE JAM) $126.38 146
TheChivengers $104.6 1300
TheCooterLounge $84.24 147.3
Wow $50 96.5
ToBeDetermined…(Gone Bananas) $20 78
UnchartedTaritory $11.52 130.4
TheTBDs (The Sesame Streakers) $0 107.8
That’sBulls*#t! $0 144
Re-Formation! $0 106
Sycamores (Just Peachy) $0 98.9
GazaStrippers $0 185
Theteamformerlyknownasthe2016fastestcart $0 248
LostLegends2016 $0 265.9
TeamTeamwork $0 0
CunningStunts $0 101.5
TeamDrewTBD (Octopi Wall Street) $0 87.4
HMSPaulaDeen $0 100.4
YoungFoxPopes (Astromals) $0 185
Michael&TheQuigley’s $0 70.5
AllSoulsTrain $0 139.6
Blood,Sweat,andBeers $0 164
Cops $0 115
CarRamrod $0 82.8
Drunkin’Donuts $0 73.2
TheGreatHeathenArmy $0 514
bigmouth $0 116
Chi-townRising! $0 115
ChicaGogoGirlsTeam2 $0 92.4
JoeyFatone2 $0 150.5
LanceBass $0 93
TheGapersBlockade $0 77.2
JoeyFatone1 $0 89.5
TeamIt’sAlwaysSunny $0 87
goonsquad $0 84.8
TotoRecall $0 80
TeamSunnyvale $0 108.4
TheTeamWhoMustNotBeNamed $0 86.6
bigmouth2 $0 91.5
WERKOUT $0 85.5
TheSwell12 (Cart ‘n’ Eggs) $0 127.2
Dungeons&Flagons $0 464
RIPRinglingBros.II $0 155.7
AlternativeFacts $0 985.6
Threebrothersandtheregulars $0 103
ACLIVITI $0 96.1
Boozin’AwayHunger $0 87.8
TheYumYums $0 146.4
Hobo-Q $0 547
Team4 $0 118.8
NeverSleep (Camp Never Sleep) $0 74
AmericanOutlaws:ChicagoChapter $0 77.4
Munsters $0 340.5
TheTransplants $0 106
TBDowell (The Men of the Merle St. Marty) $0 102.8
TheBreakfastClub $0 118
ChiditacademyLearnstituteSchoolofHigherLearningK-13 $0 222.5
MightyDucks $0 91.5
TheHawks $0 100.2
CashewOusside.HowbowDah $0 0
MagicSchoolBus $0 115.6
RonBurgundy&theChannel4NewsTeam $0 99
Goatbusters $0 112.6
KirkFoggofWar $0 176.4
TheHalf-BloodSprints $0 98
Let’sPlayHOUSE $0 106
SpiceUpYourLife $0 159
StreetLife $0 113
TeamRagnarok $0 82
BellyMagic $0 137
TheMuffinMan (Hazardtists) $0 141
BillBrasky’sRevival $0 106
AmericanHorrorStory $0 193
ThePort-HolePortal $0 168
CityDickers $0 112.2
Channel12News $0 84.4
TeamAwesome $0 99.4
UNITY $0 125.5
SuperHEROINES $0 90.8
Hot-N-ReadySamurai $0 1130.8
Gotham’sReckoning $0 136.8
YOLO2017 $0 901
TripDeuceNiner $0 92
TeamNameHere (The Fortunate Sons) $0 111.8
TheCrazyDanes $0 84.2
TheCrazyDanes2 $0 84.2
Indogbeers,we’veonlyhadone! $0 0
TeamWiidcard $0 101.5


[tab title=”Timing”]

CHIditarod is in fact a race! Rushing from the start, hitting each bar for a 25 minute rest, and completing a five mile race is grueling work.

Team # Team Name Time
1503 That’s Bulls*#t! 03:07:39
1510 The team formerly known as the 2016 fastest cart 03:12:29
1535 No Money Down 03:18:04
1578 Gone Bananas 03:20:13
1545 goon squad 03:40:29
1611 The Fortunate Sons 03:40:59
1562 Alternative Facts 03:43:02
1588 Street Life 03:50:37
1590 Belly Magic 03:50:54
1589 Team Ragnarok 03:54:32
1560 Sha’dynasty 03:58:55
1514 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Carts Club 04:01:09
1516 Octopi Wall Street 04:02:50
1571 Munsters 04:05:14
1531 The Great Heathen Army 04:05:24
1580 Magic School Bus 04:06:23
1557 Cart ‘n Eggs 04:07:51
1569 Camp Never Sleep 04:08:32
1608 Wow 04:09:22
1574 The Breakfast Club 04:11:53
1566 The Yum Yums 04:13:17
1564 ACLIVITI 04:16:00
1551 The Team Who Must Not Be Named 04:16:00
1595 American Horror Story 04:16:51
1519 HMS Paula Deen 04:17:50
1550 Queer Mishap 04:18:39
1548 Toto Recall 04:21:28
1547 CHIditarOZ 04:21:39
1505 Zambronies 04:22:45
1604 SuperHEROINES 04:23:38
1532 The Chivengers 04:24:34
1614 Uncharted Taritory 04:24:41
1529 Car Ramrod 04:25:49
1527 BurgerTime 2.0 04:26:30
1599 Channel 12 News 04:27:00
1522 Astromals 04:27:48
1502 The Sesame Streakers 04:28:17
1570 American Outlaws: Chicago Chapter 04:28:36
1520 Garden Warfare: Gnomeland Security 04:30:49
1565 Boozin’ Away Hunger 04:31:02
1587 Spice Up Your Life 04:32:16
1501 3GS&T 11th Ed 04:33:33
1512 Garden Warfare: Featheral Bureau of Investigation 04:34:56
1609 YOLO 2017 04:35:29
1561 The Velour Comets 04:37:53
1586 Let’s Play HOUSE 04:39:07
1600 Team Awesome 04:39:39
1518 Team Zissou 04:40:43
1508 Just Peachy 04:41:56
1511 Lost Legends 2016 04:44:29
1583 Bucket O Blood 04:48:52
1555 Derelicte Dumster Fire 04:48:55
1598 City Dickers 04:52:13
1558 Dungeons & Flagons 04:53:10
1546 Good Grief Girls 04:54:29
1593 Rogers Park Renegades 04:56:27
1554 RIP Ringling Bros. 05:04:06
1559 RIP Ringling Bros. II 05:07:22
1591 Hazardtists 05:09:45
1582 Goatbusters 05:20:35
1596 The Port-Hole Portal Did Not Finish
1612 The Crazy Danes Did Not Finish
1613 The Crazy Danes 2 Did Not Finish
1615 In dog beers, we’ve only had one! Did Not Finish
1507 Re-Formation! Did Not Finish
1517 RIP 2016 Did Not Finish
1530 Drunkin’ Donuts Did Not Finish
1594 MONSTARS Did Not Finish
1597 TOON SQUAD Did Not Finish
1602 SPACE JAM Did Not Finish
1544 Team It’s Always Sunny Did Not Finish
1553 The Cooter Lounge Did Not Finish
1579 Cashew Ousside. Howbow Dah Did Not Finish
1581 Ron Burgundy & the Channel 4 News Team Did Not Finish
1584 Kirk Fogg of War Did Not Finish
1601 Boats ‘N’ Hoes Did Not Finish
1521 Ford, caulk, or dye trying! Did Not Finish
1539 Joey Fatone 2 Did Not Finish
1540 Lance Bass Did Not Finish
1543 Joey Fatone 1 Did Not Finish
1509 Gaza Strippers Did Not Finish
1533 big mouth Did Not Finish
1534 Chi-town Rising! Did Not Finish
1541 The Gapers Blockade Did Not Finish
1552 big mouth 2 Did Not Finish
1572 The Transplants Did Not Finish
1576 Mighty Ducks Did Not Finish
1577 The Hawks Did Not Finish
1592 Bill Brasky’s Revival Did Not Finish
1525 Blood, Sweat, and Beers Did Not Finish
1563 Three brothers and the regulars Did Not Finish
1568 Team 4 Did Not Finish
1523 Michael & The Quigley’s Did Not Finish
1526 Cops Did Not Finish
1549 Team Sunnyvale Did Not Finish
1585 The Half-Blood Sprints Did Not Finish
1606 Gotham’s Reckoning Did Not Finish
1610 Trip Deuce Niner Did Not Finish
1616 Team Wildcard Did Not Finish
1513 Team Teamwork Did Not Finish
1542 CUBEERS Did Not Finish
1556 WERK OUT Did Not Finish
1607 The Knights who say Ni! Did Not Finish
1504 Willy Wonka’s Wet Dream Did Not Finish
1515 Cunning Stunts Did Not Finish
1538 Wigs Jacked for Jesus Did Not Finish
1573 The Men of the Merle St. Marty Did Not Finish
1603 Team UNITY Did Not Finish
1605 Hot-N-Ready Samurai Did Not Finish


[tab title=”Checkpoint Contributions”]

Incredible Checkpoint Contributions

And while it’s hard to say enough about all the crazy-amazing-beautiful-inspiring-people that make CHIditarod possible, we continue to cherish our checkpoints through the years (new and old alike) who treat us and YOU right, we are thankful to have such great businesses in our community that love a good time.  We are THRILLED to recognize our 2017 checkpoints, please go support them as they support fighting hunger!

Checkpoint Donation
Cobra Lounge 274


[tab title=”Donations”]

Prize, Food, Equipment & Service Donations

Chicago White Sox


Vavoom Pinups

Solemn Oath Brewery

Miskatonic Brewery

CH Distillery

Uptown Underground

Chicago Bulls

Life Storage

The Kraft Heinz Company

Roots Handmade Pizza

Mahoney’s Pub & Grille

Five Star Bar

Cobra Lounge

Phyllis’ Musical Inn

Metropolis Coffee

Pompei Bakery

Franklin Printing and Graphics

Toni Patisserie & Cafe

Kim Colweck and Starcom Chicago



How to Win, Place, or Show at Chiditarod 

Experienced Chiditarod Master Judges and members of the COREganizer Corps provide some tips for those hoping to win big on race day. 
Okay, what’s the magic formula for winning big? 
There isn’t one way to do it right, but there are lots of things that can go wrong, so let’s start with what *not* to do, shall we?
1. Don’t forget the mission of the race. Have fun and do good for those in need. Bad behavior doesn’t belong here.
2. Don’t be offensive. When it comes to costumes and makeup there is a point where clever ends and questionable begins. General rule of thumb: if you have to ask, don’t do it. If you still think it’s a good idea, double check the Core Philosophypage first.
3. Don’t be a Douchebag… You all know what a D-bag is, right?
4. …And don’t let your teammate be a Chucklehead. Every year there is a cart that is well done, with good costumes, fun bribes, great engagement, and ONE team member who ruins it for the rest. Watch your buddies; don’t let them drink too much and destroy your day and your chances for the title.
Got it. Now, what is the *to do* list if we wanna win? 
1. Build it and they will come. Carts take time to build well, so plan ahead and don’t take shortcuts. You want it to look as good at the end of the race as at the start, and you want good functionality.
2. Dress for success. Costumes matter – even when you are away from your cart, you want your story to come through.
3. Play the part. Successful carts have teams that look good and stay in character. (If your character is a jerk, mind your audience – always joke with the Judges; never piss them off)
4. Grease the palms. We have another post all about bribes – don’t forget yours! Big prize winners have a great, on-theme bribe and a great presentation of it. Don’t be afraid to explain it if needed.
5. Get in the game. Checkpoint teams put as much effort into their activities as you do your carts – participate! Judges *do* find out who played well with others…
6. Share the love. Chiditarod is a great day, with big fun and immense creativity, all in the name of a good cause. Have fun! Treat the Yard Crew, Bike Marshals, Cart Wranglers, Checkpoint Leads, CheckIn/CheckOut folks, Master Judges, and fellow racers with respect. We all talk, and you want us all equally impressed.
7. Tip your bartenders. This doesn’t actually count towards the win, but bar proceeds come back to Chiditarod and those folks are working hard to keep you lubricated.
That all makes sense, but what really puts a team over the top? 
Having a hook. Big prize winners usually have an element that brings their theme to life and engages Judges, Checkpoint Volunteers, and other teams alike. Memorable hooks have included: a used car lot that performed a live “commercial”; a Jeopardy cart that had flip-screen questions and answers; a Disney cart with movie karaoke with videos later posted to YouTube; a Pac Man cart with a working version of the game inside.
Wow. Sounds like some teams really know their stuff.
They do. And a few of the legends shared some hints via this blog post, which you might want to check out, too.
It looks like it’s a lot of work to win Best of Show or a big award
It is. It’s the whole package, from the moment you arrive at Check In until the moment you return to The Yard. All details are noted, big and small, and the more you are committed to your cart and the Mission, the greater your chances of winning. Does that mean that only huge carts and experienced racers can get a top prize? Nope. Like we said, it’s about the whole package – size doesn’t matter as much as spirit and enthusiasm from start to finish (yep, we said it).

A Guide to Winning Awards

Mark Grutza, CHIdiot racer, and now a CHIditarod Foundation Board Member, remembers coming into Chiditarod as a new racer and realizing that if they wanted to win, they’d have to go big. Here’s how they did it…
Year one of the Chidiots was a wake-up call. We arrived at the starting line with a poorly constructed woman in labor sitting atop an unmodified shopping cart with legs in stirrups clearly constructed from various home depot hardware. Our feeling of confidence lasted 10 minutes… right up to the point Action Squad and The Derailers rolled by with scale replicas of stage coaches and steam engines artfully designed down to the smallest detail. We shook it off, had an amazing race and discovered Chiditarod would become an important part of our lives despite being just another team in a crowd of creativity.
Years two and three saw better cart construction but race days ended with us crying, “Foul! The same teams always win.” The truth though… our carts weren’t that good.. and we knew it. We didn’t deserve awards. It’s a hard pill to swallow after weeks of constructing a theme in a cold basement.
Ever since that first-year mind-f@#$ of watching stage coaches and steam engines roll past we’d known one thing… we wanted to be Action Squad. So! Somewhere in year three we started having long discussions about our careers as Chiditarod racers. It wasn’t long until those discussions developed into a plan…. A long-term, drawn-out plan. And you know what? It worked.
Step 1: Play to your strengths. We had a couple guys with basic electrical skills (and we weren’t seeing much that on race days) so we came up with themes that incorporated sound systems, flashing lights, car horns and playable Pacman games. People take notice when you’re running down the street dressed as the Beastie Boys with Sabotage blaring from your cop car only to be drowned out by the intermittent BEEP BEEP of an actual car horn wired to a button on your dashboard.
Step 2: Win the low-hanging fruit. In 2013 teams where raising lots of money but only donating a few hundred pounds of food. So we donated 1,223 lbs (barely beating out second place) and took home our first award. In 2014 we knew we had to go double or nothing, so we donated 3,293 lbs. In 2015… 8,576 lbs. A long way from 2012’s first place donation of 260 lbs. Beyond the obvious fact that this was helping feed the homeless, winning Food Donation for three straight years gave us recognition.
Step 3: Climb to the juicy top. We’re out of the food game. With Chiditarod recognition we’re now focused on raising money for the Chiditarod grant program and continually trying to out-do ourselves on cart design.
Step 4: Never forget Chiditarod = Oktoberfest + Halloween + Gay Pride Parade. You’re having fun with your friends on the most amazing day of the year. That’s a win in itself.

How to Bribe at Chiditarod

An experienced Chiditarod Master Judge, who is also an award-winning bribe creator, provides some tips for those new to the bribe aspect of race day.

Is bribing required to win?
Not unless you are vying for the Best Bribe Award. Bribes are not required, but they can both add dimension to your theme, and serve as a good reminder of a great cart.

Do Mushers have to spend a ton of money on a bribe?
Absolutely not. Unlike bribing, say, a government official (which we don’t condone, but what you do in your private time is your business), Chiditarod bribes are about “clever”, not “cash”.

How many people are we bribing?
At a minimum, you’ll want enough to bribe two judges at five locations. But sometimes you’ll want to curry favor at the check-in table, or with a cart wrangler, so be prepared.

Tell us what makes for a bribe that gets the attention of a Master Judge…
There are several factors at play:

  1. Be on theme. Judges don’t get a lot of down time, and so shots and snacks are appreciated, but they are quite common. If you’re going to do booze or treats, make sure they relate to your cart. Example: mini bottles of booze became witty when they came from an airline-themed cart
  2. Be original. If you’re going for a common element, provide it in an uncommon way. Example: a cart manned by booze characters didn’t provide Johnny Walker or Jose Cuervo as you would expect – they served homemade liquor: moonshine and apple brandy
  3. Be memorable. Leave us with something that speaks to your cart, your team, your theme. Example: the year there were multiple carts with a Grand Budapest Hotel theme, only one brought baked goodies that had the team name on the perfect replicas of the film’s purple cake boxes.
  4. Make an impression. Don’t just hand over a bribe… present it. Example: in the airline scenario above, a flight attendant (in drag) asked what we wanted to drink and then performed the full in-flight ritual of making and serving the cocktail, including delivery on a tiny napkin and with a mini bag of peanuts (all airline-branded) from their airplane-bar-cart cart.

Four steps; that sounds like a lot of ground to cover…
Not really – if you can nail just one of the four suggestions above, you’re off to a very good start. Remember, unless you’re trying to win Best Bribe, there are a lot of other elements under consideration in judging.But a great bribe, along with a great cart and costumes, can help you towards the bigger prizes (like Best of Show).

So is the best bribe a handmade/homemade bribe?
It doesn’t have to be. You can buy everything in your bribe… how you put it together makes the difference. Two of the best bribes in recent memory were completely store-bought:

  1. A road-trip themed cart handed out large baggies containing a vintage map, a vintage hotel brochure, a game to play in the car, a compass, Dramamine, and old-time snacks like mini boxes of raisins. Each bag was themed for a different city, and it was this kind of attention to detail that made this a Best Bribe winner.
  2. A group of male “grandmas” provided pill-a-day boxes with candy medicine (“take your vitamins!” they scolded), and sealed birthday cards addressed to “My Sweetie” and signed “Love, Grandma”, with a dollar bill inside. (Okay, so maybe cash does come into play sometimes, but it was on-theme!)

Okay, my creative juices are flowing now… any final tips?
Remember, bribes are all about getting and keeping the attention of the Judges – we often have over 100 carts to review (we really do see and note them all), and time is tight. Bribes are a way to engage us and make your cart stick in our memory come awards time.