Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Iditarod documentary benefits animal shelter

Mat-Su | Patty Sullivan | Monday, May 28, 2007

PALMER—For the love of dogs, The Iditarod Trail Committee, Inc., is teaming up with the MAT-SU community to help benefit the proposed upgrade of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough animal shelter.

"As Tough As They Come" will air for the first time before a MAT-SU audience this Friday at the Machetanz Theatre at 7 pm and Saturday at 2 pm.

The documentary follows the unlikely yet magical victory of musher Lance Mackey in the 2007 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Mackey not only won a battle with cancer, but also became the first-ever to win the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod in the same year.

The $10 ticket price will help furnish the Animal Adoption Center, what will become the heart of the restored shelter, where residents will have the chance to get to know a potential life-long pet in attractive surroundings.

The animal shelter project is in the Borough's proposed 2008 budget. The budget is expected to be adopted Wednesday night.

MAT-SU Mayor Curt Menard is a strong supporter of the project. "A community not only shows its true colors by how it cares for its seniors and youth but also how it cares for its animals. The existing facility does not do an adequate job," Menard said.

The existing shelter is 22-years-old and hasn't kept pace with the Borough's growing animal population. The shelter occasionally gets inundated with dozens of pets rescued from a single home. Recently 21 starving dogs were removed from an owner.

Mackey will attend the MAT-SU premier Friday night as well as Saturday. On Friday night, Mackey will be joined by four-time champion musher Martin Buser. Both mushers support upgrading the dilapidated animal shelter and will talk about how critical a healthy shelter is to a mushing community such as the MAT-SU.

Mackey's autographed bib will be auctioned off both days.

Tickets can be purchased at:

  • Machetanz Theatre
  • Cottonwood Public Safety Building
  • MAT-SU Animal Care Shelter
  • MAT-SU Borough Building, Palmer
  • Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce

The Machetanz Theatre is in Wasilla at 251 W. Swanson Ave. Call 373-8800 for more information.