MARQUETTE - Musher Frank Moe of Bemidji, Minn., is still waiting to see if two of his sled dogs survive after they were struck by a passing motorist during the 24th running of the U.P. 200 Sunday morning.
Moe was crossing M-28 at about 5:30 a.m., after leaving the Wetmore checkpoint, when his sled dog team was struck by a pickup truck driven by a Canadian man. One dog died as a result of the accident and two others were injured.
The Upper Peninsula Sled Dog Association presented a $2,000 check to Moe during the championship banquet Monday morning, and cash donations were taken at the end of the breakfast to help defer some of the medical costs.
U.P. 200 musher Zoya DeNure said mushers, along with others, dropped cash into a basket as they left the banquet.
"People were crying," she said. "Normally, banquets are really happy, but everybody felt really bad about what had happened."
With two dogs still seriously injured, The Mining Journal is collecting donations along with cards or letters from well-wishers that will be passed on to Moe.
"Anyone that owns dogs and has lost them due to an accident, or who have even had to put an animal to sleep, knows the heartbreak that comes with that type of loss," Mining Journal Publisher Jim Reevs said. "We know that the people of the Upper Peninsula are second to none when it comes to showing support and compassion for visitors to our area that have suffered from an accident or personal tragedy. That is why we wanted to establish a way for people to communicate with Frank."
Cards can be dropped off at Mining Journal offices in Marquette or Ishpeming offices, or can be mailed to The Mining Journal at P.O. Box 430, Marquette, MI, 49855.
All envelopes mailed to The Mining Journal should be marked "Attention Frank Moe," to allow staff to clearly separate them from the newspaper's regular mail.
Those wishing to make monetary donations for the dogs' medical fund are asked to make checks payable to Frank Moe.
According to UPSDA President Pat Torreano, Moe's dogs are being cared for by the Gwinn-Sawyer Veterinary Clinic.
Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.