Auctioneer Sterling Strathe, of Iola, visited Fairbanks, Alaska, where he helped the Yukon Quest raise funds for its annual sled dog race.
The event, attended by more than 350 people, included mushers serving the crowd dressed in tuxedos, a large silent auction and a live auction conducted by Strathe.
“Sterling took control of our somewhat rowdy crowd and brought the money to the finish line,” stated JC Fletcher of the Yukon Quest. “His humor and use of mushing terms made for a fun time our attendees will not soon forget.”
Strathe, who sold from a step ladder to see above the crowd, had fun, too.
“I had some really great items to sell and a dedicated crowd,” said Strathe. “The oddest thing I sold was a rock. Not just any rock, but one that last year’s race winner Dallas Seavey’s dog ate along the race – it had to be surgically removed immediately. Although it didn’t bring much, we had fun selling it.”
“For a while I had Lance Mackey (four-time Iditarod winner and four-time Yukon Quest winner) believing he was on the bid, as the real bidder stood behind him,” Strathe continued. “I told Lance it was an education tool to train his dogs what not to eat. He was happy to know he hadn’t bought it!”
Strathe got off a dogsled earlier that day to conduct the auction.
He was hired to put on an auction that focused on the Yukon Quest clientele. He was a good fit, as his son Cody builds custom high-tech racing sleds for a living and his daughter-in-law Paige is an entrant in this year’s Yukon Quest International Race.
Strathe operates Sterling Auction & Realty Services, LLC, a full-service auction company in Central Wisconsin that does estate auctions, real estate auctions, farm sales and fundraising auctions.
The Yukon Quest International is a race conducted in early February each year from Fairbanks to Whitehorse in Alaska’s Yukon Territory. In its 29th year, the race follows 1,025 miles of historic gold rush and mail delivery routes.
The spirit of the Yukon Quest is still true to its northern soul. Mushers and their dog teams face conditions of minus 40 degrees, 100 mph winds, open water and bad ice. Several check stations are over 200 miles apart.
The Yukon Quest is a true test of the capacity of humans and canines, and a tribute to the strength of the ancient bond that unites them.
Strathe has witnessed that bond and admires the tenacity of the men and women who attend to their dogs needs before theirs.
For information on the Yukon Quest see www.yukonquest.com.
For help with an upcoming auction, see www.SterlingAuctionServices.com.