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Statue stands in honor of Iditarod founder

By Dave Leval 10:21 PM June 24, 2017

He already has a school named after him, now, there’s another way to honor the man known as the “father of the Iditarod.”

It took Palmer artist Pat Garley took roughly 18 months to complete the “Joe Redington, Senior on the Trail” statue that sits outside Redington Junior-Senior High School.

The part of Redington weighs 900 pounds, each of the seven dogs, 200 pounds, while the sled comes in at 1,100 pounds. As beautiful as it is, it’s not the only story on campus.

The statue cost $130,000, and is part of the $51 million set aside to build the school.

Mat-Su Borough Mayor Vern Halter signed a check for $25,000 during the ceremony. That money will go to the Iditarod Trail Committee. The funds will be used to improve the course from Rainy Pass to Dalzell Gorge, so mushers can get through there even if there is little snow.

“It’s important to the Mat-Su Borough because all of our businesses, lodges, a lot of that economy is based on the Iditarod race, so, we want to make sure the Restart is here in Willow and Mat-Su Valley,” said Halter.

The statue is the second of three pieces of artwork that will stand at the school to honor Redington. Work on the final piece is expected to start in July.

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