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 ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Aug. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- GCI officials today announced the company has agreed to contribute $60,000 to the 1994 Iditarod Sled Dog Race. This is the first major sponsorship by an Alaska company since the sponsorship withdrawals of ABC Wide World of Sports and Dodge Trucks.
 GCI's sponsorship includes underwriting the costs of providing all aspects of communications along the trail as well as the Iditarod's annual long distance and 800 phone charges. GCI also will sponsor the half-way prize, although company officials have not yet determined the amount of the prize or what form it will be in.
 "The Iditarod is one of Alaska's premier events and people from around the state are concerned about the future of the race. GCI is proud to offer its assistance to the race at such a critical funding time," said Nancy Snyder, GCI's director of marketing and sales. "Although there are still some details to be worked out, we've make the commitment to the Iditarod and wanted to let the public know as quickly as possible. As important as the actual contribution may be to the Iditarod, we hope it also will encourage other Alaska companies to jump in as sponsors, too."
 "We are pleased that GCI has agreed to sign on as the official Communications Sponsor of the Iditarod," said Stan Hooley, executive director for the Iditarod. "Everything that happens in this race in some way depends on effective communications -- the safety of the mushers and their dogs, moving judges and veterinarians from checkpoint to checkpoint, and keeping the people of Alaska and the rest of the world informed about the race. GCI has stepped to the plate and has made a tremendous commitment to assist us during this crucial time. We look forward to working closely with the company to fully maximize the mutual benefits inherent in this new partnership."
 Although this is the first time GCI has been a major sponsor of the Iditarod, the company has sponsored Susan Butcher for four years.
 GCI, an Alaska-based long-distance telephone carrier, has more than 80,000 customers throughout Alaska.
 -0- 8/25/93
 /CONTACT: Stan Hooley of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, 907-376-5155; or Linda Duck of GCI, 907-265-5458; or Bonnie Bernholz of Bernholz and Graham, 907-561-4488, for GCI/

CO: GCI ST: Alaska IN: SU:

CO-JH -- SE007 -- 5926 08/25/93 18:47 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 25, 1993
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