Can-Am quilt a warm introduction to popular race

1 year ago

FORT KENT, Maine — Each winter, beginning in the holiday season, certain signs start appearing that tell us that the Can-Am Crown Sled Dog Races are returning soon. Appeals for volunteers show up on posters and emails, race advertising begins to emerge, and people share social media stories about training, but one prelude to the races that captures the attention of everyone is the opening of the Can-Am Quilt Raffle.

Northern Neighbors Quilters announced at the end of December that they have completed the latest quilt. Each year, for the past 20 years, the members of the local quilting group have raffled the homemade quilt as a fundraiser for Can-Am Crown, the local food pantry, the Edgar J. Paradis Cancer Fund, the Fort Kent Senior Center, local scholarships, and other local efforts.

This year’s square quilt measures 88.5 inches to a side. Describing the large display quilt as “dazzling,” a spokesperson for the NNQ said members from Fort Kent and surrounding communities pieced the quilt together.

The group titled the piece “Can-Am Northern Star.” Sandra Bossie of Majestic Touch in St. Agatha machine quilted the piece.

It features simple geometries laid out in intricate patterns that lead the eye and mind to a central image of a husky sled dog, captured in a hero shot with the dog overlooking a sled team plunging through the snow. Absalom (Smitty) Dow, son of Joanne and Drew Dow designed the logo.

Raffle tickets are $5 each or three for $10 (all funds taken at par). The group will display the quilt at the Lakeview Restaurant in St Agatha during the Long Lake Ice Fishing Derby on Jan. 28 and 29 where tickets will be available.

Members of NNQ have tickets to sell and will be situated at the Valley Auto showroom and Lonesome Pine Ski Lodge on the day of the sled races — Saturday, March 4. NNQ will also be at the 30 and 100 mile Awards Breakfast on Sunday, March 5 at Lonesome Pine. The drawing will take place at the Can-Am Crown 250 Awards banquet on Tuesday, March 7 at the KC Hall in Fort Kent where racers, support teams and fans can purchase tickets until the time of drawing.

Leonette said, “The Northern neighbor’s Quilters wish to thank everyone for their support.”

Those who wish may mail a check with their name, address and phone number to: Leonette Soucie, 8 Pleasant St., Fort Kent, ME 04743 Tel# 207-834-6363.


Organizers ask for postal entries to include address labels if possible along with a phone number.

Last year, the quilt raffle garnered $3,269 in donations. Janet Michaud was the winner of the 2022 quilt, which NNQ titled “Moonlight on the Trail.”