With the 29th edition of the Yukon Quest Sled Dog Race set to go in less than a month the organizers are facing a major lack of money.

Going into the holiday season, organizers put out a desperate plea to sponsors and fans of the sled dog race to raise the $60,000 needed in order to make the promised purse of $150,000.


Musher Sebastian Schnuelle from Paxson, Alaska, makes his way to the finish line in Fairbanks, Alaska, in the 2011 Yukon Quest. Organizers of this year's race are still $50,000 short of raising the $150,000 needed for the prize purse. (Justin Kennedy/The Canadian Press)

While they've made a small dent in that number, they're still far below their goal.

"For the purse right now we need another $50,000," said Sue Thomas, executive director of the Yukon Quest.

"We have $100,000 in hand for the purse and so we're looking for sponsorships for the remaining $50,000 for the purse."

That shortfall may be the least of the Quests' worries. It was also learned this week the race is $125,000 short in terms of operational costs.   Organizers say if the purse and operational dollars are not raised in time, the board will have to make serious decisions about this year's race.

Thomas said it's been difficult to get sponsorship dollars this year because Whitehorse is also hosting the Arctic Winter Games. Race officials have been trying to trim their costs.

Meanwhile given the Quest's long history in the Yukon they're still confident the money will be there by the time the race starts.

"I'm told every year the community is there for the Quest," Thomas said.

"The community comes on board and backs it up and I'm optimistic we are going to make the money that we need for this race. I don't know who, what, where, but they've got to be out there and I'm looking forward to meeting them."