Social media fans of a rookie Iditarod musher have used their #UglyDogs group to raise money for students at a rural Alaska school.

Twitter followers of musher Blair Braverman helped raise field-trip funds for students at Top of the Kuskokwim School in the race checkpoint town of Nikolai, KTVA in Anchorage reported Tuesday.

Principal Tara Wiggins told KTVA that five fourth-graders hope to join a school district trip south to Anchorage, the state’s largest city.

The cost for the trip plus transportation is about $1,400 per student and the students were $4,000 short of their goal despite a year of fundraising, Wiggins said.

After Braverman’s post of a link to the televised report, #UglyDogs site followers raised more than $7,000 in about 24 hours for the students and their chaperones.

“There were so many supporters from that group. They were donating a lot of $11 donations since that is Blair’s number of her bib,” Wiggins said. “And it just kept going and we were all in absolute shock that it went anywhere like it did.”

Braverman is an author and correspondent for Outside magazine and has documented her path to the Iditarod on Twitter for thousands who follow her team.

Braverman said the group name arose after a social media user told her to “go back to your ugly dogs” and her supporters took up the designation.

The #UglyDogs group continues to donate to fundraising sites for Alaska teachers in an effort some are calling the “Igivearod.”

Pete Kaiser won the Iditarod early Wednesday, beating back a challenge from the defending champion, Norwegian musher Joar Ulsom. Braverman was in 35th place.


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