Sioux County Capital Democrat

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The Sioux County Capital-Democrat has been a principal newspaper in Sioux County serving local readers. It is one of the largest circulating newspapers in Sioux County with a subscribership of more than 1200. The heaviest circulation for The Sioux County Capital-Democrat is in the southern section of Sioux County, serving primarily the cities and rural routes of Orange City, Alton, Hospers, Maurice, and Granville, with subscribers in Sioux Center, Sheldon, Boyden, Hull, Rock Valley, Hawarden and Ireton.

Circulation

The Sioux County Capital Democrat is one of the largest circulating newspapers in Sioux County with a distribution in excess of 1,200. The heaviest circulation is in the south section of Sioux County, serving primarily the cities and rural routes of: • Orange City • Hospers • Alton • Sioux Center • Granville • Maurice Also serving: Sheldon, Boyden, Hull, Rock Valley, Hawarden and Ireton.

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This week in the news!

Group Returns from Service at the Gunflint Mail Run

By SARAH WEBER
Co-Editor

ORANGE CITY — In 2016, a family trip to Alaska inspired Shay Davis to bring community and mission work to the men of Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City. In Alaska, he took the opportunity to run with sled dogs, and it was a life-changing experience, one he wanted to find a way to bring to others. “Our men’s ministry team had visited Coldwater as a part of the boundary waters canoe trip, and I remember seeing an advertisement for the Gunflint mail run. I talked to the people in charge at Coldwater about what it would look like to come up and serve during that time.” In January 2017, a group from Trinity went to Grand Marais to assist at the Gunflint mail run; and Trinity has sent a group every year since.
The Gunflint mail run is a continuous race consisting of two legs of equal distance separated by a mandatory layover. Dog sledding has been a part of the Gunflint trail for years and the race honors that history.
A quick trip, the 2022 group left January 7 at 6 a.m. and returned January 9 at 8 p.m., two full days of travel to serve at a 15-hour event; it’s a big weekend.
Davis explains, “Coldwater Foundation is a ministry we served with. Their mission is to serve people with outdoor experiences that promote life change and maturity. Coldwater is a faith and leadership development organization committed to the practice of experiential discipleship, and they are committed to building a culture of young people equipped, empowered, and inspired to live a gospel-centered life serving God and serving others.”
The trip is intense. Trinity took six men, and this trip added an additional three from a church in Wisconsin. “The travel provides a great opportunity to fellowship with other men from the church and to form new relationships. We take our time and enjoy the journey.”
John Buntsma was another participant this year and shared some reflections. “As our trip took us past the waters of Lake Superior and the cliffs on the shores, the general revelation of God’s creation is apparent.”
Davis says that it “is difficult to give an outline of exactly what the group does because we are there to assist in anything that any of the teams need.” The group is introduced to the volunteer teams, and they assist in bringing the sled teams to the line, Davis is responsible for anchoring the sleighs. The eight and twelve sled teams run two laps on a course that is either 65 or 100 miles long, but this year, the trip was 37 and 65 miles long due to a problem on the course.
“Falling down or being knocked down by an eager dog is all part of it. You have so many layers on that falling in thick snow is no big deal. It happened to everyone, and we are instructed to simply roll out of the way,” Buntsma explained. He added, “It is a reminder that we all fall down in one way or another.” Anchoring the sleighs, “Shay provided some pretty remarkable falls,” Buntsma said.
After the race, Buntsma remarked on a winner of the eight dog race. “She won by a large margin. Before going back to her staging area, she went with each dog, called it by name, said kind words, and gave out hugs and scratches.” Reflecting, he noted the lesson in that. “After working hard, we all like to be rewarded, but we shouldn’t forget to bless those who helped us.” Buntsma also noted how well the dogs were cared for and also how eager they were to pull. “There is no question these dogs love to pull the sleigh they are hitched to and the musher who steers it. They will bark, yelp, whine, push and leap until they have the opportunity to pull the sleigh.”
Returning home from another successful trip, Davis reflects. “The trip provides the opportunity to build community in a very different way. We help the community of Grand Marais, and in turn, grow closer together in a relationship.”

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