FAIRBANKS — The first race in the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks’ 14th annual Distance Series is scheduled for Saturday at Birch Hill Recreation Area.

The December Dash is a 15-kilometer mass-start freestyle race, starting at 11 a.m. in the Birch Hill Stadium. A shorter 7.5K race will be available for those wishing to compete at a shorter distance.

The course is on a loop similar to the 15K course used in the 1984 men’s World Cup race held at Birch Hill and won by Gunde Svan of Sweden.

The title sponsor for the three-race series is Buetow Dental. Raven Cross Country in the presenting sponsor and the NSCF organizes the event.

Entry fees are $15 for NSCF members, and $20 for non-members. Race-day entries will be accepted between 9:45-10:45 a.m., but entry fees are an additional $5.

Entry forms are available at Beaver Sports, Raven Cross Country, Goldstream Sports and the Birch Hill ski center.

Entry forms need to be dropped off by 5 p.m. Thursday at either Beaver Sports or Raven Cross Country.

Raven Cross Country provides prizes at each race as well as a grand prize at the conclusion of the series.

Proceeds from the race go to the Lathrop High School cross-country ski team.

The second race in the three-race series, a mass-start, classic technique 20K with a 10K option, is scheduled for Jan. 5. The final race in the series is a 30K free technique mass start, scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 17.

Quest auction

The annual Yukon Quest Fairbanks Auction, Beer & Wine Tasting event will be on a new day and location this year.

The event is scheduled from 6-10 p.m. Friday at the Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts in Pioneer Park. In the past, the event has been held on Saturday at one of the businesses sponsoring the Quest.

The event is one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for the 1,000-mile sled dog race between Fairbanks and Whitehorse, Yukon.

In addition to the beer and wine tasting, Quest hors d’oeuvres will be served by Yukon Quest mushers in tuxedos and there are silent and outcry auctions.

Doors open at 6 p.m. There will be music until 8 p.m., the silent auction runs from 6-10 p.m., beer and wine tasting runs from 6-9 p.m. and the outcry auction is from 8-10 p.m.

Anyone wishing to donate items for the auction can do so by calling Yukon Quest headquarters at 452-7854 or send an email to merchandise@mosquitonet.com.

Donations can be dropped off at the Yukon Quest office at 550 First Ave., or arrangements can be made to pick up items at your home or business in the Fairbanks area.

All donors will receive recognition at the auction and on the Yukon Quest website.

Elks Hoop Shoot

The 41st annual Elks Hoop Shoot, a free throw contest for boys and girls ages 8-13, is scheduled from 3-5 p.m. Sunday at Monroe Catholic High School’s Boileau Hall.

An estimated 2.5 million youngsters will enter the contest nationwide and compete in the event, with the national finals scheduled for April 20 in Springfield, Mass. National champions have their names inscribed in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

All contestants will complete in the age-group that they will be in on April 1.

For more details on the Hoop Shoot, visit www.elks.org/hoopshoot or email HOOPSHOOT@elks.org.