Cross country ski race director remembered for impact on community

Jack McKaig, the director of the White Pine Stampede, died Sunday.

ANTRIM COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- The man who directed Michigan's longest and oldest cross-country ski race has passed away.

Jack McKaig, the director of the White Pine Stampede for all its 42 years, died Sunday.

Jack was born in Detroit in 1943 and between 1967 and 1969 he served in the United States Army.

He finished school and started a law practice in Mancelona, where he specialized in defending the rights of children.

Jack also served as President, Vice-President, and Treasurer of the Children’s Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and was a member of both the Mancelona Chamber of Commerce and the Mancelona School Board.

According to his obituary, the White Pine Stampede was the organization closest to his heart.

The 50K cross country ski races spans from Mancelona to Shanty Creek Resorts and includes 20K and 10K races.

In keeping with Jack's fight for kids, five dollars from every registration fee went to the Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation.

According to the White Pine Stampede website, the race was established in 1977 and the event has since been held every first Saturday in February, except for snow challenged 2012.

Hundreds of people flock to Mancelona every year for the event Jack cared so much about.

Jack was about to celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary with his wife Beth. His family said it's close enough, and encourage people to wish Beth a happy anniversary.

Memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 21, 2018 at the Mancelona United Methodist Church. Visitations will be held on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at the Mancelona Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to A.C. Paw at P.O. Box 94 Acme, Michigan 49610, Help from My Friends at 3820 Ritt Rd, Bellaire, Michigan 49615 or University of Michigan CVC Social Work Fund at Medical Development, 1000 Oakbrook, Suite 100, Ann Arbor, MI 48104.

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