Through a unique twist of circumstances, the Deerfield Beach, Florida-based Boca Java discovered a connection it has to the run, which began in 1925 as a quest to deliver emergency diphtheria serum to Nome, Alaska.
The annual run, commemorating the original 1925 run led by Col. Norman Vaughan and his courageous team, is now used as a tool for public health education along the route, which begins at Nanena in the interior and ends 768 miles northwest in Nome, near the Artic Circle. It will happen simultaneously with the famous Iditarod dog sled race on the same course.
The run is a combination of traditional mushers (dog sleds) and snow machines (snowmobiles) and will take the 20 participants nearly 20 days to complete over Alaska's frozen rivers, tundra and sea ice. The team will help widen the awareness throughout Alaska of the need for inoculations for children, and will stress important health issues such as immunizations, medical exams, cancer screening, tobacco cessation, accident prevention, and HIV awareness as well as many other wellness programs.
"We are thrilled to provide our coffee, teas, and accessories to the 2009 Serum Run '25," says Kevin Holbrook, president, Boca Java Inc. "It is so ironic that we're in the hottest part of the country and a part of us will be there in the coldest part of the country. It's an odd coupling, but it's very exciting to us to provide any comfort and enjoyment we can to these brave and dedicated people."
The connection between the gourmet coffee retailer and the run is one of family relations. One of the expedition's medical participants, Leslie Stephens, is the sister of a Boca Java employee. "It seems only natural that we participate, given the great cause, hot coffee, and a special extended Boca Java family member being on the run," says Holbrook.