Neighbors Digest

Icicle Seafoods gift extends throughout the UA system 


The University of Alaska Foundation today announced a $300,000 gift from Icicle Seafoods Inc. for scholarships, student aid, research and technology programs throughout the UA System. The many programs benefitting from the gift include rural campuses and the communities they serve, as well as opportunities for both secondary and post-secondary students.

This is the latest in a string of generous gifts to the university that brings Icicle’s total donations to UA over the past five years to a remarkable $1.1 million.

“Through its consistent and generous donations, Icicle is providing the university a tremendous opportunity to bolster student scholarships and integrate more technology into the classroom; provide more research about Alaska fisheries and seafood markets; and expand marine science programs,” said Carla Beam, president of the UA Foundation. “This is a perfect example of a company using its donations strategically, for the benefit of the overall health of its industry.”

Gunnar Knapp, a fisheries professor at the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage, noted a significant share of Icicle’s support goes to support fisheries economics research at ISER.

“They have been instrumental to my being able to offer a new course in fisheries economics and to continue tracking trends in markets for Alaska seafood,” Knapp noted. “But I’m particularly pleased that Icicle has supported many branches of the University of Alaska in coastal communities across Alaska with donations for vocational programs, scholarships, equipment and in many other ways that make an enormous difference in the university’s ability to serve people in these communities.”

Icicle Seafoods President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Guhlke said, “We are pleased to be able to support the University of Alaska in providing educational and training opportunities for Alaskans to enable them to enter the workforce with the knowledge and skills needed to be successful. We take great honor and pleasure in contributing to the further development of this next generation of leaders.”

Icicle’s latest $300,000 donation benefits the following:

• ISER, UAA: Icicle Fisheries Fund, created to strengthen ISER’s capacity to engage in research and instruction regarding Alaska’s fishing industry and seafood markets, $85,000

• Kenai Peninsula College’s Kachemak Bay Campus: Learning Resource Center, $10,000

• Kachemak Bay Campus: part-time technology staff, for eLearning classroom technology, $10,000

• Kenai Peninsula College: Icicle Seafoods Scholarships, $5,000

• Kodiak College: Icicle Seafoods Scholarships, $12,000; general fund support, $3,000

• University of Alaska Southeast (Juneau): Icicle Seafoods Scholarships, $5,000

• UAS (Juneau): career education/dual enrollment scholarships to allow Petersburg high school students to earn college credit and support UAS Fisheries Technology instruction in the high school, $5,000

• UAS (Juneau): undergraduate Icicle Seafoods fisheries and Marine Science Research Endowment, $30,000

• UAS (Ketchikan): Fish Tech Program, for expansion of fisheries education opportunities to secondary and post-secondary students in Craig, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Kake, Juneau, Sitka, Valdez, Kodiak and Dillingham, $50,000

• University of Alaska Fairbanks: Alaska Business Week, a partnership with the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce in which high school teams simulate running their own businesses for a week, $25,000

• UAF: Alaska Tsunami Ocean Sciences Bowl, a regional competition for Alaska high school students on topics related to oceanic studies, for scholarship awards, $25,000

• UAF Bristol Bay Campus: Icicle Seafoods Scholarships, $10,000

• Bristol Bay Campus: science center renovation, $25,000

Icicle Seafoods was founded in Petersburg in 1965, and is one of Alaska’s largest seafood processors with operations in Petersburg, Seward, Homer, Egegik, Larsen Bay and Adak. Icicle also operates a fleet of floating processors at various locations around the state.

Bowl a strike, make an impact 

Bowl for Kids’ Sake is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska’s largest annual fundraiser, raising over $300,000 annually to support Big/Little mentoring matches statewide.

Bowl for Kids’ Sake is a fun and easy way to positively impact a child’s life. Just follow the simple steps below:

1) Start a team. Teams are made up of 4 - 6 members. Consider creating a team with family, friends, or co-workers. Register your team at

2) Start securing donations. Each bowler is asked to raise a minimum of $200 in donations for a total of $1,000 raised per team. Asking others to support Big Brothers Big Sisters is easy when you use our online fundraising system complete with written email templates.

Want to know the best part? All of the event expenses are completely underwritten by our corporate sponsors. That means 100% of the money raised by bowlers goes directly toward supporting children served by Big Brothers Big Sisters in your community.

3) Start bowling. After you have secured your donations, it’s time to have fun! You’ll receive an invitation to our Bowl For Kids’ Sake Party (shoe and ball rental included!), a Bowl for Kids’ Sake t-shirt, food, drinks, chances to win door prizes!

So what are you waiting for? Start Something today. Partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska through Bowl for Kids’ Sake makes a positive, long-lasting impact on children in your community. Our mentoring works. It works to help broaden children’s perspectives and help them learn how to make good choices. It starts a child on the path to fulfilling their potential and succeeding in school and life.

In Juneau, the event will be April 7 from 2 to 10:30 p.m.

For more information, visit

Author, mental illness advocate Earley to speak at UAS 

Pete Earley was a reporter for 14 years, including six at the Washington Post, before he became a full-time author. After his son Mike was diagnosed as mentally ill, his life was “turned upside down.”

After writing Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness, he added “mental health advocate” to his list of accomplishments. On March 1, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Juneau and the University of Alaska Southeast will present an evening with Earley.

Crazy, which refers to the state of the mental health care system in this country, tells two stories — that of Earley’s son, as well as what he observed during a year-long investigation inside the Miami-Dade County Jail, where he was given unrestricted access.

“I wrote this book as a wake-up call to expose how persons with mental illness are ending up behind bars when what they need is help, not punishment.” explains Earley.

The effort to bring Earley to Juneau began last July when NAMI-Juneau’s Executive Director Katie Chapman heard him speak at NAMI’s national convention.

“NAMI’s mission is three-fold — to educate, support and advocate on behalf of those whose lives are impaced by mental illness. Ever since I heard Pete speak and read his book, I’ve wanted his story to be heard by those who live here — especially those who have either been diagnosed as mentally ill, or have a friend or loved one who has.” said Chapman.

Earley will speak at the University of Alaska’s Egan lecture hall on March 1 at 7 p.m., followed by the chance to meet him at a small reception.

The trip is made possible by NAMI-Juneau and UAS, as well as the Pete Trivette Fund through the Juneau Community Foundation, the Juneau Alliance for Mental Health, Gaiptman Communications, The National Council on Alcohol and Drug Addiction, the Baranof Hotel, Rainforest Recovery Center and Bartlett Mental Health Unit, as well as Alaska Legal Services.

For more information about the event and Earley’s time in Juneau, contact NAMI-Juneau at 463-4251 or at

Locals to hold fundraiser for outreach in Uganda 

Jo Wulffenstein and Michelle Brätt are holding a charity event to raise $10,000 to build and maintain a pig farm in Uganda.

The women are putting on a “Battle of the Sexes — Live” event at Marlintini’s Lounge Saturday, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m.

Festivities will include sumo wrestling, trivia, karaoke, and dancing. Talent from the radio station, Taku 105.1, will emcee.

Door prizes are available, as well as raffle and silent auction items from sponsors, including Pearson’s Pond, Northstar Trekking, Wings Airways, National Geographic and more.

A signature drink will offer proceeds to the cause.

“We’ve put our blood, sweat, and tears into creating this fundraising event. We are really excited about it and hope it brings a lot of people to come support our cause,” said Brätt.

Wulffenstein and Brätt decided to pursue their dreams of doing humanitarian work in Africa through the non-profit organization Groundwork Opportunities (GO).

GO is a company based in California organizing support of villages abroad by providing resources to realize their own ideas.

All proceeds go directly to the project. The volunteers must pay their own way to and from the country and for room and board for their stay overseas.

“I feel like this is the most important thing I have ever done in my life. My best friend Michelle and I have shared the dream of Africa since before we can remember. Farming and sustainable agriculture is something Michelle and I are both interested in for its long term rewards and benefits,” said Wulffenstein, “we are aspiring to raise $10,000 to build a piggery in Uganda. This farm can influence change in the lives of thousands of people, and educate them on the specifics of pig farming.”

This is the first project Wulffenstein and Brätt have endeavored. They intend to make humanitarian work a substantial part of their life-long friendship.

For more information, contact Michelle Brätt at 971.218.9114 or


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