Recognitions

Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011

Army National Guard Pvt. Matthew C. Bautista has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

J.T.Adzima / J.T.Adzima
J.T.Adzima / J.T.Adzima

During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches, and field training exercises.

Bautista is the son of Arturo Bautista of S. Heather Meadows of Anchorage and nephew of Maria DeGuzman of Juneau.

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Former Juneau resident Laura Vanderwerf was named 2011 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year for the Coast Guard branch. She now competes with four other military spouses representing the other branches of the military for the overall title.

Final voting began through the Military Spouse website on Jan. 28. All Americans are encouraged to vote online at www.milspouse.com/msoy, where you can find profiles of these amazing advocates for the community. This final phase of voting will continue through March 2.

The overall 2011 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year (MSOY) will be announced and honored nationally in the June issue of Military Spouse magazine and at the fourth annual MSOY Awards Ceremony to be held on May 5 in Washington, DC, in conjunction with Military Spouse Appreciation Day. First Lady Michelle Obama and the spouses of generals, admirals, Congressmen, CEOs and ambassadors honored the 2010 Military Spouse of the Year at last year’s high profile event.

The winner will make public appearances, write a monthly column to appear in Military Spouse magazine, and maintain a blog during the year, which will last through May 2012.

The Military Spouse of the Year represents the millions of past and present military spouses who continue to thrive in a wartime environment, dedicate their lives and families to service of a grateful nation and give back to a community in need.

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Lance Stevens, Southeast regional vice president for Alaska USA, was elected chair of the board of directors of United Way of Southeast Alaska for 2011. Stevens has been a board member since 2008 and previously served as the 2009 Campaign chairman. He also serves on the Juneau Chamber of Commerce board. The 21-member board is the governing body for the United Way of Southeast Alaska.

Other elected officers were: Mary Becker as chair elect. Becker is currently an Assembly member of the City and Borough of Juneau, a retired educator and former School Board President.

Mark Bryan was elected secretary. Bryan is the Publisher of the Juneau Empire, sits on the Juneau Jazz and Classics Board of Directors and is a member of the Juneau Rotary Club.

Sheri Croll was elected Treasurer. Croll, controller at Bartlett Regional Hospital, has served as in this role for three years and recently served on the Juneau School District’s Graduation Requirements Task Force.

Five new board members were elected to serve three-year terms. Chris Gerondale, Southeast Regional Manager of Construction Machinery Incorporated; Mark Mesdag, CPA with Elgee, Rehfeld & Mertz and a former graduate of the Leadership Juneau program; Garland Walker, attorney at law at NOAA; Glenn Gelbrich, superintendent of schools for the Juneau School District who has served on two other United Way boards in his lifetime, and Adam Wilkinson, an IT specialist with Wilkinson Consulting who also served on United Way’s Technology Committee for three years.

Joan O’Keefe, Michelle Prebula and Michelle Calvin-Casey both leave the board with the expiration of their terms. Both Prebula and Calvin-Casey are past chairs of the board and served on several committees. O’Keefe served as the small agency representative on the board. “We will miss their service,” said Stevens, “but know that our new board members also bring with them new energy and talents that will serve the organization well.”

One of the first items of business for the new board will be to hire a new executive director while maintaining the ongoing programs United Way delivers. In addition to its annual workplace campaign, United Way grants funds to partner agencies to provide additional services to the communities of Southeast. The strongest focus of the Community Impact Funds has been on literacy and early learning but funds have also been distributed to aid in increasing independent living skills; parenting classes; and supporting AmeriCorps volunteers.

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Thunder Mountain High School junior Sorcha Hazelton attended the Third Annual Youth Leadership Summit at the BP Energy Center in Anchorage on Feb. 11-12. The event was hosted by the Alaska Tobacco Advocacy Initiative (AkTAI), a youth-based coalition that works to empower their peers to fight back against the deceptive lures of the tobacco industry. Hazelton, a co-chairperson on the AkTAI Youth Leadership Council, helped plan the summit. Joined by more than 30 youth from all corners of the state, Hazelton and her peers discussed how they could raise awareness to counteract the tobacco industry’s efforts in their communities.

“Research has shown that 90 percent of tobacco addicts began using before the age of 19. The tobacco industry needs to hook young people as replacement smokers*,” said Hazelton. “‘Don’t Hook Us on Tobacco,’ is our message to ask the community to help us fight the tobacco industry’s target on Alaskan youth” A member of Juneau’s Teens Against Tobacco Use group (TATU Juneau), Hazelton came home with some “new ideas about guerilla marketing” which she hopes to implement in Juneau.

Juneau Teens Against Tobacco Use is a student-led tobacco education and prevention group with members from both Juneau-Douglas and Thunder Mountain high schools. They will be sponsoring their fourth annual Memorial Wall, which will be displayed throughout the community to celebrate Kick Butts Day on March 23, 2011. If you would like to submit a name, picture or story of a loved one who passed away from tobacco use for the wall, e-mail Robina at juneautatu@gmail.com.



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