Neighbors Mailbox: March 6, 2011

Posted: Sunday, March 06, 2011

Giving the gift of sight

The Mendenhall Flying Lions Club would like to thank Wings of Alaska for providing transportation for two of our club members to and from Hoonah to screen children at the Hoonah Early Childhood Education Association Tots Clinic. As a result, 30 preschool children were tested with approximately 25 percent being referred for further examination. In addition, five adults were trained in the operation of the screener.

For nearly 100 years, Lions Clubs around the world have worked to prevent blindness, restore eyesight and improve eye care for hundreds of millions of people worldwide through various sight projects. In Alaska, Lions have taken the lead in providing vision screenings, especially for preschool and grade school aged children.

The purpose of vision screening is to detect progressive, serious pediatric eye disorders and particularly amblyopia, in a cost effective manner and at an early enough time that treatment will be effective. The Mendenhall Flying Lions Club utilizes a PlusOptiX vision screener to test the eyes of individuals from six months to 60 years of age.

For information on bringing vision screening to your clinic, preschool or school, please contact the Mendenhall Flying Lions Club at PO Box 32863, Juneau, AK 99803.

Neil Atkinson

Mendenhall Flying Lions Club

Successful fundraiser

We would like to thank all of the wonderful Alaskans who gave generously to our annual fundraiser. Without their support, we couldn’t work on the many outdoor projects we help with, such as cabin maintenance, shooting and archery ranges, gun safety classes and lots more. Once again we had over 400 guests and a wonderful time was had by all.

Thanks to: Alaska Auto Repair, Alaska Bullet Works, Alaska Canopy Adventures, Alaska Flyfishing Goods, Alaska Glacier Seafoods, Alaska Hearth Products, Alaska Industrial Hardware, Alaska Litho, Alaska Seafood Co., Alaska Survival Products, Alaska Vision Center, Alaskan Brewing Co., Alaska Outdoor Wearhouse & Embroidery, Allen Marine Tours, Amerigas, Andrew’s Marina, Sue Arthur, Art Matters, Bear Body, Bear’s Lair, Mike Bethers, Breeze In, Jerry and Barbara Burnett, Ed Buyarski, George Campbell, Channel Motors, Coastal Helicopters, Curves For Women, Amra Custer, David Green Furriers, Douglas Cafe, Duck Creek Market, Art Dunn, Cindy Evans, Ralph Fenner, Foreign Auto Repair, Four Seasons Marine Services, Barb Gabier, Gallery of the North, Terry Gordon, Gourmet Alaska, Heritage Coffee Co., Val Horner, House of Russia, Island Pub, Jerry’s Meats and Seafoods, Dan Johnson, Juneau Gun Club, Juneau Rifle and Pistol Club, Juneau Shooting Sports Foundation, Juneau Steamboat Co., Kappler Computer Services, Harry Keller, Mal and Jean Linthwaite, Lisa Davidsons, William Martin, Mendenhall Auto, Julie Millar, Gary Miller, Linda Mills, Dr. Christine Moleski, Northstar Products Co., Nugget Alaskan Outfitters, Outboard Shop, Sara Race, Glacier Gardens, Rayco Sales, Wayne and Lou Regelin, Rie Muñoz Gallery, Rodfather’s Broiler, Sandbar and Grill, Dr. Charles Schultz, Thyes Shaub, Shoefly, Silverbow Construction, State Farm’s Reuben Willis, Susan M. Smith, Doug Solberg, Ron and Jan Somerville, Southeast Powersports, Henry Springer, Temsco Helicopters, Thibodeau Valley Liquor, Valley Auto Parts, Vallery Lumber, Sen. Tom Wagoner, Ward Air, Tom Weske, Western Auto Marine, Browning, Wings of Alaska, Stephanie Wolfram and Zen.

Also, a special thank you to The Hangar for another great meal and to Centennial Hall for all of their help.

Ron and Jan Somerville

Cochairmen, Territorial

Sportsmen of Juneau

Foster care supporters change lives for the better

The Office of Children’s Services (OCS) would like to thank the various community members, businesses and agencies that have provided support to foster children through gifts, time, money and material goods for foster children for the last several years during the holiday seasons. Additionally, OCS sincerely thanks the families who provide foster homes to give children safe and caring homes when needed.

We would also like to thank Hearthside Books & Toys for many years of support by being a collections spot for donated gifts. A special thanks to the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), who provide gift wrap and help to select gifts for the children. Additionally, OCS would like to thank the Valley Rotary Club members who have taken on our toy drive for several years and have provided for teens during the holiday season, along with other supports throughout the year.

Foster parenting can be challenging and rewarding and the need is always greater than the availability of homes. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent please call OCS for more information. You may call Candice Heppner at 465-3740 or Carmen Cortese at 465-2946. You can also contact the Foster Parent Information Hotline at (800) 478-7307. Again, our sincere thank you to the community for everything you do to support Alaska’s foster children.

Candice Heppner

Department of Health and

Social Services, Office of

Children’s Services

Alaska Native Sisterhood and ‘Feed the Mind Campaign’

The priority focus of Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 70 is education. Our members are involved in education within the Juneau School District and contribute time, money, public testimony, student advocacy and clothing or other items to various schools. For the past few years we have partnered with other businesses and organizations to provide snacks for all students during the stressful April testing week.

This “Feed the Mind Campaign” is one of our favorite projects we have organized since 2009 and involves providing healthy snacks for all students through our own contributions and from soliciting donations from the Juneau community. This year, Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 70 and Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp 70 will each contribute $1,000 because we believe in the importance of providing nourishment for all students especially during this critical part of the school year. We hope that many Juneau organizations and individuals also believe in the importance of “Feeding the Minds” of Juneau’s students and are willing to donate to the “Feed the Mind Campaign.”

According to 2011 enrollment statistics provided by the Juneau School District and reflecting grades targeted for standardized testing on certain days throughout the district: on April 5, 740 students will test; on April 6, 1,533 students will test; on April 7, 740 students will test; on April 8, 366 students will test; on April 12, 2,246 students will test; on April 13, 2,246 students will test; and April 14, 2,246 students will test. If every child who is testing is provided a snack for every day testing is scheduled, the total number of snacks needed for Juneau students is 10,117 snacks this April. Will you or your organization help?

This project involves ANS Camp 70 seeking contributions from various organizations throughout Juneau, shopping for snacks at local stores, organizing the amount needed for each school and delivering the snacks. Each school has welcomed and expressed much gratitude for our efforts. In prior years, we have been able to raise approximately $5,000 each year from generous organizations. Sealaska Corporation, Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 70, Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp 70, Juneau Democrats, SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, Huna Heritage Foundation, Kennecott Greens Creek Mining Company, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Michelle Metz, Rep. Cathy Muñoz, Rep. Beth Kertulla and Carpet Source contributed last year. We wholeheartedly thank all of these organizations for their generous support for these last two years and look forward to another successful year for our “Feed the Mind Campaign”. For questions or to make a contribution, contact ANS Camp 70, P.O. Box 20213, Juneau, AK 99902 or e-mail to

Beverly Russell, Secretary

Alaska Native Sisterhood

Glacier Valley Camp 70

Decathlon students succeed greatly

Sixteen high schools and over 160 students from around the state converged in Anchorage this past weekend for the 27th annual GCI Academic Decathlon State Tournament. Team members representing Juneau-Douglas High School included: Eric Bookless, Maureen Caparas, Jamelyn Zeller, Erik Stromme, Stephanie Tripp, Nicole George, Adam Soto and Oliver Coleman. As part of the large school division, they were competing against the Fairbanks academic powerhouses, West Valley and Lathrop High. Nonetheless, JDHS decathletes showed their mental mettle placing fourth overall in our state.

Consider that each student had to study and write in-depth about the Great Depression and geology, understand the music, art, literature and history of that era, present a speech both prepared and impromptu and be tested in all these subjects as well as undergo an intensive actual interview session, JDHS decathletes proved that they can be proud of their academic prowess.

Academic Decathlon is an extracurricular activity in which students study for the sheer joy of learning and take tests for the satisfaction of competing and they do so on their own time and outside of our regularly scheduled core academic courses. With every year of decathlon under their belt, a student can veritably graduate from high school with an immense corps of knowledge that far exceeds that of a first year college student.

The following decathletes received medals during the awards banquet held at the Hilton in Anchorage:

Erik Stromme, competing in the Scholastic division received a silver medal in Superquiz (geology), a gold medal in essay, and received the overall highest scoring team member medal.

Stephanie Tripp, competing in the Scholastic division received a silver medal in music and a gold medal in interview.

Adam Soto, competing in the Varsity division, received a bronze medal in mathematics.

Each and every JDHS decathlete placed in the top 10 of one or more of the subject tests. Recognition for placing in the top ten overall for their particular division goes to the following:

Honors division:

Eric Bookless placed fourth in math; Maureen Caparas placed ninth in math and art, eighth in music, seventh in literature; and Jamelyn Zeller placed eighth in math.

Scholastic division: Erik Stromme placed ninth in economics and music, sixth in math, art, and literature, fiftth in social science, second in geology and first in essay; and Stephanie Tripp placed seventh in economics and art, sixth in math and literature, fourth in social science, second in music and first in interview.

Varsity division: Nicole George placed ninth in essay and math, sixth in interview and fourth in music; Adam Soto placed ninth in economics, seventh in aArt and literature, fourth in social science, music and essay and third in math; and Oliver Coleman placed eighth in mathematics, sixth in speech, fifth in music and fourth in interview.

My sincere gratitude to all the parents who drove their students to Saturday study sessions, to Patricia Gerdes who has helped our team immensely in their studies and kindly gave up many, many Saturdays to be with us, and the school district for supporting an activity that provides a venue for all of our students to challenge themselves in the intellectual arena. We are creating the renaissance students of tomorrow.

Karina Reyes

Academic Decathlon


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