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SITKA - Community wellness champions from all walks of life were honored Wednesday night for the work they've done making Sitka a healthier place to live. The awards were presented during the second annual Sitka Health Summit community dinner, held May 14 at Harrigan Centennial Hall.
The vision for the Sitka Health Summit is for Sitka "to serve our great state as a model for community wellness by creating a healthy community where Sitkans strive for and enjoy a high quality of life." These awards honor community members who already have been living within this vision. These winners have done work in six categories - physical activity, nutrition, tobacco prevention and control, injury prevention, holistic health and general wellness.
Community members to nominate people who have made a difference when it comes to wellness, and an awards committee from the Sitka Health Summit decided on the final recipients. One individual and one group were honored in each of the six categories, plus there was a special award created honoring a local athlete for his commitment to physical fitness.
"We want to extend a heartfelt thank you to every single person and group nominated for making positive contributions so Sitka is a healthier place to live," said SEARHC Health Educator Doug Osborne, who chaired the awards committee.
Community awards given during the community dinner on May 14 are as follows:
Chester Miyasato - honored for being a local runner/biker who came back from a serious knee injury to run marathons and compete in other endurance events.
Hames PE Task Force - honored for helping to keep the Hames Athletic and Wellness Center open after Sheldon Jackson College closed, bringing the center under Sitka Community Schools and adding new programs.
Ellen Frankenstein - honored for the Sitka film-maker's work on a new documentary called "Eat Alaska."
Swan Lake Senior Center Cooks - honored for improved the health and taste of the food offered at the center.
Tobacco Prevention and Control
Amelia Mosher - for her work as a tobacco health educator with the SEARHC Tobacco Program and as part of Sitka Community Hospital's cooperative agreement with SEARHC to provide tobacco cessation services to all Sitka residents.
Voters of Sitka - honored for passing a clean indoor air ordinance and a $1-a-pack tobacco tax during its October 2005 election.
Injury Prevention and Safety
Julia Smith - honored for her work in domestic violence prevention with Sitkans Against Family Violence (SAFV), the White Ribbon Campaign and Teens Resisting Abuse and Initiating Non-violence (TRAIN).
Allen Marine - honored for providing a customized aluminum box to hold helmets for skateboarders to use at Sitka's skate park.
Aleeta Bauder - honored for her work with her own alternative healing business and with the Brave Heart Volunteers.
Dog Point Fish Camp - honored as a traditional Tlingít knowledge camp that teaches people about nutrition, subsistence foods, nature and other traditional knowledge.
Nicole Duclos - honored for her work with the University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka Campus employee wellness team, which is making the healthy choice the easy choice.
Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp No. 4 - honored for its work with its Healthy Breakfast eucation program, StrongWomen physical activity and the social support it provides local Alaska Natives wanting to make healthy choices.
The Steve Reifenstuhl Award
Steve Reifenstuhl - honored for being an extraordinarily active community wellness role model through his participation in endurance running, cycling and kayaking events, such as the Alaska Mountain and Wilderness Classic, the Iditarod Trail Invitational, the Yukon Arctic Ultra 320-miler, the Yukon River Quest and the Sitka Sound Ocean Adventure Race. This award will go to other athletes starting next year, but will carry Steve's name.
Sitka Advancing Our Community - honoring Sitka AOC directors Matthew Turner and Kayla Boettcher for their volunteer work facilitating and helping organize the Sitka Health Summit.