Neighbors mailbox

Posted: Friday, June 15, 2007

Thanks for supporting family birth center

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We at the Juneau Family Birth Center would like to thank all of the supporters who participated in our annual fundraising event. A special thanks to all the individuals and businesses that participated by donating to our silent auction: Alaskan and Proud, Alaskan Dames and Alaskan Gents Consignment Shop, Alaskan Outdoor Wearhouse and Embroidery, Air Excursion, Alaska's Capital Inn Bed and Breakfast, Ann Lind, Annie Kaill's, Barbara Kreher, Bound to the Word Binding, Capital Records, Cindee Britten, Foggy Mountain Shop, Foodland Super Drug, Fox Fire, Full Circle Farm, Good Hardware, Gourmet Alaska, Harri Plumbing and Heating, Hearthside Books, Imagination Station, J. Althea, Julius and Jean Varga, Lisa Davidson's Boutique, Lori Sowa, Miss Scarlett's, Mount Roberts Tramway, Murphy and Emily DelGado, Nugget Alaska Outfitters, Northstar Designer Outlet, Peer Amid Beads, Perseverance Theatre, Radio Shack, Rag Doll Boutique, Rainbow Foods, Raintree Quilting, Rainy Day Books, Robert Haight, Shoefly, Sonia DelGado, Southeast Artworks, Southeast Furniture Warehouse, Stephanie Allison, Taku Harley-Davidson, The Alaska Club, The Bears Lair, The Observatory, The Plum Tree, The Urban Eskimo, Twin Lakes Café, Wee Fishie Shop and Wells Fargo Bank. All the wonderful support made the event a great success.

Kaye Kanne

Juneau

Thank for coming out

We would like to thank everyone who turned out to hear Benjamin Ajak and Benson Deng speak about their experiences as young boys growing up in the Sudan. The boys were overwhelmed at the fantastic turnout at both the high school and the university events. They have told us that never have they felt more at home than with their visit here to Juneau.

Last fall, Sharon and I were introduced to a book called "They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky," a uniquely written and life-altering autobiography chronicling a struggle for survival of three very young Sudanese boys, torn from the care and love of their families, the peace and security of their homes and villages, with no warning and for no apparent reason. Until recently, little was written, spoken or known about the many tens of thousands of these "lost boys" who spent years walking through the deserts of Sudan, thirsty, starving and in constant danger not only from lions, snakes, hyenas, vultures and other predators, but also from armed and very dangerous Islamic government "Sudanese" soldiers. Many thousands of these boys were truly lost and will never get the chance to tell their story, but brothers Benson and Alepho Deng and cousin Benjamin Ajak have managed to survive the walk as well as their seven years in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya. They are among the very fortunate 3,800 boys to be relocated to the United States before the resettlement program was stopped after the 9/11 attacks in New York. The authors all live in San Diego today.

With the help of Judy Bernstein, co-author of the book, these boys have been able to put their memories down on paper and publish them to share their experience with the rest of the world. As fortune would have it, last fall, both Sharon and I were able to meet the authors, wonderful young men from the village of Juol in the Sudan, as well as the inspirational and amazing Judy Bernstein. When I asked the boys what they missed most, they talked about the wildlife and the wilderness. I showed them pictures of Juneau, and spoke to them about the abundant wildlife here. They didn't believe me at first, so I invited the authors to come and see for themselves, which they did early in May. And while they were at it, I believe they inspired the thousand plus high school students who attended their presentation at Juneau-Douglas High School and hundreds of community members who attended their presentation at the Egan Library at the university.

None of this would have been possible without the assistance of numerous people here in Juneau. Special thanks to Paul and Sioux Douglas, Linda Egan, Deana and Bob Hale, Bernie Sorenson, Frank Coenraad, Jamie Morano, Geoff and Marci Larsen, Jeff Brown and the Juneau Afternoon radio program at KTOO, Tanja Cadigan, and Grady and Gretchen Saunders. Thanks also to the Early Scholars Program and National Honor Society for the great breakfast (especially the herring roe), the greetings in Haida and Tlingit, the Tlingit story (Rick Tagaban, you were great) and the gifts. Special thanks to Joe and Maureen Brotherton for introducing us to the boys, Judy and the book.

Again, thanks to the thousands of Juneau residents who came to listen. It is our hope as well as Benson, Benjamin, Alepho and Judy's that with education and awareness, the genocide in Sudan will stop and the boys will be able to return home to raise their own families. I am sure they will have great stories of their visit to Juneau, their walk on a glacier, the wildlife and beauty of Alaska to tell to their own grandchildren back in their village in the Sudan.

Thanks to you all.

Sandro and Sharon Lane

Juneau

Symphony sends thanks

The Juneau Symphony musicians and board extends its gratitude to the dedicated corps of volunteers and contributors who helped make our Summer Spectacular concert on June 9 a wonderful success.

Thank you, Jack Hodges, for an outstanding performance. You truly inspire us all.

We are indebted to concert sponsor Holland America Line and KTOO's new Rain Country station KRNN 102.7 FM for rebroadcasting the entire concert at 1 p.m. on June 19. Additional thanks are due to house manager Koren Bosworth and to all the symphony supporters who opened their homes for our out-of-town musicians.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this concert and our 2006-07 season such a success.

Elizabeth Agnew,Executive director

Kyle Wiley Pickett,Music director

Juneau



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