Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Duly Noted


July 1, 2010

Susie McCartney and Geoffrey Nelson exchanged rings and marriage vows on Kenting beach in southern Taiwan on the winter solstice, Dec. 21. Geoff’s brother Eric Nelson, who was teaching on the island, officiated the private beach ceremony. Susie and Geoff decided to complete their union, along with the requisite paperwork, on the summer solstice in Haines. On June 21, the couple was wed overlooking Lutak Inlet, in front of delighted family and friends. Susie arrived in a Packard chauffeured by brother David McCartney. David’s son Christian was the footman and daughters Chloe and Julia were Susie’s flower girls. The ceremony opened with a blessing from Susie’s friend Pam Harrington. Eric Nelson served as marriage commissioner. Susie’s mother and step-father, Jane and Allan Maunus, traveled from Palm Cove, Fla. and cousin Donna Ward and Donna’s daughter Megan attended from Biloxi, Miss. Geoff’s father and step-mother, Fred Nelson and Colleen Collins, came from Dearborn, Mich ., for the wedding celebration and stayed to visit their Sullivan peninsula property. Geoff’s brother Christian Clasper Nelson came from Minneapolis, Minn. Many friends had a hand in the wedding and reception, which took place in the recently completed timber-frame barn of Frank and Cheri Kutch on Lutak Road. Megan Moorehouse headed up decorations. Hugh Reitze provided salmon and Michelle Labrosse gifted grass-fed beef from her ranch. Randy Miner and Judy Heinmiller brought out their green “people mover” trailer for rides out to Chilkoot Lake chauffeured by Dan Wackerman. A tower of cupcakes, topped by an oversized Sugar Mama’s confection, sweetened the party.


Haines friends gathered Saturday to celebrate the February 25 wedding of Alison Figdor and John Broscious in Maui. Alison’s dad George Figdor left nothing up to chance when it came to organizing his daughter’s wedding celebration. He and chief organizer Deborah Marshall gathered friends to help with flowers, music, cake, signage, beverages and cleanup. George hosted an open house Saturday afternoon with champagne and hors d’oeuvres for friends to catch up with the couple and watch a slideshow from the wedding. At the evening potluck, Burl Sheldon led guests in singing Kate Wolf’s “Give Yourself to Love.” The song was a favorite of Alison’s mom, Bobbi Figdor. Eight volunteers baked sheet cakes that were transformed into a grand assemblage by friend Sharon Shaver. Alison and John live in Montpelier, Vt.


Family and friends of Mike Saunders gathered on the beach Friday evening at the home of Gregg Bigsby and Beth MacCready. Mike’s brother Pat Saunders, and wife Chris, joined the family from Seattle and Mike’s wife Kate’s brother Bart Hoag and his wife Barb traveled from Darby, Mont. Kate’s mom, Eleanor Hoag, will stay with the family for two weeks. Memorial gifts may be made through the Chilkat Valley Community Foundation to the Mike Saunders Youth Activity Fund.


John Svenson was the keynote speaker at the Mountain Rescue Association’s convention in Juneau. John recounted stories of survival from his 30 years guiding climbing trips in Alaska and around the world. He returned home in time for a summer solstice assault on “Witch’s Tit” with a group of young enthusiasts. He joined Darren Shields, Sarah Cohen, Chorus Bishop, Merrick Bochart, Joey Jacobson, Eli Maneff and Floriane Denarie, who all piled into Joey’s boat “Yonder” for the sail across Chilkat Inlet and a brushy scramble up the goat trail.


June Haas is the grandmother of seven as of Father’s Day. June’s son Michael Haas and wife Heather adopted three orphans from Ethiopia. The children, Hanna, 6, Bercket, 3, and Yihun, 7 months, join Jamie, 7, and Abby, 5, who also were adopted from Ethiopia. Heather formerly worked for an adoption agency in Port Townsend, Wash ., where the family first learned of the children. She traveled to Ethiopia to bring the children home and arrived home in time to celebrate Father’s Day. Michael, Heather and their family live in Omak, Wash. Michael is an attorney and Heather homeschools their children.


            The Uglies of Haines hosted a fundraiser Saturday to benefit two popular Haines events. The Uglies cooked up their signature BBQ pork sandwiches, along with salmon and crab for more than 100 people. They raised enough money to contribute $500 each to the 4th of July Fireworks show and the Southeast Alaska State Fair’s Logging Show. According to Uglies President Chuck Mitman, the group has been gathering for 10 years to organize good deeds around Haines. They are working on incorporating and gaining nonprofit status this year.