Sapphire Marie Ordonez was born Tuesday, Sept. 20 to Edie Granger and Joe Ordonez in Juneau. Sapphire weighed 7 lbs., 9 ozs. and measured 20.5 inches. The family was expecting a baby brother for big sister Stella, so Sapphire’s arrival was a happy surprise. Edie’s mom, Michelle McKillup, was also in Juneau with the family.
Dick and Carol Flegel are first-time grandparents. Ryan Tai Flegel was born Sept. 1 to Michael and Lauren Dong Mei Flegel. Ryan weighed 8 lbs., 8 ozs. and measured 20.5 inches. Dick and Carol were in San Carlos, Calif. to await Ryan’s arrival, and got to know Lauren’s parents, Yungting Wang and Xiuming Chen, who were visiting from Beijing, China. The expectant grandparents used a free, online translation program to communicate. The Flegels used their laptop and Michael’s iPad to translate English phrases and questions into Chinese characters, and used the program’s "listen" feature to aid conversation. The program was especially helpful while Lauren was in the hospital and unable to play translator. Ryan is the "most beautiful grandbaby in the world," Carol said. Michael’s sister, Kathleen Candor, visited for a few days from her home in Las Vegas. Dick and Carol are planning another visit in January.
Sandy and Vic Wratten report an outpouring of generosity for their son, Scott Wratten, and his family, following a wildfire that claimed their home outside Austin, Texas. Their home was one of 1,500 lost in the Bastrop wildfires earlier this month. Friends from Vic and Sandy’s neighborhood in Sun City, Texas, gathered to raise money for the family, as did a group of Continental flight attendants Sandy used to work with. Another friend shipped the family a home’s worth of furniture that had been in storage. Scott and Josie have three children and were relieved to find a house to rent, allowing their children to return to their familiar school. They received more furniture than they needed, and passed the generosity on to other families left with nothing.
Michelle Stigen attended the National Emblem Club convention in Bellevue, Wash. earlier this month. Eighteen members from Alaska, including June Haas, attended. Michelle received her first national office post, and will serve as the 9th Trustee. Trustees safeguard the club’s belongings, including ceremonial items from 85 years of national conventions. The Haines Emblem Club won several awards at the convention, including recognition as the only club in the U.S. to see three years of consecutive membership gain. It also won second place for its drug awareness program, including Pedal to Push Away Drugs events. The club’s press work received recognition, with first place in website references to the club and second place in radio spots. The local club is gearing up for two popular fall fundraisers. The Ducks Unlimited banquet is Oct. 15 and the community service auction is Nov. 6. Dylan Palmieri received first place in the state Emblem Club Americanism Essay Contest. Dylan’s essay was judged against entries from around Alaska, and the win came with a cash prize from the Haines and Alaska clubs.
The Haines School recognized the International Day of Peace Wednesday with assemblies and projects designed to connect students worldwide. Elementary students kicked off their annual Pennies for Peace fundraiser. Students in kindergarten through fifth grades will gather money for the Kilimanjaro Orphanage in Moshi, Tanzania. Jamie King, who volunteered at the orphanage last winter, spoke with students at assemblies and in classrooms about his experience. Rene Martin’s high school English classes will work on an essay project sponsored by the Haines People for Peace. Rene’s freshmen class initiated their discussions of cultural perspectives with an investigation of the cultural makeup of the class. While the cultural background was predominantly European, the class found connections to Tlingit, Cherokee, Pacific Islander and Vietnamese heritage as well. Their findings are illustrated in creative displays outside Rene’s classroom.