Jean and Ron Smith spent their winter in Sun City, Ariz. where they caught up with many Haines friends. They spent Thanksgiving with Nancy and Ken Seright, and saw Hugh Rietze and Jill Atlas. They also spent time with Teresa and Larry Hura, taking turns hosting at the Smiths’ and at the Huras’ home in Tucson. They returned to sunny spring weather in Haines, which energized Jean to clean out her closets in preparation for the upcoming Hospice of Haines rummage sale.
Fran and Rodger Tuenge are home from a winter’s worth of traveling and family. They stopped to see Haines neighbors Renee and Gene Van de Putte at their home on Lopez Island, Wash., and spent Christmas in Mexico with sons Jason and Jacob. In March they embarked on a road trip to Arizona where they saw Hugh Rietze and Jill Atlas, Ken and Nancy Seright and Ron and Jean Smith. They also stopped in Bend, Ore. and saw former residents Charlie and Pat Jones.
Donna and Wayne Walter are home from their winter home in Wichita, Kansas, where they were near their children and seven grandchildren. They left Haines before the season’s first snow and saw only an inch over the winter in Wichita. The two-man crew that cleared their driveway in preparation for their return took nine hours and used three machines to hack through the snow and ice.
Bob and Sally Lix took a winter break to see friends and family in Oregon and California. They also planned a surprise visit to Bob’s sister, Betty Boyd, on her 90th birthday in Bob’s hometown of Perryville, Mo. Bob took a spill outside their hotel on the way, and spent five hours in the emergency room undergoing tests. Although Bob was “a bloody mess,” according to Sally, he suffered no broken bones, and they made it safely to the birthday party. They are glad to be home, and Bob is healing quickly.
Kristine Harder spent 10 days in Hawaii with daughter Laura Heumann and 10-month-old granddaughter Myla, who live in Juneau. They stayed at Kristine’s brother’s macadamia nut farm on the Big Island, and also soaked in the sun in Kona. Kristine made sure her downtown gift shop was in good hands while she was away. She flew up former resident Rachael Pattison, who worked for Kristine last summer, to work in the store for two weeks. Rachel now lives in Sacramento, Calif.
Over 70 people attended the Haines Animal Rescue Kennel’s annual membership meeting Saturday. Mario and Natalie Benassi prepared beef and chicken stir-fry, served up by board member Aimee Jacobsen and her son Phoenix. HARK volunteers were honored at the event. Akela Silkman received the Volunteer of the Year award. Akela and her family, husband Ross and young daughters Teya and Lena, have been faithful weekly dog-walkers throughout the harsh winter. Former board member Judy Ewald was awarded the Pooper Scooper award in a special presentation by board president Lea Harris. The fundraiser also included a silent auction and dessert auction called by Joanne Waterman. Top dollar desserts included the “Death by Chocolate” cake from former HARK director Sarah Jaymot, and Becky Gonce’s elaborate cake topped with dogs molded out of edible chocolate clay.
The annual spring bowl-a-thon for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Haines had an impressive crowd Friday night. More than 100 bowlers participated in the event, including five-year-old Brooklyn DeWitt, who won the Wii bowling division organized by Tomi Scovill. Using an unorthodox, sidearm delivery, Brooklyn rolled an impressive score of 211, topping all adult and youth competitors. Haines BBBS director Sarah Elliott was happy with the turnout and said she was really impressed with everyone who helped out.
More than 80 revelers gathered at the Chilkat Center lobby for the KHNS Spring Wine Tasting fundraiser Saturday. Local restaurants donated appetizers including chipotle cheese-stuffed dates and olive tapenade spread. Mike Borcik, Skip Cleary and Juneau distributor Keith Crocker poured samples of nine wines, a Czech lager, hard cider and an Alaskan port made in Homer.