Mario and Natalie Benassi won the Valentine’s kissing contest at the Pioneer Bar Saturday. They beat out son Josh Benassi and Cassie Miller, as well as Jae McDermaid and Jimmy Lampkins, who placed second. According to Natalie, the key to the win was “a little hard work, perseverance and lots of practice.” Joe Parnell judged the competition.
Smoochers will have another opportunity to smack lips Sunday at the Fort Seward Lodge during a fund-raiser for residents displaced by a recent cabin fire. A kissing booth will be featured, organizers say.
Friends surprised Maggie Stern with a birthday cake aboard the ferry LeConte Friday. Maggie, Sean Bryant and about a dozen other residents attended the Frostbite Music Festival in Whitehorse, Y.T.
Teresa Hura reports that she and husband, Larry, Chip and Heather Lende and two other couples enjoyed eight days of “white sugar sand and emerald water” during a recent trip to Seagrove Beach, Fla. Steve Neidhart, former comptroller of Northern Timber Corp ., and his wife Bridget hosted the holiday on the Gulf of Mexico near Panama City. Teresa’s travels included visiting Sarah and Darrell Maple in Jacksonville, Ore ., and bumping into Sharon Resnick at an outdoor market in Palm Springs, Calif. Larry and Teresa watched the Super Bowl in Arizona with Hugh Rietze and Jill Atlas.
Close watchers spotted another Haines-raised model at Juneau’s Wearable Art Extravaganza. Amy George wore a piece by Lauralye Alison Miko called “All That Glitters,” made of aluminum cans, pop tabs, and wire. Photos are at the Juneau Empire website.
Holly Davis entertained 22 children during her parents’ date night on Valentine’s Day. She pre-baked 72 heart-shaped pizzas, and served homemade, heart-shaped sugar cookies. Holly’s mom, Margaret Plucker, contributed carrots and celery sticks, and stayed to help manage the party. Alissa Couverdon brought her children to the party and stayed to help. Other helpers included Rebekah Green, Ma’or Cohen and former resident Kate Maxwell, who was in town visiting for three weeks. Kate is relocating from Seattle to Anchorage, where she will pursue a teaching degree. She stayed long enough to help Nishan Weerasinghe steam clean the library’s carpets.
The library book group’s next discussion will focus on Louise Erdrich’s debut novel, “Love Medicine.” Published in 1984, the multigenerational story centers around two families on a North Dakota reservation.The book group meets 3 p.m. Saturday, March 9. Everyone is welcome.
Kee Heywood is nearing completion on his first feature film, a romantic comedy entitled “Phantom Limbed.” According to an email update Kee sent to supporters, he is finalizing special effects and expects to submit the work to film festivals and competitions this spring. Kee is in his final year at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
February’s first Sunday ice cream social at Haines Assisted Living was punctuated with shouts from fans watching the Super Bowl on the big TV screen, according to attendee Doris Ward. Headphones silenced sounds from the set but not from local fans. Guests and residents chose from several flavors of ice cream as they chatted and played cards. HAL’s socials are the first and third Sundays at 2:15 p.m.
The Ripinsky Rippers hosted its annual quilting retreat over Presidents’ Day weekend. Becky Nash organized the four-day retreat with the help of Leslee Downer. Twenty-six people attended, including 11 women from Juneau. Martha Morris of Juneau served as instructor. She worked quilters through two projects, the “Disappearing 9-Patch” and the “Wave.” This year’s theme was “Be Calm, Sew On!” Taking advantage of calming activities, like a fresh-air break or massaging a friend, earned participants a chance at the weekend’s top prize. Darlene Bolick won the prize drawing and donated the sewing-themed poster to the middle school sewing program. Delayna Doleshal won a quilting-themed Monopoly game donated by Material Girls.