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


Spelling bee champ seeks funds for trip


Jessica Rettinger this week said her family will be accepting donations to raise about $1,200 to take son Jayden to the state spelling bee in Anchorage March 1. They have raised about $60, she said at press time this week.

Rettinger said a fund-raiser set for March 1 was cancelled due to a misunderstanding about the date of the state bee. Other home-school families offered to help with a fund-raiser, but Rettinger said she declined the offer.

“I thought it was too much to ask for one person… We’d already cancelled our orders for food,” she said. About 15 businesses had offered prizes for a fund-raising event, she said.

Rettinger said she’d made requests to the Emblem Club and Uglys, and that the American Legion had offered the hall there for a fund-raiser and help setting up and clearing tables.

Rettinger said she declined an offer of a $1,500 loan from school superintendent Michael Byer because she wasn’t sure her family would be able to pay it back.

Byer this week called the offer an “advance” that could be repaid by a fund-raiser held later. The school board hasn’t agreed to pay for the travel, Byer said.

Principal Cheryl Stickler reported to the board at its Jan. 15 meeting that the American Legion Auxiliary, which had funded travel to the state bee for years, no longer would be making such a donation.

Donation envelopes are at the Haines School office and Chilkat Valley News, and donation cans are at Olerud’s Market Center and Mountain Market. For more information, contact Jessica Rettinger at 303-0090.