More than 80 people attended Sunday’s Party in Pink, a fundraiser for former resident Kaci Ahmuty, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. The elementary gym was packed with people dressed in pink, doing “dancy yoga” and Zumba to a playlist of mixed songs. Mandy Ramsey, Alissa Henry and Jackie Ruggirello led the moves. SEARHC’s Wisewoman program donated fruit and snacks and provided breast cancer information to raise awareness. The event also included door prizes. More than $1,600 was raised for Ahmuty. Ruggirello will be opening an account in Ahmuty’s name at the bank.
Macky Cassidy and Jake Bell returned from a three-week trip to Nicaragua. “We surfed our brains out” on a beach ideal for beginners due to a lack of rocks, Cassidy said. The couple feasted on rice and beans, red snapper and plantains. They stayed in a small fishing village on the Pacific side, where they rented a house on the beach with friends. They were impressed by the friendliness of the locals, and by the end of the trip were speaking Spanish.
Employees of the Chilkat Restaurant and Bakery enjoyed live music during an employee Thanksgiving dinner Sunday. Restaurant owner Miki Atkins has an employee dinner every year, but this was the first with a live band. Greg Horner, Fred Shields and Dan Lundberg played guitars, and Kyle Gray played bass. Dinner included prime rib and Thai food.
Becky Nash returned from a two-month trip to Sweden, France, New York state and Ontario. In Sweden, Nash visited sister Lynnita Bergstrom and family in Luleå and did her “usual things,” including teaching quilting classes to groups of women and seeing her circle of crafting friends. She also watched nephew Ben’s jazz band perform at a light show on Luleå’s docks. In Paris, she visited Dominique Buffin, a former exchange student who stayed with the Nashes in Haines 19 years ago. Buffin, who oversees art museum security, took Nash on a harrowing ride in the back of her motorcycle through downtown Paris and gave her tours of art exhibits. The duo also flew to Toulouse and visited the town of Carcassonne, the site of a 13th century castle built during the Roman Empire. In New York, Nash visited sister Caroline Timmins of Williamsville. The sisters went dumpster-diving. Timmins fixes and furnishes her finds and sells them at fancy garage sales called “pop-up boutiques.” They also toured Canadian vineyards near Niagara Falls. Nash said she wasn’t impressed with New York’s side of the falls, and Canada’s side seemed like “Las Vegas on steroids.”
Genny Szymanski wasn’t sure what to expect when boyfriend Harry Rietze said he had to show her something on the cannery dock at Letnikof Sunday evening. Meanwhile, friend Darren Pattison waited for his cue. When Harry and Genny arrived, a string of lights turned on, reading “Marry Me?” Rietze got down on one knee. As for a ring, he told her she could pick one out. They celebrated with a dinner at Stuart and Lexie DeWitt’s house.
Donna Walter attended her 60th anniversary high school reunion in Manhattan, Kan. There, she reunited with 52 of her 125 Manhattan High School classmates, some of whom she hadn’t seen since graduation. Husband Wayne also attended. After buying a truck in Manhattan, the couple went to grandson Chauncy Walter’s wedding in Montgomery, Ala.
Eighty-eight residents turned out for Saturday’s annual Ducks Unlimited banquet and auction at Harriett Hall, earning the Haines’ chapter recognition for biggest membership boost in the past year. Last year, there were 20 members. Regional director Dave Weber of Anchorage told Haines chapter chairperson Jamie Knudsen that the Haines chapter is one of the more successful ones in the state. The event raised $14,000, which will go toward conservation of Alaska’s wetlands. The Haines Emblem Club catered the prime rib dinner. The Fogcutter Bar provided the bar. Auctioned items included framed prints, guns, apparel, decoys and knives.
Klukwan School, church and community members held their annual Thanksgiving lunch Friday at the ANS Hall. Carson Buck’s middle and high school cooking class made homemade rolls, pumpkin pies, glazed carrots and mashed potatoes for the feast. Cynthia McFeeters’ elementary class was joined by a few high schoolers to sing “Over the River and Through the Woods” and “Turkey in the Straw” for the lunch entertainment.
Former resident Ed May was profiled in a recent edition of the Petersburg Pilot for his recent book, “Sourdough Starter: The Mother Sponge.” The self-published work details the stories of Alaskans who lived here before statehood. It includes a history of the Haines Public Library. May left Haines in 2010. He lives in Petersburg with wife Melinda and their three children.