Lani Hotch traveled to Juneau last week to attend the 2015 First Lady’s Volunteer of the Year Awards ceremony. Hotch was one of six volunteers statewide to receive the award. She and the other recipients had lunch at the Governor’s Mansion with Gov. Bill Walker, First Lady Donna Walker, and Lt. Governor Byron Mallott. Hotch’s husband Jones Hotch Jr. and daughter Katrina Hotch attended the awards ceremony, as did Rob Goldberg, who nominated her for the honor. “I think it is really important that the clan artifacts from Klukwan be preserved, and I think good work should be rewarded,” Goldberg said. Hotch won the recognition for her work on the Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center and preservation of Klukwan’s artistic treasures and artifacts. The award was started in 1974 by First Lady Bella Hammond.
  Haines students cleaned up at the 33rd Annual Creative Writing Contest sponsored by the University of Alaska and the Alaska Dispatch News. Sixth-grader Brennan Palmieri won the nonfiction writing category for grades 3-6 with “Going to Petersburg.” Sixth-grader Atlin Zahnow (“A Smile Can Change Your Life”) and sixth-grader Mandalyn Gala (“My Rich Uncle”) won honorable mentions in the same category and age group. Eighth-grader Sheeshao White won first place in fiction writing in the grades 7-9 category with her story “Saving Amelia.” Eighth-grader Lilianna Benassi won an honorable mention in the nonfiction writing category for grades 7-9. The contest had over 600 entries across all age groups and categories.
  Hammer Museum intern Aleah Goldin arrived in Haines last week. Goldin is a student at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where she is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. So far, Goldin has been spending her time at the museum making tiny booklets tied with twine that contain a poem-like jingle produced in 1902 to sell double-claw hammers. She has also been working on researching for the museum’s Hammer of the Week series, which is posted on Facebook and the museum’s website.
  Katie Craney recently returned from a 3,100-mile cross-country bike trip. Craney guided the two-month trip from San Diego, Calif. to St. Augustine, Fla. for Woman Tours, a New York-based cycling company specializing in tours for women. The group started with 22 women, but finished with 19 due to injuries. Ages ranged from 32 to 72, and most of the women were in their 60s.
  Sara and Rich Chapell recently spent a nine-day vacation in Paris as an early celebration of their 15th wedding anniversary. Cambria Goodwin watched the Chapells’ children while they were on their romantic getaway. The couple visited the newly-remodeled Picasso National Museum, the Centre Pompidou and the Louvre, which Sara said was a “total zoo” packed with Chinese tour groups snapping pictures of the Mona Lisa. They also took a train to Versailles and toured the palace. On the way home, they ran into Heidi Robichaud in Vancouver, who was returning from visiting family in Germany and the Czech Republic.
  Alisha Young road-tripped with college friends Kendra Whittwer and Anna Diaz across the western United States before making it to Seattle and flying back to Haines last week. The friends made their way from Durango, Colo., to Las Vegas and continued up through California and Oregon. Young said highlights included visiting former Haines residents Sabine and Skip Sparks in Seaside, Ore., and riding her first rollercoaster at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, Calif. Young is working as the CVN’s advertising manager this summer. She is a junior at Fort Lewis College, where she studies graphic design.
Jim and Cheryl Stickler recently traveled to Fairbanks to watch daughter Nicole Stickler graduate from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a bachelor’s in economics. Don Axelson and Elaine Pigott also attended the ceremony. Nicole spent the first three years of college at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and transferred to UAF for her final year. Larry and Linda Geise also attended the ceremony to watch grandson Kristian Jorgenson-Geise graduate with a bachelor’s in justice.
  Last week’s fundraiser for Becky’s Place Haven of Hope raised $3,500 to go toward the creation of a safe house for victims of domestic violence in Haines. Members of the Uglys of Haines served spaghetti and salad, and David Routh auctioned off desserts. Dave and Mary Kyle oversaw the silent bid auction, and Lori Alsup oversaw the desserts. More than 100 people attended the function at the American Legion Hall. Becky’s Place is a nonprofit created by Stan and Jackie Mazeikas.
  Doris Ward recently returned from a rain-filled visit with family in Broken Arrow, Okla. Doris said enough clear days broke through the winds, lightning and passing tornadoes to spend time with family and friends, including sister-in-law Janie Owen, who prepared a traditional Thanksgiving dinner complete with turkey, dressing, pumpkin pie and coconut cream pies.
  Frisbee enthusiasts have organized weekly Ultimate Frisbee games at the Haines School soccer field. “Ultimate” is a limited contact team field sport in which players try to pass the disc into the opposing endzone. Games start at 7 p.m. Tuesdays. All ages and abilities are welcome. Wear dark or light-colored shirts for easy team distinction. 
Dave Walker of Juneau and Randy Erickson of Corbett, Ore. came to town this week to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the borough’s auction of lots across Mud Bay. Walker and Erickson have cabins at the neighborhood accessible only by foot or boat. A party held Monday included friends who bought land in the 1985 auction, including residents Paul and Jeanne Kitayama, Sandy Barclay, and Chris and Deb Kemp.
If you tour Sealaska Heritage Foundation’s Walter Soboleff Center in Juneau, don’t miss the contributions by Haines residents. Retail consultant Lenise Henderson Fontenot designed the building’s gift shop, Wayne Price adzed the textured, wooden walls in the building’s interior and Rob Goldberg sandblasted Steve Brown’s Native designs into 1,200 feet of the building’s glass canopy. Goldberg said Price’s adze work on oiled, cedar panels resembles shimmering water. “There’s nothing like it anywhere,” he said. Henderson Fontenot said she was given a free hand in designing the retail space, which is more like an art gallery than a gift shop and features works by Native and Alaskan artists. Creations by residents Donna Catotti, John Svenson, Teri Bastable-Podsiki and Sean Bryant are on display there.