A gathering of friends in memory of Mike Saunders will be held 6 p.m. Friday at the home of Gregg Bigsby and Beth MacCready on Mud Bay Road just past the Mount Riley trailhead. Donations can be made to the Mike Saunders Youth Activity Fund, P.O. Box 1117, Haines, AK 99827 or, under the same name at the website of the Alaska Community Foundation, following tabs for “Chilkat Valley Community Foundation” and “Funds.” A full obituary will appear in next week’s newspaper.

Genny Szymanski graduated from Northwestern University June 18 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in business. Genny received the Northwestern Scholastic Achievement Award in swimming and the Lisa Ishikawa award, which is presented to a female student-athlete who has exhibited outstanding leadership ability and selfless dedication to team goals. Parents Randa and Jim Szymanski attended the graduation ceremony. Genny will be attending graduate school at the University of British Columbia in the fall.

Stephanie Yard and Charlie Moody are back in Haines for the summer. Stephanie met Charlie in Juneau after he’d finished up a raft trip down the Kongakut River in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He made the trip with friends from Flagstaff, Ariz. Charlie saw about 500 caribou moving through the hills on the way to the calving grounds of the coastal plain and was able to hike up into the foothills for a view of the icy Beaufort Sea. Stephanie and Charlie arrived home in Haines Sunday in time to set out on a late afternoon hike with friend Bart Henderson, Bart’s sons Royal and Patrick, and friend Correy Ericksen. Correy is in town from Corbett, Ore. for a couple of weeks before his family follows in July. The group hiked up Mount Riley for an evening summit.

Ruth Horn is in Haines to visit son Ron and daughter-in-law Jacque Horn. Ruth lives in Albuquerque and tries to visit twice a year. Ruth, Ron and Jacque drove up to Million Dollar Falls over the weekend on a photography outing. Ruth is in town 10 days.

The Community Youth Development program is organizing summer hikes for youth ages eight and up. Saturday’s hike to Moose Meadows had a single participant and Sarah Elliott is hoping that the next outing, to Mount Riley on July 10, will draw more interest. The hikes are free and led by staff at Alaska Mountain Guides. Sign up materials are available at the borough office. CYD soccer starts July 5 for ages 4-14. Look for forms around town to get in on the twice weekly program.

Volunteers with Haines Friends of Recycling gathered over 1,300 gallons of compostable and recyclable materials over the bike race weekend. Volunteers including group president Melissa Aronson and former president Frank Holmes, set up the recycling trailer and 33-gallon trash cans at the Parade Grounds to gather bottles, aluminum and plastic containers. They collected compostable materials for the first time this year and plan to expand their recycling at the fair. Contact Melissa if you’d like to learn more.

Carl Nash and Emma McDonald were married Saturday, June 5 in the Owen Rose Garden in Eugene, Ore. The rainy Northwest weather lifted for one beautiful day while friends and family celebrated. Carl’s parents, Nancy and Dwight Nash, were delighted to have all their children together for the first time since 2001. NoriAmelia and Adrian served as Carl’s wedding attendants. Emma was attended by her siblings, BryanAbby and Mae McDonald. Emma’s mother, Marie McDonald, lent her talent as wedding photographer. Emma’s father, Randy McDonald, traveled from Haines for the celebration. When Emma was delayed dressing for the wedding, Carl and his best man, Josh Marks, played guitar for the gathered guests. Adrian realized that no one had brought the flowers and rushed out to pick them up just in time for the bride’s arrival. Dwight read E.E. Cummings’ “Love is a Place” and Carl sang a song he wrote for Emma 10 years ago titled “I Swear by your Tattoo.” Carl and Emma grew up together in Haines and rekindled their childhood romance when Carl returned to Haines for a year in 2000. Their intimate wedding for 50 guests expanded to a dinner for 100 at a historic veterans’ hall where the catered dinner featured Lebanese dishes including baba ghanoush and hand-rolled dolmas. The celebration multiplied again after 10 p.m. with hundreds of friends joining to dance to music from two local deejays. Carl and Emma live in Springfield and work in Eugene. Carl manages a health food store and Emma is a supervisor at a data collection firm. Both are recent graduates of University of Oregon. Emma majored in biology and Carl in anthropology. The couple will honeymoon in Savannah, Ga. and New Orleans, La.