A Celebration of Life for David Simmons took place last weekend. Simmons, a world traveler who settled in Haines in 2017, was one of two residents who died in the December 2020 Beach Road landslide. The celebration began July 14, when Libby and Glenn Jacobson arrived with David’s parents Randy and Rachelle Simmons on Alaska Fjordlines. They were later joined by several of David’s European friends who had joined him on a train trip across Russia with Deborah Marshall. Sara Chapell, Cindy Jimenez, Carol Tuynman, Dennis Geasan, Barb Blood, and Sierra Jimenez hosted guests from Germany, France, and the Czech Republic. The Jacobson family organized a Friday picnic at Chilkoot Lake, after which attendees enjoyed pizza and ping pong at Alpenglow. On July 16, memorial benches built by Haines High School woodworking teacher Darwin Feakes and his students were placed at Picture Point, along with a table built by Sylvia Heinz and John Carlson. The benches were dedicated to David, Jenae, Matthew Green, and Zane Durr, residents killed in a 2018 avalanche. Harry Rietze supplied salmon and Cambria Goodwin supplied bread for a Saturday potluck at Harriett Hall, where friends toasted David and shared memories of him.

Jennifer Hughes ran a 100-mile endurance race in Silverton, Colorado. The Hardrock 100 began in downtown Silverton at 6 a.m. on July 15. The 145 runners then had 48 hours to run 100 miles on a rugged mountain course with a cumulative vertical gain of 33,197 feet and an average elevation of 11,000 feet. The course looped back to Silverton so the runners finished where they started. Due to the extreme conditions, no novice runners were permitted to compete. With a time of 40 hours and 32 minutes, Hughes finished 62nd out of 115 finishers, ranking 13th among 27 female runners. Jennifer averaged a 24-minute mile pace.

David Bonderman and Tod Leiweke, co-owner and CEO of the Seattle Kraken professional hockey team, docked their yacht in Haines last week and spent a few hours in town. Joe Ordoñez, Michael Speaks and Steve Daly of Rainbow Glacier Adventures took their group down the Chilkat River on a tour of the bald eagle preserve. When Ordoñez told them he had never been to a professional sports event in his entire life, Leiweke invited his family to attend a game the next time they were in Seattle.

The Sacred Heart Catholic Church is welcoming Michael Ko as its new priest. Ko is taking over because the church’s current priest, Perry Kenaston, is retiring. Ko was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, and has been a priest for 14 years. He was assigned to Alaska in 2016 by the Korean Missionary Society and worked in Anchorage for six years. He arrived in Haines on July 15, having never previously visited Southeast Alaska. Ko will be working in both Haines and Skagway.

Lee Hart, executive director of Haines Economic Development Corporation, co-authored an op-ed on July 19 in the Anchorage Daily News voicing support for America’s Outdoor Recreation Act, a federal bill designed to increase opportunities for outdoor recreation and access to public lands across the country. “This historic legislation — the most comprehensive outdoor recreation bill since the 1960s — will invest in outdoor infrastructure, public parks, and systems and allocate funds to those who matter most — local communities,” wrote Hart and co-author Lise Aangeenbrug, executive director of national trade organization Outdoor Industry Association. In addition to her work in Haines, Hart is executive director of the Alaska Outdoor Alliance.

Haines High School cross country pre-season kicked off on July 18 with head coach Jordan Baumgartner and assistant coach Hannah Clark. Pre-season is held at the track on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:30 a.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. The official season starts Aug. 1.

Costanza “Costy” Marabini is back in town visiting Nelle and Larry Jurgeleit until late August. Costy is from Potenza Picena, Italy, and would enjoy reconnecting with some of her classmates in Haines, Nelle said. She briefly attended school here in 2017 and 2018. Friends interested in seeing Costy can reach her at 766-3360.