Haines High School students MacKenzy Dryden, Jacob Weerasinghe, and Grace Long-Godinez worked together to honor veterans in Haines and nationally through the Wounded Warriors Project.
MacKenzy reports the trio made posters that were hung throughout town and in the school so that everyone would be reminded to give thanks on Veterans Day.
They also distributed writing and coloring sheets in the elementary classrooms for students to color and write notes of thanks to local Veterans. MacKenzy and Jacob saved and pooled their tips from their work at The Rusty Compass and those tips were matched by The Rusty Compass and Field2Frame Productions. Grace also helped them with the fundraiser. They raised more than $1,500 that was donated towards the Wounded Warriors Project. MacKenzy said, “We were extremely excited and grateful for the kindness and support of our amazing community! I cannot thank everyone enough who has assisted us through our fundraising journey. We are so happy to be helping people show their love and gratitude for our veterans.”
Also on Veterans Day, teachers Ramie Carlson and Fran Daly had their 4th and 5th grades classes Zoom with local Iraq War Veteran Kyle Clayton to learn more about his experience serving in the Army.
Heather Lende has been Zooming around the state with libraries, schools, literary organizations, and book clubs as part of the annual Alaska Reads program. Her 2015 book, “Find the Good,” is this year’s statewide read.
Heather has held about thirty virtual events from Nome to Ketchikan.
Highlights include speaking to high school students in Unalaska, and watching the Kenny Lake and Copper Center community library book club members make applesauce and prepare vegetables for canning and freezing during her talk. Just before the event, a tractor trailer truck loaded with produce went off the road and the rural residents were told to take all they could before it spoiled. Her newest book, “Of Bears and Ballots,” is the November community read for Providence, Rhode Island.
Bryan and Kaitlin Combs with sons Colton, Tyson, and Tanner have returned home after living on Prince of Wales Island for six months. The family originally planned to spend three months on the island as Bryan works for a mining company there. Kaitlin reports Bryan has worked out of town since 12-year-old Colton was a baby. The family wanted to see Bryan every day after work and experience mining camp life. The boys got to tour the mine, spend a lot of time with other mining families and had many family adventures when Bryan was not working. Kaitlin said the long stay turned into six months as they decided to stick around for the hunting and fishing seasons. Colton and Tyson have been completing school virtually through the Haines Borough School District. The family brought home a new puppy with them named Benelli.
On Oct. 5, Klukwan school started offering in-person classes to its students. Currently there are nine students in grades Kindergarten through 7th grade attending the Village school in-person. Five students are virtual through the Chatham School District.
Fourth grade student Tia Dombrock rides the bus to the village from her home in Haines. Tia said, “I am going to Klukwan School because I need to learn more about my culture. We have to wear a mask at school and there are these plastic dividers that we have in between us. Being at school is so much better than doing school at home.”
In the early hours of Nov. 13 Craig and Sheri Loomis celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary on The Today Show. Sheri said she made a quick banner with her children, their partners, grandchildren and her sister and brother’s names that was displayed behind them. The host introduced them as being 3,700 miles away from New York City in Haines, Alaska and asked what they were doing to celebrate their anniversary and Sheri responded, “We are doing it!” referring to being on The Today Show!