The Haines School hosted its first family night of the school year, themed “Cultures From Around the World” on Friday. “We came up with the theme as a staff and looked at what resources we can provide within that theme. We have lots of community members who we can learn from. And the event went really well. We had more than 250 people who again we fed, which is a huge chunk of our elementary and middle school families,” said principal Rene Martin. Families could go from room to room and experience different cultural teachings including: Keri Edwards who taught Tlingit language words, Holly Davis who taught ukulele, Ted Hart and his son Adze,4, and daughter Lolana, 1, who taught Tlingit dancing, Elder Joe Hotch and Marsha Hotch told Tlingit stories, Tracey Getchell talked about Abu Dhabi where she had lived for four years and taught and also provided markers for kids to draw Henna on their hands. Lilly Boron and Alex Van Wyhe provided a look at masks from around the world, and many more teachers and volunteers provided a memorable night.

Last week, the Haines fire hall celebrated Fire Prevention Week, which has been an annual event in Haines for more than 30 years.  Classes were presented to students from preschool to grade 8 by Jenn Walsh, Chuck Mitman, Lyle Huff, Sean Bailey, and Al Badgley. “We held classes for homeschoolers and Klukwan. Each class has two parts, a safety message geared to their grade level and the other is an activity, either squirting water out of a fire hose, the smoke room, escape ladder, or using a fire extinguisher.  The focus is to help students learn fire safety and bring that to their families at home,” said Al Badgley. The hall also hosted an open house to allow families to experience fire prevention activities together.  “Activities and information we give to families can potentially save lives in the case of a fire or EMS emergency and has already done so in some circumstances,” Badgley added.

Kristy Schweinefus and her daughter Hazel recently returned from a three-week trip to Laconia, New Hampshire to visit Hazel’s grandparents, Kathryn and Robert Legassie, and extended family. Hazel got to meet Santa and deliver her Christmas wish list early at Santa’s Village in Jefferson, New Hampshire. She assured him she’s been mostly good this year. She also got to spend a fun day with her cousin Ayla Baylint and aunt Cindi Baylint at Storyland, another children’s theme park in Glen, New Hampshire. Her sister, Dawn March, flew in from San Tan Valley, Arizona, for a few days; they all went apple-picking and to a county fair in Deerfield, New Hampshire. Although weather was unseasonably warm for most of the visit, Hazel said one of her favorite days was an especially hot day when they put on swimsuits and spent the afternoon at a local beach.

The annual Haines Hustle saw a great turnout last Sunday as participants came from Whitehorse and Ontario to run in the event, which was followed by the first ever Backcountry Games at the fairgrounds. The top three finishers in the women’s 5K were Ari’el Long, Amelia Frasier from Whitehorse, and Amber Long; among men, Ben Yu Schott from Whitehorse, Bo Dunn from Skagway and Joey Aitken-Mossop from Whitehorse. The top three for the women’s 10K were Ariana Marquardt, Haley Boron and Lydia Andriesen; among men, Siyel George, Alex Van Wyhe, and Steve Roddick from Whitehorse. The women’s half marathon top finishers were Lizi Wirak, Sarah Elliott, and Alissa Henry. For the men’s top finisher was Alex Dezan of Ottawa, Ontario. Following the run, many young and old participated in stone lifts, fish toss, water haul and much more during the Backcountry Games.

Sydney Wray has returned from a trip to Virginia along with her youngest two children, Hazel and Eli, to visit family and friends. A highlight included a gala to celebrate the Williamsburg Aquatic Swim Club she swam on when she was younger. “The swim team when I was a kid had their 40th anniversary celebration and Olympian Katie Hoff came to the gala as the guest speaker, and I went with a few alumni to the event,” said Sydney.