• From mid-January to mid-March, Congregation Sukkat Shalom partnered with Collette Costa and Gold Town Nickelodeon to present the first Juneau Jewish Film Festival.
CSS embarked on this creative endeavor to soften the edges of rising anti-Semitism. We are so pleased to say local audiences were diverse and plentiful in attending the five international films that reflected various aspects of the Jewish experience along with conveying universal stories and issues reflecting our shared humanity.
Just as it takes a cast of hundreds to create a movie, the JJFF would not have been as successful without the help of many different players. We want to express our sincere appreciation for the generous support from: the awesome Costa, CSS members, sponsors, volunteers and bakers, Rabbi Jeff Dreifus, Aaron Davidman, Rich Moniak, Juneau People for Peace & Justice, Saralyn Tabachnick, Jan Rutherdale (may she rest in peace), Amy Kesten, The Juneau Stonewall 50 Project, JAHC, Capital Copy and Gold Town staff. Thanks so much for the excellent coverage from Ben Hohenstatt and the Juneau Empire, Scott Burton and KRNN’s A Juneau Afternoon, and KINY’s Capital Chat.
Cheers go out to Juneau, a city whose citizens appreciate and support each other and that has an independent art house theater showcasing remarkable and brave cinema!
Congregation Sukkat Shalom’s Film Festival Committee
• The Southeast Alaska Food Bank thanks the employees of the State of Alaska Division of Retirement and Benefits for collecting 2,882 pounds of food during their recent food drive. On behalf of the Southeast Alaska Food Bank board of directors and our volunteers, we’d like to thank the Division of Retirement and Benefits for your generosity and continued support.
• The Southeast Alaska Food Bank would like to thank the Scouts of Juneau for conducting their annual “Scouting For Food” drive on April 13. As a result of the all the hard work of the scouts and their leaders, as well as the generosity of the citizens of Juneau, 6,000 pounds of food was collected to benefit the Southeast Alaska Food Bank, our 35 member agencies, and the individuals we serve.
Although it’s impossible to name each and every scout, troop leader, and parent or family member who participated in this massive food drive, we would like to take the time to thank Martin Suzuki, Chris Gianotti and Fred Thorsteinson in particular for their tireless work organizing this year’s event, as well as all of the scouts, leaders, parents, siblings and other volunteers for working tirelessly all day helping us sort and organize incoming donations at the food bank. Finally, we’d like to thank everyone who put out a bag of food for the scouts.
Last year, the Southeast Alaska Food Bank provided over 400,000 pounds of food to local food pantries, nonprofit organizations and members of the community, and we are on pace to distribute more than 500,000 pounds of food by the time this fiscal year ends in June.
The goal of the Southeast Alaska Food Bank is to continue to make a difference in the quality of life for those who need help in providing food for their families in times of need. This very generous donation from Retirement and Benefits will help us continue to provide healthy and nutritious food for those in our community who need our assistance, and is greatly appreciated.
Southeast Alaska Food Bank
• Sixty books for 60 months, each read dozens of times by 1,500 children throughout Southeast Alaska. That’s a lot of children and families currently engaged in reading thanks to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.
The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is all about fostering a love of reading, sharing and telling stories to one another. From “The Little Engine That Could” to “Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come”, each enrolled child receives 60 free books over their first five years. By filling out one simple registration form, parents are giving their children the gift of imagination, curiosity and wonder that come from reading.
Statistics gathered have shown that over 84 percent of parents receiving their books each month have increased the time they spend reading with their child. Even better, over 90 percent have said they can tell their child enjoys reading together, and the books help their child be more excited about reading. Currently, over 1,500 children throughout Southeast Alaska participate in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, and over 18,000 children statewide.
Thanks to our fabulous volunteers — Patty George, Trish Custard and AmeriCorps member Rachel Iafolla — all local funding goes directly to the books, with shipping and handling covered by the Dolly Parton Foundation. Thanks to champions United Way, Friends of the Juneau Public Libraries, local PEO chapters and nearly 100 sponsors, there is no charge for cash-strapped parents of young children. Best Beginnings is the umbrella organization for Imagination Libraries across Alaska and provides 50 percent matching grants.
AEYC Special Projects Coordinator, Juneau
• The Friends of the Marie Drake Planetarium recently received a Tier 1 grant of $25,000 from the Rasmuson Foundation in Anchorage. The FOMDP board is grateful for this generous award — its largest to date.
This award, combined with other grants and individual donations, brings us nearly halfway to having a new digital planetarium system. Since 1991, volunteers supported and operated Juneau’s only planetarium, located downtown in the building of the same name. Our existing analog Spitz “starball” projector is now 52 years old. The new computer-based system will vastly increase the capability and versatility of the planetarium. It will again be a powerful tool for astronomy, STEM and cultural education in Juneau.
Thank you again to the Rasmuson Foundation for so generously supporting our campaign to revitalize and reintegrate the Marie Drake Planetarium into the Juneau community.
Cristina Della Rosa, Steve Kocsis, Clark Branch, Rosemary Walling, Dave Hanson,
Friends of the Marie Drake Planetarium Board