Students and volunteers participate in the fifth annual Curiosity Unleashed at Thunder Mountain High School on Feb. 26. (Photo courtesy of the Juneau STEAM Coalition)

Students and volunteers participate in the fifth annual Curiosity Unleashed at Thunder Mountain High School on Feb. 26. (Photo courtesy of the Juneau STEAM Coalition)

Neighbors: Letters of thanks

Thanks for help with Curiosity Unleashed event

We from the Juneau STEAM Coalition would like to loudly and enthusiastically thank the over 750 kids and their adults; the 70-plus presenters; the more than 20 high schoolers; and our many sponsors, for making JSC’s fifth annual Curiosity Unleashed a rousing success. Juneau’s thirst for quality learning experiences is only matched by the community’s desire and spirit in making them happen. Thank you.

Curiosity Unleashed is a gathering of STEAM professionals and enthusiasts who host Juneau’s K-5th graders and their families at a wonderland of STEAM activities. This year’s event took place Feb. 26 at Thunder Mountain High School and was the best attended Curiosity Unleashed to date.

There were two new features this year. One was the introduction of a theme: “Imagine If…” The theme gave the presenters a framework — if they chose to use it — to pose an “Imagine If…” idea as they structured their activity. “Imagine If…” encouraged participants to appreciate and grapple with the creative and design elements inherent in STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art Mathematics).

We observed that the theme resonated mostly with the adults — which was great. While the first priority is the kids, the second priority is creating lasting value and possibility for the community. We heard teachers saying they were thinking about how to fold an “Imagine If…” activity into their classroom, and adults saying they’d been inspired to continue the conversation with their kids at home. The theme also generated new activities, like “The Museum of Impossible or Annoying Everyday Objects,” “Imagine Warning about Severe Weather,” and designing books with just one piece of paper.

The second new development was to focus on a specific subject and then seek out presenters in a spectrum of fields. We chose electrical systems. We had physical therapists, doctors, nurses, EMT’s, volunteers, the IBEW union and AEL&P. We saw the proverbial “light bulbs” going off in kids’ heads as they moved through those activities and anticipate that there will be other subtle but important ways.

From high school students to retirees to local business people to Juneau’s bulwark of federal, nonprofit, and Native organizations, Curiosity Unleashed is a celebration of Juneau’s vibrant and vigorous STEAM community, put to the outstanding task of inspiring our kids. We love that the Juneau community is so attuned, interested, and available to share its STEAM passion and knowledge. As several participants noted, the Curiosity Unleashed evening “reaffirmed that Juneau is just a great place to raise kids.”

If you’d like to get involved or hear more about STEAM in Juneau, please go to the Juneau STEAM Coalition website at

Special thanks to AEL&P and Bartlett Hospital for providing snacks to tide us all over.

We also want to thank/acknowledge the community organizations for whom we work — JEDC, NOAA, JSD, SHI and Discovery Southeast — for their support of this event and the work leading up to it with in-kind resources of supplies, services, time, fees waived, and actual money allocated.

The Juneau STEAM Coalition crew

AWARE’s 2024 Women of Distinction are, from left to right, Lori Grassgreen, Nikki Love, Lisa Daugherty and Debbie Fagnant. (Photo courtesy of AWARE)

AWARE’s 2024 Women of Distinction are, from left to right, Lori Grassgreen, Nikki Love, Lisa Daugherty and Debbie Fagnant. (Photo courtesy of AWARE)

Thanks for support for AWARE awards gala

AWARE is extremely grateful for all supporters of our 27th Annual Women of Distinction Gala. It was a privilege to join with our community in celebrating Lisa Daugherty, Debbie Fagnant, Lori Grassgreen and Nikki Love. Their incomparable contributions to our community and their words of wisdom and inspiration made the evening a wonderful celebration. AWARE’s annual fundraising event was made possible by generous gifts of expertise, energy, and heart. Our thanks to emcee Kris Sell for hosting, Rob Cohen for providing opening music, Jesse Kiehl for live auctioneering, Juneau Live! our event videographers and photographers, Amy Carroll for program book assistance, and Rie Munoz Gallery for the artwork. This year, we also give a very special thank you to Rose Fernandez, for her exquisite sharing of courage and words. The Women of Distinction Gala is a wonderful opportunity to honor women who have made outstanding contributions while supporting AWARE’s work to provide safety and support for survivors and to end violence in our homes and community.

The generous financial support of our sponsors helps make this event all that it is: Gold Corporate Sponsor: First National Bank Alaska; our Precious Gems: Diamonds: Wade Bryson, Laura Stats; Emerald: Jensen Yorba Wall, Inc., and our Rubies: Hansen Gress, IBEW Local 1547, and Kate von Rekowski. A special thank you to KTOO Public Radio and the Local First Media Group for their very generous in-kind contributions as well.

Deep gratitude to our auction and door prize donors: Alaska Airlines, Alaska Seaplanes, Alaska Robotics, Annie Kaills, Devil’s Club Brewing Co., Gigi Monroe, Gold Town Nickelodeon, the Shrine of St. Therese, Wings Airways & the Taku Glacier Lodge, Allen Marine, Gastineau Guiding, Bloom Children’s Art Studio, Juneau Pizza, Suwanna Café, Sharp Creations (Marty J. Sharp), Michelle Morrell, Shirley Carlson, Devita Stipek Writer, Sonny Mauricio, Beth Rathbun, Diana Paul, Shawn Hatt Cohen, Wolfsong Wellness, Trove, Juneau Compost, Natalie Norberg, Freya Romance Boutique, Anonymous, Loren & LaRae Jones, Mar y Sol, Frenchie’s Floral Studio, Lily Hope, Glacier Gardens, Pederson Hill Farms, Ruby Rouser, Jayleen’s Alaska Whale Watching, Wade Bryson, Jayne Andreen, Estela Holst, Cathie Lockridge In Bocca al Lupo, Mercedes Munoz Pottery, Iola Young, Scott Johnson, Out-of-Paper Designs, NorthStar Trekking, Bailey Woolfstead, Saralyn Tabachnick, JA Jules, Mandy Cole, Chris Ashenbrenner, Coastal Helicopters, Bustin’ Out Boutique, Hollis Kitchin, K. Hoke Designs, Elevate Art Studio, Tide Watcher (Christine Kleinhenz), Resolute Boutique, Art Matters, and Nugget Alaskan Outfitters. We also thank the many dessert donors who created delicious and beautiful desserts for our dessert auction.

Thanks to AWARE’s dedicated Board of Directors: Officers: Bailey Woolfstead, Camille Severance, Corey Wall, and Linda Hoven, and members Naomi Davidson, Matt DuBois, Amy Dressel, Isabel Lee, Supanika Ordonez, and Diana Paul. The board joins me in extending deep appreciation to our event coordinator Mandi Canady who worked tirelessly to bring the details of the event to life.

AWARE’s ability to work with survivors of domestic and sexual assault is greatly enhanced by Juneau’s community support. Proceeds further AWARE’s work with those impacted by domestic and sexual violence, and in our community-wide prevention efforts. Together we can help keep our community and survivors in stronger, safer relationships. Gunalchéesh. It would not happen without you.

Mandy Cole

Executive Director AWARE

Local AARP members deliver roses to the Riverview Senior Living complex during Wish of a Lifetime’s 11th Annual Cupid Crew. (Photo courtesy of Linda Kruger / AARP)

Local AARP members deliver roses to the Riverview Senior Living complex during Wish of a Lifetime’s 11th Annual Cupid Crew. (Photo courtesy of Linda Kruger / AARP)

Thanks for Annual Cupid Crew flower deliveries

Juneau AARP members Sue Nielson and Barb Potter had a busy Valentine’s Day. Dozens of roses arrived on Valentine’s Day as part of AARP’s partnership with Wish of a Lifetime’s 11th Annual Cupid Crew outreach to seniors. Nationwide over 150,000 roses were delivered to seniors. Sue and Barb sprang into action, arranged the flowers in vases and made deliveries to Riverview Senior Living, Mountain View Apartments, Juneau Senior Center, Fireweed Place, Catholic Community Services and The Bridge, Wildflower Court and the Teal Street Center.

Thanks to AARP and Sue and Barb seniors, caregivers and others enjoyed some added beauty for Valentine’s Day.

Linda Kruger

Juneau AARP Community Action Team Coordinator

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