Ruth Johnson, administrator of Wildflower Court, left, with Mickey Richardson, marketing director for the Huna Totem Corporation, and Chris Urata, board member for Cancer Connection. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

Ruth Johnson, administrator of Wildflower Court, left, with Mickey Richardson, marketing director for the Huna Totem Corporation, and Chris Urata, board member for Cancer Connection. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

Christmas Eve delivery: Rock concert proceeds bring Christmas cheer to local organizations

Huna Totem presents checks to local groups using funds raised at Rock the Vault concert

They came to town to rock the vault, and they ended up raising nearly $13,000 for charity.

With the money raised in October’s Rock the Vault charity concert, the Huna Totem Corporation presented checks to Cancer Connection, Juneau Animal Rescue and three other local organizations on Christmas Eve.

“We’re very excited,” said Mickey Richardson, marketing director for Huna Totem, as he presented a $4,000 check to Cancer Connection.

“Cancer Connection does a lot for us and our community,” he said.

Mickey Richardson, marketing director for the Huna Totem Corporation, writes out a check for Cancer Connection at the Wildflower Court on Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

Mickey Richardson, marketing director for the Huna Totem Corporation, writes out a check for Cancer Connection at the Wildflower Court on Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

Accepting the check on behalf of Cancer Connection was Ruth Johnson, administrator of Wildflower Court, a long-term care facility located behind Bartlett Regional Hospital.

Cancer Connection is a nonprofit organization assisting patients living with cancer and their families in Southeast Alaska. Johnson said the program’s biggest expense is covering travel costs when patients need to go to Seattle for treatment. The program also helps to subsidize living costs while families are staying in the city.

“We’re just thrilled,” Johnson said. “The publicity (Rock the Vault) brought us was great.”

The Rock the Vault concert held at Centennial Hall in October brought a number of professional musicians to Juneau, many of whom had played with headlining acts like Ozzy Osbourne and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The show normally takes place at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas but came to Juneau for a show sponsored by a number of local organizations including Huna Totem, a for-profit Alaska Native corporation for the village of Hoonah.

Besides Cancer Connection and Juneau Animal Rescue, organizations receiving funds from the event are Southeast Alaska Foodbank, which provides food for needy families, Trail Mix Inc., a volunteer trail maintenace group and Discovery Southeast, which offers outdoor experiences to children and their families.

Richardson took photos with representatives from each agency using an oversized check with a dry-erase surface. The actual checks are in the mail, Richardson said.

Juneau Animal Rescue Executive Director Samantha Blankenship, left, with Huna Totem Corp. Marketing Director Mickey Richardson and Chief Financial Officer Glory Scarano, right, holding Cleo, small, furry, at Juneau Animal Rescue on Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

Juneau Animal Rescue Executive Director Samantha Blankenship, left, with Huna Totem Corp. Marketing Director Mickey Richardson and Chief Financial Officer Glory Scarano, right, holding Cleo, small, furry, at Juneau Animal Rescue on Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

“All donations go to help feed and house and provide medical care for our animals,” said Samantha Blankenship, executive director of Juneau Animal Rescue. Many of the animals that come in need medical attention before they can be put up for adoption, Blakenship said, and money from donations is used so animals can be adopted at an affordable price.

Huna Totem Corp. Chief Financial Officer Glory Scarano said they chose Juneau Animal Rescue because they knew it was a cause most people believed in.

Two cats at Juneau Animal Rescue on Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

Two cats at Juneau Animal Rescue on Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

“It serves a lot of people in the community, not just the animals, but the people too,” she said.

Richardson said the Rock the Vault concert was so successful the group had agreed to return next year, this time joined by former Poison front-man Bret Michaels. Additional acts who perform in Las Vegas had agreed to come as well, such as magician Greg Gleason who has a regular show there.

Huna Totem is purchasing a mobile stage to try and make it cheaper to bring live music acts to Juneau, Richardson said.


• Contact reporter Peter Segall at 523-2228 or psegall@juneauempire.com.


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