Marcella Poloa poses with her newborn daughter, Ronarielle Poloa-Maae, the first baby born in Juneau in 2020 on Jan. 1, 2020. (Courtesy Photo | Bartlett Regional Hospital)

Marcella Poloa poses with her newborn daughter, Ronarielle Poloa-Maae, the first baby born in Juneau in 2020 on Jan. 1, 2020. (Courtesy Photo | Bartlett Regional Hospital)

Juneau welcomes its first baby of the decade

It’s certainly one way to ring in a new year.

Juneau’s first new resident of 2020 arrived at Bartlett Regional Hospital early Wednesday morning.

Ronarielle Poloa-Maae was born 3:45 a.m. to Marcella Poloa and Ronnie Maae of Juneau, wrote Katie Bausler, community relations director at BRH, in a press release. Ronarielle joins an older brother, RJ, who is 18 months old.

“It was exciting. I never expected it,” Poloa said in a phone interview.

She said that the family will just be taking things easy for a little bit.

“We’re taking baby steps,” Poloa said.

Marcella Poloa amd Ronnie Maae pose with newborn daughter, Ronarielle Poloa-Maae, the first baby born in Juneau in 2020, and her older brother, JR, alongside a wooden rocking boat crafted by Dr. Lindy Jones for the first baby of the year, Jan. 1, 2020. (Courtesy Photo | Bartlett Regional Hospital)

Marcella Poloa amd Ronnie Maae pose with newborn daughter, Ronarielle Poloa-Maae, the first baby born in Juneau in 2020, and her older brother, JR, alongside a wooden rocking boat crafted by Dr. Lindy Jones for the first baby of the year, Jan. 1, 2020. (Courtesy Photo | Bartlett Regional Hospital)

Dr. Lindy Jones, an ER physician, has made wooden rocking boats for the first child of the year for several years, a tradition he continued this year.

“For the last three years, I’ve been building and giving them to the first baby of the year,” Jones said.

Jones routinely makes wooden gifts for friends and colleagues for the holidays too, he said during a phone interview.

“I’ve worked at Bartlett for 20 years,” Jones said. “I truly appreciate the hospital and all the opportunities it’s brought me and my family, and I enjoy woodworking and it’s a simple thing I can do.”

Ronarielle is home now with her family, heading together into the new decade.


• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.


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