Marie and Molly Heidemann smile as molly pets Penny the turkey on Saturday at the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé IGNITE Club’s second annual turkey shoot event. The photo shoot raised money to support the club, which hopes to build a small barn at the school. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Marie and Molly Heidemann smile as molly pets Penny the turkey on Saturday at the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé IGNITE Club’s second annual turkey shoot event. The photo shoot raised money to support the club, which hopes to build a small barn at the school. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Lights, camera, turkey: Club holds annual photo shoot fundraiser

Bird’s the word.

It might be a key that can’t open a door, but a turkey could help open up new possibilities for a high school club.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé’s IGNITE Club, a Future Farmers of America-like organization that’s a feeder club for the career and technical education program, held a turkey shoot fundraiser on Saturday. During the event, people were able to shoot photos with a turkey and donate to the club.

Proceeds from the second annual event will go toward supporting the club, which hopes to build a barn near a parking structure at the high school, said Caplan Anderson, adviser for the club and a math teacher. Club member Gabe Hansen added that rearing a goose is a club aspiration, too.

IGNITE Club members Eva Storm, Carson Carrle, Gabe Hansen, Ashlynn King and Trevor Daniels pose with Penny the turkey on Saturday. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

IGNITE Club members Eva Storm, Carson Carrle, Gabe Hansen, Ashlynn King and Trevor Daniels pose with Penny the turkey on Saturday. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

“We’re taking donations, but this is more a chance for the kids to show off their turkey,” Anderson said.

He said the outdoor photo shoot idea came about last year as a pandemic-cautious way for the club to show off its work in light of the cancellation of usual club events.

This year’s turkey, Penny, is an 8-month-old royal palm turkey. Royal palm turkeys are a black-and-white heritage breed that first appeared on a Lake Worth, Florida, farm in the 1920s, according to The Livestock Conservancy.

Penny the royal palm turkey stands on a bale of straw during a turkey shoot fundraising event. During the event, people could get their photos taken with the turkey. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Penny the royal palm turkey stands on a bale of straw during a turkey shoot fundraising event. During the event, people could get their photos taken with the turkey. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

The royal palm isn’t as commercially viable as other types of turkeys, according to The Livestock Conservancy, but it is used for at-home meat production and pest control.

Club members said Penny is an exceptionally friendly turkey.

“We got her from a friend who was moving,” said club member Ashlynn King. “She was super friendly, and we socialized her a bit more. Now, she’s like the friendliest turkey we’ve ever had.”

Elizabeth, 7, and Corbin, 2, Germain-Toupin sit with Penny the turkey during a turkey photo shoot fundraiser on Saturday. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Elizabeth, 7, and Corbin, 2, Germain-Toupin sit with Penny the turkey during a turkey photo shoot fundraiser on Saturday. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

However, like last year’s friendly fowl, Tom, Penny’s final companions will be Thanksgiving sides. Brenda, who club members referred to as a “spokesturkey,” and will not be eaten also made an appearance.

Math teacher and IGNITE Club adviser Caplan Anderson gives a masked smooch to “spokesturkey” Brenda. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Math teacher and IGNITE Club adviser Caplan Anderson gives a masked smooch to “spokesturkey” Brenda. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

While some children showed a reluctance to get close to the vocal but harmless turkey those who did brave the bird — and a sub-freezing, windy afternoon — had good things to say.

Marie and Molly Heidemann smile as molly pets Penny the turkey on Saturday at the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé IGNITE Club’s second annual turkey shoot event. The photo shoot raised money to support the club, which hopes to build a small barn at the school. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Marie and Molly Heidemann smile as molly pets Penny the turkey on Saturday at the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé IGNITE Club’s second annual turkey shoot event. The photo shoot raised money to support the club, which hopes to build a small barn at the school. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

“It was fun,” said 8-year-old Molly Heidemann, who also attended last year’s turkey shoot.

Heidemann allowed Penny to sit on her lap while taking photos.

“I think it’s a lot more pretty than last year,” Heidemann said. “I’ve never seen a turkey that’s white and black. I’m not really happy it’s going to be eaten because it’s so pretty.”

Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt

Penny the turkey looks toward the camera during Saturday’s turkey shoot fundraiser. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Penny the turkey looks toward the camera during Saturday’s turkey shoot fundraiser. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of May 18

Here’s what to expect this week.

Juneau high school seniors Edward Hu of Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé (left), Elizabeth Djajalie of Thunder Mountain High School (center) and Kenyon Jordan of Yaaḵoosgé Daakahídi Alternative High School. (Photos of Hu and Jordan by Juneau Empire staff, photo of Djajalie by Victor Djajalie)
Senior Spotlight 2024: Three top students take very different paths to graduation stage

Ceremonies for Juneau’s three high schools take place Sunday.

The entrance road to Bartlett Regional Hospital. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file photo)
Bartlett Regional Hospital looking at eliminating or trimming six ‘non-core’ programs to stabilize finances

Rainforest Recovery Center, autism therapy, crisis stabilization, hospice among programs targeted.

A king salmon. (Ryan Hagerty/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Biden administration advances bid to list Gulf of Alaska king salmon as endangered or threatened

Experts say request could restrict activity affecting river habitats such as road, home construction

Mayor Beth Weldon (left), Deputy Mayor Michelle Bonnet Hale and Juneau Assembly member Paul Kelly discussion proposals for next year’s mill rate during an Assembly Finance Committee meeting on Wednesday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Assembly members support lower 10.04 mill rate ahead of final vote on next year’s CBJ budget

Initial proposal called for raising current rate of 10.16 mills to 10.32 mills.

Dave Scanlan, general manager of Eaglecrest Ski Area, speaks to the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly Finance Committee on April 13, 2023. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
Dave Scanlan forced out as Eaglecrest’s general manager, says decision ‘came as a complete shock to me’

Resort’s leader for past 7 years says board seeking a “more office-process, paper-oriented” manager.

The entrance to the Alaska Gasline Development Corp.’s Anchorage office is seen on Aug. 11, 2023. The state-owned AGDC is pushing for a massive project that would ship natural gas south from the North Slope, liquefy it and send it on tankers from Cook Inlet to Asian markets. The AGDC proposal is among many that have been raised since the 1970s to try commercialize the North Slope’s stranded natural gas. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Eight young Alaskans sue to block proposed trans-Alaska natural gas pipeline

Plaintiffs cite climate change that harms their access to fish, wildlife and natural resources.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Tuesday, May 21, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Most Read