Spring has sprung in earnest and the season is reflected in the pace of activities and news around our neighborhood. In today's post, Diane Kaplan looks back at happenings from the Foundation, grantees and the nonprofit sector.

Several committee meetings were held to discuss revisions to Title 4, Alaska’s alcohol statutes, before the legislature adjourned. Senate Bill 99 was introduced by Sen. Peter Micciche (R-Kenai), and its companion House Bill 185, was introduced by Rep. Bob Herron (D-Bethel). These revisions are a key strategy of the Recover Alaska initiative, and are characterized as one of the largest, most complicated bills presented to the legislature in many years. It is expected that both bills will be considered during next year’s legislative session.

Sharity Diane Bethel YKHC Tribal Unity

Rasmuson Foundation was honored with an award and beautiful Yupik basket at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation’s annual gathering of tribal delegates. In the keynote address, I focused on the Recover Alaska partnership. Program Associate Sharity Sommers staffed a booth at the conference and met with numerous community representatives.

 

Snowmaking equipment at Kincaid Park was dedicated March 8. Rasmuson Foundation awarded $2 million to a fund at the Alaska Community Foundation in support of several Kincaid Project Group projects, including the snowmaking equipment, stadium and soccer fields. The high school, middle school and large Nordic events all relied on this world-class equipment this year. Board members Cathy Rasmuson and Natasha von Imhoff attended the dedication.

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation hosted the inaugural “Ivalu Gala,” March 14 at the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel to support its Arctic Education Foundation. Rasmuson Foundation provided a challenge grant for the event to encourage individual donations. The event was well attended with many new faces from the ASRC contractor community.

Dana Miller speaks to a group at CampFire.

Dana Miller, of the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, speaks to nonprofits in Anchorage. Dana also held information sessions in Fairbanks and Juneau.

 

Program Officer Jayson Smart and I attended the United States Artists assembly in Chicago. The event featured 35 USA Fellows for 2014. Past USA Fellow (and Alaska artist) Nick Galanin made a presentation and serves on the USA Artist Advisory Committee.

The City of Seward played host, March 6-8, to the official commissioning of the R/V Sikuliaq. The new 261-foot research vessel is home ported in Seward. The University of Alaska School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences oceanographic research vessel is designed for work in polar and sub polar conditions. Ed and Cathy Rasmuson and Vice President/COO Ian Dutton participated in the festivities.

Alaska Community Foundation President Candace Winkler recently announced her departure from ACF. Candace has been a strong partner in our work on CABI, Pick.Click.Give., Teen Suicide Prevention, and the Recover Alaska “State of Intoxication” journalism project.

 

Enjoying Healthy Alaska Natives Foundation gala, from left: Sharity Sommer, Kelsey Potdevin, Dr. Matt Hirschfeld, Mel Sather and Diane Kaplan.

From left: Sharity Sommer, Kelsey Potdevin, Dr. Matt Hirschfeld, Mel Sather and me.

The Foundation was well represented at the Healthy Alaska Natives Foundation Raven’s Ball, March 18, at Hotel Captain Cook. We announced a $25,000 challenge grant to raise private support for patient housing at the campus. Our group included board members Matt Hirschfeld and Aaron Schutt, and staff Sharity Sommer, Graduate Fellow Kelsey Potdevin and me.

 

Sammye Pokryfki

Sammye Pokryfki, vice president of programs, was surprised with a celebration cake honoring her 10-year anniversary at the Foundation.

Sammye Pokryfki, vice president of programs, was surprised with a celebration cake honoring her 10-year anniversary at the Foundation. – See more at: http://www.rasmuson.org/blog/?p=7504#sthash.moCmuEWv.dpuf
The Sleepy Samaritans

Congratulations to Sharity Sommer, Carmen Goodwin (grants accounting associate), Kelsey Potdevin, and Stefanie Winters, i.e. the Sleepy Samaritans, for raising the most funds at Sleep Out: Anchorage. The event raises awareness and funding for Covenant House.

Congratulations to Sharity Sommer, Carmen Goodwin (grants accounting associate), Kelsey Potdevin, and Stefanie Winters, i.e. the Sleepy Samaritans, for raising the most funds at Sleep Out: Anchorage. The event raises awareness and funding for Covenant House. – See more at: http://www.rasmuson.org/blog/?p=7504#sthash.moCmuEWv.dpuf

Filmmaker Ellen Frankenstein with a rapt audience.

Filmmaker Ellen Frankenstein with a rapt audience.

Foundation staff hosted Alaska Humanities Forum for a March 4 screening of “Tracing Roots: Delores Churchill and the Hat of the Long Ago Person Found” ($25,000 Tier 1; ArtChange Inc., April ‘13). Churchill is a master basket weaver who in 2006 was one of the first to be selected for Rasmuson Foundation’s Distinguished Artist Award. The film’s producer is Ellen Frankenstein, a gifted filmmaker whose work is featured on our website. Frankenstein is executive director at ArtChange, Inc. which uses art and media to make lives and communities stronger.