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AK Home Concert Series presents

January 9th @ 7:30pm


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Contributed by Donna Turner

Wedding anniversaries are an ideal opportunity for married couples to celebrate their love for one another and remember why they got married in the first place. Prior to 1937 only the first milestone anniversaries had material associated with them. However because of the growing emphasis on family and the home life, it became popular to celebrate other wedding anniversaries. These celebrations became associated with gifts made out of different materials, which symbolized the growing value of the marriage relationship and the investment that the couple had made to each other.

Traditionally, gifts exchanged or given in the early years of marriage were practical household items to aid the couple in starting a new home together (an extension of the wedding gift). Luxury gifts tend to be given in later years when the couple has already acquired things they need. The more cynical minded might see the increase in the gift value over time as an incentive to stay married. In the early years (say the first 15) the anniversary celebrations normally only involved only the couple and often included an overnight trip or “second honeymoon”. However in later years, any children they might have may decide to organize the anniversary celebration for their parents. For milestone anniversaries a party is usually the order of the day. It is not recommended to throw a surprise party for the couple on their anniversary, because not all couples will appreciate the gesture. It is always better to discuss any plans with the couple prior to the event, especially as they may already have plans of their own.

In 1937 the American National Retail Jewelry Association issued a more comprehensive list of representative materials for all traditional wedding anniversaries for each year up to the 15th and every 5th year after that up to 60th.The list has continually been updated by various commercial companies over the years. Today celebrants can choose between the traditional list as well as contemporary list of anniversary themes. (Which provides alternative modern day suggestions such as electrical appliances!) Before you know it, you and your spouse, along with family and friends will celebrate anniversaries. This list includes “traditional” and “contemporary” ideas that will add to the sentimentality of your special day for years to come.

DEC. 2015

By the 1920’s the additional anniversaries that were celebrated most commonly were the first, fifth, 10th, 15th , and 20th. Those few couples who made it to the 75th anniversary gave each other

diamonds. The 75th anniversary is the original traditional diamond anniversary with the 60th added when Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee on her 60th anniversary of accession to the throne in 1897.

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The celebration of a wedding anniversary is a tradition of Germanic origin that dates back to the middle ages. After 25 years of marriage a husband would present his wife with a silver wreath and after 50 years, a gold wreath. From this custom emerged the recognition of the silver and golden wedding anniversaries. Initially, only these two anniversaries were celebrated. The others were passed over and not celebrated.

Wedding anniversaries are an ideal opportunity for married couples to celebrate their love for one another and remember why they got married in the first place.

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Informative


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Music

Are you looking for a new activity to liven up your winter? Consider signing up for the Community Drum Workshop taught by Dr. Meggie Aube at the Percussion in the Valley studio. Drumming in a group is sure to brighten up your winter, give you energy, help you to make new connections and friendships, and tap into a musical ability you never knew you had.

DEC. 2015

The Community Drum Workshops

are month long classes that meet on 4 consecutive Saturdays for an hour each time. The workshops are intended for adults over the age 18 who have little to no experience in drumming. Participants will learn proper hand drum technique, work on a variety of rhythms and grooves, develop basic rhythm reading skills, improve their ability to play with others in a group setting, and above all have fun! Each workshop students of the class create bonds with each other, starting out as strangers, ending as friends.

Drumming is a fantastic stress reliever! If you feel overwhelmed by all the winter activities, drumming will help get your mind off the stress and focus your energy into a positive outlet. If you have always wanted to learn to drum and never had a chance, this is the class for you!

Call or e-mail Meggie at: 631-8079 or meggieaube@hotmail.com to reserve a spot.

The next workshop will be held on Saturdays, January 23rd, January 30th, February 6th, and February 13th from 2:00- 3:00 p.m. at the Percussion in the Valley studio in downtown Palmer. The fee for all 4 classes is only $40.

Look forward to future winter/spring classes at Percussion in the Valley including a one day Japanese Taiko Drum workshop taught by Erika Ninoyu on February 20th and a second Community Drum Workshop help March 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th.

Class size is limited to 10 students. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to explore a new musical experience.


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Community Wasilla Homeless-Committee is currently sponsoring an Adopt A Family program to provide gifts and food to those who would otherwise go without. Participation is confidential and easy. We have had 51 applications for help received so far. 31 of these families have been adopted, but 20 are still awaiting adoption. Family sizes range from 2 to 7.

Once all gifts are purchased and ready for delivery, just contact Wasilla HomelessCommittee by calling 521-2949 or emailing wasillahomeless.committee@ gmail.com and one of our WHC elves will pick up your gifts and deliver them to your family.

Application is easy. Visit our Facebook page Adopt A Family by WHC to find the application and a list of families available for adoption. You can also visit our website at www.wasillahomelesscommittee.org. to apply for help or to adopt.

MAT-SU CONCERT BAND AT THE GLENN MASSAY THEATER page 10

If you cannot adopt, maybe you could donate. There is a place on the form for donations. Even $5.00 would help us to provide something for the families who do not get adopted. For more information or to ask questions contact Sandi at 521-2949.

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THE ART OF THE SILVER SKATES page 14

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1964 MOTION PICTURES: PROPER BINGE page 21

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We encourage businesses, civic and church organizations to come together to adopt a family or two. Every adopting family is given a wish list from their family to use as a guide for purchasing gifts, or even Christmas dinner.

Applications for assistance will end on 12/10. The last day to adopt is 12/20, so that we can get the gifts delivered to the families on or before 12/22.


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Community Events Art ‘Beer Meets Chocolate’ Tasting Event December 18, 2015 6:00pm Arkose Brewery 650 E. Steel Loop, Palmer $25 Admission Tennis Smash Camp December 18, 2015 10:30am Colony High School, Palmer $20 – 35 www.matsutennis.org

Bake Sale December 19, 2015 10:00am St. David Episcopal Church 2301 Wasilla-Fishhook Rd Annual Christmas Friendship Dinner December 25, 2015 11:00am Menard Sports Complex 1001 S Mack Rd, Wasilla FREE

Brett Memorial Ice Arena Free (Including Skate Rental) “Beer Meets Canvas” Tasting January 9, 2016 2:00pm Arkose Brewery 650 E. Steel Loop, Palmer $35

Yuletide Bazaar December 19, 2015 10:00am Museum of Alaska Transportation & Industry Christmas for the Kids Star Wars: The Force Awakens 3800 W Museum Drive Mile Mat-Su Concert Band December 29th, 2015 9:00am 47 Parks Hwy Holiday Concert FREE Mat-Su Valley Cinemas December 18, 2015 7:30pm www.museumofalaska.org Glenn Massay Theater, Palmer Free for first 200 kids $10 General Admission Percussion in the Valley New Year’s Eve $5 Students Drum Class December 31, 2015 6:30pm January 23rd, January 30th, Palmer Family Church Christmas for the Kids February 6th, and February 1951 N. Hemmer Rd December 19, 2015 1:30pm 13th from 2:00- 3:00 p.m. FREE Wasilla Pool Downtown Palmer. FREE for first 105 Kids Fee for all 4 classes Christmas for the Kids is only $40. January 2, 2016 2:00pm Girls Dress and Holiday


Book Review by Rob Williams In the summer of 1964 an AfricanAmerican teenager raised in Chicago makes a trip South to visit relatives.

Even though Teddy’s father and friends in Chicago have warned him, the 16-year-old is oblivious to the fact that he has arrived in the hottest summer ever in the Magnolia state, and it doesn’t have a lot to do with the weather. Once Teddy arrives in Wren, he ignites an intimate relationship with the hot blonde, Billie, not knowing her boyfriend is a staunch racist and the son of a leader in the KKK. As the summer rolls on and the relationship with Billie grows hotter, she disappears and Teddy’s body is found floating in the Tombigbee River near Cotton Gin Port.

The author, Mike Dryden was born and raised in Wren. He graduated from Amory High School in 1967 and earned a degree from Mississippi State. He was there in the 60s riding around in the real “Blue Goose.” Along with his other life experiences, that enables him to make this story feel like it really happened. Dryden, who now lives in Alaska, also spent many years in the military. One of the most engrossing sections of the book is the story of Aaron, Teddy’s father, serving his time in WWII along with thousands of other black soldiers from the South, building the Al-Can highway. This is one of my favorite parts of the book. It is based in fact and is a strong enough story to stand on its own. Sometimes the language gets raw and blue, but that was the common terminology of “good ole boys” in that era. The Klan was very real and their treatment of blacks is recorded history. As the account of Teddy’ visit to Mississippi evolves, several questions arise: Where is Billie? Who killed Teddy? Can Teddy’s killer or killer be brought to justice in a society where courts refuse to

prosecute law enforcement officers in Neshoba County who were believed to be involved in the killing of three civil rights workers or where the redneck, racist murderer of Medgar Evers keeps getting acquitted by all-white juries? As Dryden brings his story to a close, the answers to those

questions may surprise some readers and ruffle the feathers of some. The eBook and printed version of Monroe County Murder are available from Amazon. Come on, jump in the “Goose” and take this journey through those turbulent times. A very well-written story and a very enjoyable read.

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If, like me, you were around Mississippi in the 60s, you’re first impulse might be to say, “I remember when that happened.”  But it didn’t happen. This book is historical fiction - fiction based in fact. You may, however, remember how tense the social atmosphere was. If you are too young to

remember the ‘60s, this book will immerse you in those tumultuous times and force you to feel what Teddy went through.

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Teddy Parks, the son of Aaron Parks, a WWII veteran and native Mississippian, heads down I-55 in his newly acquired powder blue 1954 Pontiac he calls the “Blue Goose” to visit his aunt in Wren, Mississippi. Though it’s been years since his last visit, Teddy remembers the cute, blonde white girl who lived near his aunt and is looking forward to seeing her again.

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Literature


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Music

The Mat-Su Concert Band will play its holiday concert -- “Musical Traditions” -- at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 18 in the Glenn Massay Theater at Mat-Su College. The program features a variety of traditional Christmas and holiday songs and carols, as well as a range of festive pieces that highlight the sounds of the season. The concert will also feature two special performances: a double trumpet concerto by Antonio Vivaldi showcasing the talents of Charles Carte and Doug Sheaffer; and a vocal performance of “Ave Maria” with soprano soloist Ashley Wedge. The audience is invited to join in a singalong of familiar tunes.

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The concert has an intermission. There will be a small admission fee at the door. Tickets are $10; $5 for students and children under 5 get in free. Familiar melodies fill the medley of “A Fireside Christmas”: “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer”; “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”; “Frosty The Snow Man”;

“Winter Wonderland”; and “The Christmas Song”. Leroy Anderson’s “A Christmas Festival” includes excerpts from “Joy to the World,” “Deck the Halls,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Good King Wenceslas,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” “Silent Night,” “Jingle Bells,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” and “Adeste Fidelis.” Listen for the clever ways that Anderson weaves these themes together and his unconventional treatments of one or two of the traditional carols: “O Little Town of Bethlehem” sounds almost like a military march. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” takes the story of the Dr. Seuss character – a grumpy furry green hermit – and sets it to music. The combination of songs evokes the cheery residents of Whoville and the Grinch’s grouchy transition from Christmas hater to celebrator. The band will perform several more contemporary holiday works. Among them is “And the Mountains Echoed: Gloria!” -- Robert Longfield’s jubilant 1997 composition based on the hymn and carol “Angels We Have on High”.

W. Francis McBeth’s “Chant and Jubilo” was first performed in 1962 and is a work composed of connected contrasting movements, one reminiscent of the early church organum and the other featuring explosive lower brass and percussion. The profound inner joy of the season is celebrated in “O Magnum Mysterium” by Morten Lauridsen, inspired by the text that depicts the birth of the newborn King among the lowly animals and shepherds. The band got its start in 1984 as the Mat-Su Community Band, formed by Matanuska Music owner Hank Hartman. Other directors have included Neil Long and Phil Munger. Current director Gleo Huyck is a retired music educator and private instructor. Under Huyck’s baton, the band performs a wide-ranging selection of challenging music. The band this season numbers about 70 amateur musicians who assemble every Monday night for rehearsals at Teeland Middle School.


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Jewelry

By Charissa Wow! How could Argentium silver possibly be brighter than white gold, sterling silver, or even platinum? When and how did this happen? Is it hypoallergenic? Is it environmentally safe?

In 1990, Peter Johns along with a team of researchers, at the Art and Design Research Institute in the School of Art and Design at Middlesex University in the UK, experimented with adding a little geranium to sterling silver, and then a little more. The outcome is what is now called Argentium silver, a durable, rarely tarnishing, and bright metal perfect for making jewelry.

Sterling silver is 92.5% silver (the silver standard in the U.S.), whereas Argentium is 93.5% silver.

Also, harsh chemicals are not used to clean argentium after it has been fused or soldered. I am happy to know that a metal company is also concerned with the earth’s environment. When you wear argentium silver, it gives you piece of mind knowing your piece of jewelry is made with ethical standards, as well as, the ethical practices of mining gemstones.

Having allergies to certain metals can be extremely annoying, especially when you want to wear silver. Guess what?! Argentium silver is hypoallergenic because it does not contain nickel. Want more good news? Argentium silver is environmentally safe.

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, it is a time when you see red hearts and red roses; what a perfect time to talk about red rubies for next month’s discussion.

Argentium is made with recycled silver and is guaranteed of its traceability to the raw material.

I’m sure if you are like me, you want beautiful jewelry without the extra maintenance. Remember, always ask how to properly care for your jewelry before or after you make your jewelry purchase.

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Argentium undergoes color testing by using a colorimeter and the CIELAB color measurement which measures the whiteness and brightness ensuring it maintains its bright and shiny appearance. According to the Argentium Guild, three stringent tests are performed to test the tarnish resistance, a sulfur test (reproducing the gasses in the atmosphere and other daily encounters), a perspiration test (checking the reaction effects against the skin), and UV test (determines if the silver is photosensitive to ultraviolet lights).

For those who are wanting more silver, Argentium also is available in 96% silver, raising the bar to Britannia silver standards in the UK which is 95.84%. Argentium containing 96% silver is brighter and shinier, and is more durable than Argentium containing 93.5% silver. Argentium silver is 4.5 times brighter than sterling silver and is hypoallergenic.

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Argentium silver or Argentium sterling silver is brighter than white gold, sterling silver, and even platinum. Another plus is that it rarely tarnishes due to the geranium it contains and is environmentally safe.


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Arts

The Art of the Silver Skates

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By Carmen Summerfield

On a recent trip to Holland, I was rummaging around in my Mom’s attic and found my Dad’s speed skates. These skates were one of his prized possessions, and as I held them I recalled so many wonderful childhood memories. My Dad loved skating! He loved it so much that immediately after World War 2, when food and most items were still rationed, he used a valuable shoe coupon to buy the thin shoes required for speed skating. My Grandmother was not happy… the thought of wasting a valuable shoe coupon on skating shoes! Dad then manufactured the blades and supports from old saw blades and scrap metal, and was one of the few to be skating at that time. Dutch skates, or at least the ones I learned on, have long and slender blades, and are optimized for speed. Hence the name “speed skates”. In comparison, Hockey and Figure skates have shorter and thicker blades, and are optimized for maneuvering and quick turning.

The Elfstedentocht, English translation Elf (eleven), steden (cities), tocht (tour), is a famous tour or race by skaters over the frozen canals, rivers and lakes connecting eleven historical cities of the province of Friesland in northern Holland. The Elfstedentocht is so important to the Dutch that it was even held twice during the German occupation of WW2. Natural ice conditions along the entire 200-kilometer (120 mile) course must be at least 6-inches thick before the Elfstedentocht can be safely held, and so the 1985 event was only the 13th Elfstedentocht of the 20th century. The 1985 Elfstedentocht was also notable as the first year women were allowed to “officially” participate. The day before the 1985 Elfstedentocht (held on February 21), we traveled to Leeuwarden (the starting point) and, along with thousands of other participants, enjoyed the gigantic street-party atmosphere that surrounds the event.

My childhood home in the north of Holland was located on a canal and, like my Dad, I learned to skate at a very young age. One of my favorite activities was skating town-to-town via the canals and lakes of Holland.

Although the event starts well before sunrise and ends at midnight, the participants are scored on their elapsed times, taken at checkpoints in each city. The winner in 1985 had elapsed times of around 7 hours. Dad and I skated together, and so we didn’t have time to fully complete the course, but the rewards were priceless!

My Dad loved skating town-to-town, too, and we often skated together. So when in 1985 the weather conditions were favorable for the Elfstedentocht, we decided to participate.

Dad continued to speed skate all his life with those same homemade skates. Now I have inherited them, and will be using them this winter in Alaska. Thanks, Dad!


AARP Sponsors Winter Safety Training By Debra McGhan

When you think of AARP, you probably think of senior citizens. While it is true that membership with AARP Alaska is for those over age 50, the group is very interested in providing winter safety workshops for ALL ages.

Hopper, Peterson and dog ‘Rowdy’ set out on December 6, 2014 from Black Rapids Lodge in the Eastern Alaska Range for the southern end of Rainbow Ridge. It was an area Michael, the owner of the lodge, knows well.

In the end, Hopper, Peterson and Rowdy were all caught and buried in a massive slide from above while still on the climb up to those dream slopes. It took more than two hours, but Hopper was miraculously able to eventually dig himself out, only because he ended up close enough to the leading edge of the slide to punch a window out to life-giving air. He’d just managed to switch his avalanche transceiver to search when he saw the gloved fist of Erik Petersen just breaking the surface of the slide ten feet uphill. Peterson and Rowdy died together. There was no window for them to open.

Hopper says both he and Peterson considered themselves avalanche aware. “We carried beacons, shovels and probes and we were looking at and assessing the snow all the way. To be honest our biggest concern was if there was enough snow to ski. We didn’t want to hit any rocks! We did

Hopper is an example of what snow starvation can do to us. He’s educated, well trained and prides himself on being prepared. But when the snow finally falls and all you want to do is play, common sense and attention to detail are often tossed out the window. And that window can

This year Mat-Su Residents were jumping for joy in November as snow fell in feet rather than inches in Hatcher Pass. But that proved to be tragic for Dr. Liam Walsh, an anesthesiologist and interventional pain physician who went out for a ski and was reported missing two days later. After more than two weeks, with dangerous avalanche and weather conditions keeping search teams on hold, hope for his safe return began to fade. “It’s so tough when we haven’t had snow for a long time and then it finally arrives,” said Peter Carter, President of the Alaska Avalanche Information Center. “It makes people throw caution to the wind and just get out there. It’s at times like this when we need to slow down and exercise restraint. You really have to think about what you might be getting into.” Alaska is a busy place for search and rescues. In 2014 more than 300 SAR missions were launched. On average, more than 1,000 people are reported missing or in need of help every year. Often it’s the weekend skier, snowmachiner, boater, hiker, hunter, or first-time visitor who finds themselves suddenly and dangerously unprepared for Alaska’s fast changing weather and unforgiving terrain. But not always. Sometimes it’s the veterans that need a refresher to be at the top of their game before heading out. Many adventures in the beautiful Alaska backcountry do not go as planned resulting in search and rescue missions. “People need to understand that

Alaska is big and rugged,” said Alaska State Trooper Lt. Steve Adams, Search and Rescue coordinator. “It takes a lot of time to launch a mission and reach an accident site. People need to understand, it could be an extended period of time before we can find and help them.” That means it’s up to us to be prepared before going out so that our desire to play does not result in a tragic end to our dream winter adventure. AARP will be supporting two fullday winter safety workshops in December that are geared toward a wide audience. If you are new to the backcountry or want to brush up on your terrain management and companion rescue skills, this workshop is for you. Designed for all Snow Riders and travelers, from snowmachiners to snowshoers, the courses will include two-hour classroom training and two-to-four-hour field work with a professional instructor. Courses are free to AAIC members and you can join for just $25 to support your local forecast center. Learn more or register at www.alaskasnow.org Workshop #1 – December 16, 2015, 11am - 4pm, Kincaid Park Anchorage Workshop #2 – December 19, 2015, 11am - 4pm, Government Peak Recreation Center, Hatcher Pass

DEC. 2015

“We’d skied this area early season many times – it was high enough to hold early snow - and always a fun time. The snow had been nonexistent or terrible for so long that when we got ten inches of fresh, we figured it would make a good base for early skiing and just couldn’t wait to make some turns.”

“I’m still trying to learn the hard lessons of that day,” Hopper told the attendants at the Snow Safety Summit. “We’d done that route so many times we got lulled into complacency. The bizarre winter weather of recent years had robbed us of ski seasons and set up a trap we should have seen coming. For the rest of my life I will see that wall of whitewater snow breaking just uphill. But I won’t ever see my good climbing and ski buddy Erik Peterson, nor my best friend Rowdy.”

indeed close forever.

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Last December Erik Peterson and Michael Hopper were anxious to get out in the mountains to play in the snow. After two seasons with little or no snow, the two were eager to make some tracks. Hopper, the Keynote Speaker at the 2015 Alaska Snow Safety Summit held in November, shared his story of the day starvation for snow resulted in the loss of his two best friends.

hear some ‘whoomphing’ sounds as we crossed creeks which made us pause, but happily noticed the snow was getting deeper and denser as we climbed so we figured it was going to be okay.”

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Outdoor Safety


Faith A Chanukah Miracle

Gifts from God

By Randi Perlman

By Vic Kohring

A wondrous event took place in the Valley on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 – something new and special – miraculous, one might say. It was the Mat-Su Valley’s first ever Chanukah Celebration, and everyone in attendance certainly did celebrate!

It was a year ago that I lost a special member of our family my cat “Fang.” His unique name was derived from two long fangs that protruded from his mouth. As scary as he looked, Fang was the most gentle, loving and loyal companion. Simply put, he was an awesome critter. I wrote about his loss in these pages in December 2014 while grieving over his passing from cancer. But I’m comforted knowing that he’s no longer suffering - and more important that I’ll see my little friend again someday. As a Christian who believes in Heaven, I know God has promised to reunite us with our loved ones and I’m convinced that includes our furry and feathered friends.

Hosted by Rabbi Mendy Greenberg and his wife Chaya, who recently moved to Wasilla from Brooklyn, New York and began the brand new Mat-Su Jewish Center, the event was held at the historic Palmer Depot. Organizers invited the public, but only expected perhaps fifty people to show up. It must have been a Chanukah miracle, but it seemed like the entire Mat-Su community turned out to meet the new Rabbi and learn about the Jewish holiday of Chanukah – the Depot was packed! Local VIPs made brief speeches in support of the new Jewish Center, prayers were said, songs were sung, and four candles were lit on the huge, nine-foot menorah, borrowed from the City of Wasilla, to signify the fourth day of Chanukah. Chanukah is also known as the Festival of Lights. It commemorates the victory of the ancient Israelites over the Syrian Greek army, and the subsequent miracle of restoring the menorah in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The miracle of Chanukah is that only one vial of oil was found with just enough oil for one day, yet it lasted for eight full days! That is why there are eight candles, or lights, on the menorah, and one is lit each night for eight nights. Guests enjoyed traditional Chanukah foods at the Israeli-style buffet, such as potato pancakes (latkes) with applesauce, falafel, and jelly doughnuts. Many Chanukah foods are deep-fried in oil, symbolizing the oil from the menorah used in the Holy Temple. There was also an olive oil press demonstration, and a dreidel bounce house & crafts for the kids (the dreidel game is customarily played at Chanukah). It was a lovely gathering of friends, neighbors, and strangers becoming friends, embracing each other regardless of religious or political views, welcoming the new Jewish Center into the heart of the Valley, and bringing a new light into the Alaskan darkness – Amen!

I always had pets through the years and enjoyed them immensely. They’ve been a big part of my life and many became like family as with Fang. The bond he and I shared was inseparable, so to lose him was extra painful. But his short life was filled with enormous amounts of love. As his personal “servant,” I adored him as if he were human. We were buddies. And Fang knew how to give lots of love in return. It’s sad to think of the many stray cats and dogs in this world that aren’t adopted into families and who will never experience such affection.  Evangelist Billy Graham believes pets will be reunited with their owners in Heaven, which says a lot as you can’t find a more knowledgeable Christian and scholar of the Bible. Graham was once asked by a little girl whose dog had died if her pet would join her in Heaven someday. Graham replied, “If it would make you any happier, then

RENEW YOUR MIND Contributed by Tom Stearns WASI Chaplain

The holidays are over. The hustle and bustle is complete. A new year is staring us in the face. Do we stay the course, rearrange priorities, or just ignore the realities of life? This time of year gives us an opportunity to determine where we have been and where we are going. Making wise decisions about the future comes from a mind cleared of all the clutter from the previous year. A renewed mind. Romans 12:2 states, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” So how does this occur? We must immerse ourselves in God’s Word, the Bible. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be

yes, he will be.” In other words, God will give us what we desire in Heaven including animals if it will bring us happiness. Psalms 37:4 explains that God promises to give us the “desires of our hearts,” which I believe includes pets as it would be consistent with His loving and generous character. Pets will make our time in Heaven a more jubilant experience, a place where the goodness of God will be forever revealed. I know He will make it happen.  Christians destined for Heaven have a covenant relationship with God, defined as an ongoing relationship with Him through Jesus Christ as part of His promise of salvation and eternal life. Many believe that pets also have a “covenant” with man and thus are made part of God’s family and thereby extended the same grace through Jesus. Genesis 9:8-17 reinforces this where God says, “... I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh.” He further promises a covenant concerning men and animals in Hosea 2:18: “And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field.” So Biblical passages strongly suggest that animals (and our pets) will accompany us in Heaven someday. God has a reason and place for His created beings, whether it’s man or animal. Animals therefore have a purpose in His creation. Matthew 10:29 says that God loves the company of His creatures and accounts for them all. Animals are special beings in God’s eyes and pets in particular are truly gifts from above. Mine no doubt have enriched my life by adding much joy and delight over the years. Especially Fang! “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Jean Cocteau perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) God’s word will renew our mind and help us make decisions that will honor and glorify Him. So once we have our minds renewed through the Word of God, what’s next? It is a wonderful thing to know the Word of God. However, that is just the beginning. God wants us to take what we have learned and apply it to our lives. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22) We need to be sensitive to the moving of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Spirit of God will lead us in applying God’s Word to our lives. So what is the end state? I believe it is summed up well in Colossians 3:16-17. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” This will help you renew your mind, make wise decisions, and live in obedience to God for 2016.


Christmas, Why? By Nan Potts

‘Twas God, His garden Eden made, so fine; The spiritual nursery for mankind. God’s Breath of Life was given, free-will too; Had not it been, we’d revel in its view. Imbued with God’s identity, man dwelled. Bestowed by many gifts, a choice which held His plan, be one with man had failed to pass; Of Good and Evil, man sought to amass. So, Eden was discarded; man, then died. No longer in Eternal Light, sin vied. Now death, darkness and hatred, spread o’re all; Temptation, oh so foul, unleashed man’s fall. Unheeding God’s advice, eat not the fruit; The love of God failed, evil at its root. Tho Knowledge gained, the love of man declined; Man’s virtues, veiled in shadow, left behind. God’s plan for man to take this risk was great. Thus man, to gain the Kingdom, must not hate. Control of Knowledge, man’s goal’s to obtain And be reborn of woman’s womb, God’s gain. Each birth to death experience, love grew; Until the bond with God was then anew. With hope, compassion, generosity; Humanity restored, man’s faith in He.

A Christmas Dream With You By Donna Turner

There are lots of busy shoppers. In the air is the Christmas sound. You and I together we toast. A Christmas dream the first time around. The snow is falling slowly. The Christmas lights glow in the night. The fireplace pops and crackles And the eggnog is warmed just right. The Christmas tree silently twinkles As it faintly lights the room. The presents are wrapped just perfectly And Santa will be arriving soon.

Minute, the seed which germinated so; ‘Twas all it took, his godly roots to know. With man’s strayed soul redeemed, a vow He made; Admit to Heaven, man, his penitence paid.   Reminding man, his origins misspent; The love of Him with heart and mind, unspent, And love his neighbor as he would himself, Was God’s commandment to oneself. This one great act, may scripture rest upon; All peoples’ daily lives rely anon. What’s done by man or to him, may precede; Confirms or rejects God’s beloved need. With time, the Words have waned, replaced by vice; Man’s pride and greed and lust, turned hearts to ice, Replaced God’s love, with love of power, lust; Self-righteously avails his evil, thrust. Then came the Prophet to slow the trend; God’s final resolution, in the end. That once, each year we celebrate, His birth, Our Maker, humbled self to serve on Earth. In Flesh as Jewish peasant, forces surged; The Christ died, but rose to live, Almighty urged. The Living God, defeating Death, lives still; To bring the news of God’s one Son, Jesus will. He died for our iniquities, man’s err; And bore the scars for witnesses to swear. His Message He delivered, did imbue: Things which He has done will greater be, by you.

It’s hard to find the correct words That say exactly how much you mean. For a very special person as you Is so few and far between. The dinner is planned with ham and gravy Deviled eggs, pies and cakes too. The kids will unwrap their many presents As I share this Christmas dream with you. Yes, it is that special time of year again. With family, friends and a mistletoe kiss too. This special time of year I love sharing In my dreams I share it with you.

Bueno Bells

By Stephen Gerteisen Behold the Sounds of the Seasons ‘Round they go Bows and Blessings Who Knows the Reasons? Bueno Bells Blessed the Sounds of the Seasons ‘Round they go Berries and Balls Who Knows the Reasons? Bueno Bells Blue the Sound of the Season ‘Round it goes Beautiful Beginning Bueno Bells Keep on Ringing!

Tuesday’s Dew By Stephen Gerteisen Tuesday’s Dew won’t dry ‘til late afternoon. Monday’s Fog hung low and late For You. Swirled and Sunk Like Heavy Lead Tuesday’s Dew is here For You.


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To have your non-profit organization included in this free community resource list, please email your info to:

makeasceneak@mac.com

SENIORS

www. MAKEASCENEAK .com

Palmer Senior Citizens Center, Inc.

The primary mission of the Palmer Senior Citizens Center, Inc. is to assist individuals age sixty or older, individuals of any age with Alzheimer’s Disease or Related Disorders, individuals of any age on the Medicaid Waiver program and other eligible individuals in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough remain as independent as possible in the least restrictive environment possible and out of expensive nursing homes for as long as possible. Services include: congregate and home delivered meals, transportation, adult day services, care coordination, senior employment, family caregivers support, information / referral, chore services, senior housing, chore services, Better Choices Better Health classes, HELP program, activities and volunteer opportunities. 745-5454, pscc@mtaonline.net

Alzheimer’s Resource Agency of Alaska

As Alaska’s resource on Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Agency of Alaska (ADRAA) is committed to providing information, education and services for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD) and their caregivers. We have served Alaskans since 1984, and today we help more than 5,000 people annually. As a non-profit statewide organization, we provide family consultations, care coordination, in-home services for frail elders & individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and education programs to family caregivers and health care professionals. We are your resource for information and can refer you to services in Alaska or the contiguous U.S. Sam Meneses, 746-3432, www.alzalaska.org

Valley Charities, Inc; Turn-A-Leaf Thrift Store Provides medical equipment to all income brackets in the Valley; provides clothing and household goods to Valley residents that are economically disadvantaged. John Rozzi , 376-5740

Wasilla Area Seniors, Inc. (WASI)

A Health and Wellness Campus for Seniors on the Go! The goal at WASI is to assist and refer services for Seniors 60 and older so they can live as independently as possible for as long as possible. Some of the services provided are: Meals: Family Style Meals Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Center. Meals on Wheels home delivered meals. Housing: Independent Housing for low income and Aprket rate individuals. Optional Assisted Living Services Transportation: Partnership with MASCOT Bus $.60 per one way ride. Dr. visits by appointment Other Activities: Cards, Wii, and Painting at the Center Blood Pressure Checks Club50 Fitness Center, Strong Seniors Program ($5/8 weeks) Shopping Trips and other outings Valley Performing Arts Theater Visits And much more… call 376-3104 opt.2 for more information. Dennie Jaques , 376-3104

DEC. 2015

Mat-Su Area Partnership (MAP)

An organization of non-profit agencies in the Mat-Su Valley. MAP holds a monthly meeting on a Thursday at the Menard Sports Complex in Wasilla. www.mapartnership.org/matsu/

Mid-Valley Seniors Inc

Mid-Valley Seniors, Inc. Mid-Valley Seniors has 3 senior housing units-18 apartments and serves a congregate meal MonFri at 12:00pm. Home delivered meals served

daily fresh Mon-Fri, weekend meals are frozen. Transportation to Adult Day Services is available Mon-Fri 8:00am-3:00pm Come up to the Center for activities or lunch. Lisa Byrd, 892-6114 mvscadmin@mtaonline.net

FAMILIES & CHILDREN Divorce Care

DivorceCare is a weekly seminar/support group for men and women that will help you heal from the hurt of separation or divorce.  It’s a warm, caring environment led by people who understand what you are going through.  Learn practical information and gain hope for your future at DivorceCare Palmer AK.

March of Dimes Alaska Chapter

The March of Dimes is inspired by all babies – those born healthy and those who need our help to survive and thrive. Working together for stronger, healthier babies, in the Valley we work directly with the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center. We also provide clinics and organizations with resources and information. We host a March for Babies walk in the Spring and High Heels for High Hopes Runway Show in OCTust. For more information contact our office 276-4111 or email JOdgers@marchofdimes.com.

Alaska Family Services

Alaska Family Services offers a comprehensive array of services for women, children and families in need, including the only nationally accredited Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault shelter in the state. Other major services include, but are not limited to, behavioral health and substance abuse counseling, WIC, Child Care Assistance, ASAP, parenting workshops, family violence intervention and case management for Alaska Temporary Assistance clients. All of our programs are designed to strengthen and support individuals and families in the Mat-Su Borough.

homeless youth). To learn more, visit our website at myhousematsu.org or call 373-4357.

Family Promise Mat-Su

Provides a shelter for families without housing. We mobilize community resources and local congregations to provide compassionate care through shelter, meals, and case management to families without housing. Guest families are housed in area church buildings at night for a week at a time...moving to new host church on Sundays. Applications are available on our website. 357-6160, www.familypromisematsu.org

The Children’s Place

The Children’s Place child advocacy center is a child-friendly, neutral facility where professionals from many agencies involved in the evaluation, investigation and treatment of child abuse meet to coordinate and bring their services to the child and their family. We provide child forensic interviews, medical exams, linkage to mental health providers, follow-up support and referrals throughout the investigation process.

Our youth center, The Gathering Place, is located at 300 N. Willow St in central Wasilla. Also on campus is the MYHouse Café, Gathering Grounds, which exists to provide employment for homeless and at risk youth, as well as our partnering agencies and businesses, Nine Star, Mat-Su Public Health Center and Car Deets (an automotive detailing business which hires

Financial donation could also be mailed to the Big Lake Community Clothing Closet, PO Box 527069, Big Lake, AK 99652.

The ARTs

Strengthens our communities by providing mentors to all children who need and want a caring adult role model – special friends who can help them expand their horizons, realize their potential and enrich their futures – changing their lives.

Alaska Center for Resource Families

Pillows for Kids Foundation

is a non-profit that exists to provide services to unaccompanied youth, ages 14-24, in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. The services we provide include, but are not limited to, hot meals, shelf stable foods, gas cards, transport to shelter, clothing, tents, sleeping bags, laundry, shower, hygiene products, street outreach, access to medical, dental and mental health care, vocational services and employment opportunities, educational advocacy and life coaching.

Clothing and footwear for people of all ages is available. Also, assorted household items as they are available. This unique program helps people locally. Donations are accepted, to further the program. Any money donated helps pay the rent for our location at 2955 Big Lake Rd., Big Lake, Alaska.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska

LINKS Mat-Su Parent Resource Center.

MYHouse Homeless Teen Shelter in the Matsu

Donated by local Alaskans, Big Lake Community Clothing Closet provides quality clothing to people in need, at no charge.

Open Wednesday’s from 11am-3pm All donations of quality clothing in good condition can be donated at the above address during regular hours of operation. Check us out on Facebook

TO LEARN MORE www.akafs.org or call 746-4080

Regan Building 3161 E Palmer Wasilla Hwy. Suite #2 Linda Kupers, Administrative Assistant linda@linksprc.org - 907-373-3632

Big Lake Community Clothing Closet

Referrals to The Children’s Place are made through law enforcement and Office of Children’s Services. The Children’s Place, 357-5157 www.alaskachildrensplace.com

Provides support, training and education for foster, relative and adoptive families caring for children that have been abused and neglected. ACRF also helps support the Mat-Su Grandparents Support Group in collaboration with Links and Volunteers of America. For more information about foster care and adopting children that are in the OCS child protection system visit our website www.acrf.org or call 376-4678 - bwoodin@nwresource.org

We provide support and assistance to families with disabilities. LINKS provides support and trainings, parent to parent connections to mentor, information and referral, and access to library materials. These services are provided through one-on-one assistance and individualized workshops for small or large groups. Our vision is to ensure that every parent and family who has a child with a special need has access to information, education, outreach, and support in a culturally competent environment and to empower then to be advocates for themselves, their children, and their families.

need as well as a huge relapse trigger. Our assessments are based on a sliding fee scale. It is the goal of Set Free Alaska that no person be denied the services they need due to lack of financial resources. Our offices are open MonFri 10-6 and we are located on the Palmer-Wasilla Highway across from the AT&T Sports Center. Philip Licht, Executive Director 373-4732, www.setfreealaska.org/

We provide little pillows of support and small scholarships that make a significant difference for local children to participate in brain-training activities such as gymnastics, snowboarding, skiing, skating, horsemanship, leadership, art, music, dance, martial arts, and robotics. Mentors and community members contact us when there is an identified need to keep kids, preschool through college, connected with good activities in our community. We plan to publish a book and CD/DVD of Evan’s “Little Pillow” song soon. Currently, we are selling washable, decorator pillows of all shapes, sizes and colors for kids and adults as a way of creating funding for the scholarships. pillowsforkids@gmail.com

The Moose Boosters Wrestling Club

A youth development organization that provides aid and funding to low income recreational facilitates and athletes at the high school level. Funding supports athletes who participate in wrestling programs while meeting academic standards. Michelle Heun - 355-7099

Set Free Alaska

Brief description about non-profit: Our children, friends, co-workers; there is someone we know who is struggling with addiction and destructive behaviors. It is the goal of Set Free Alaska to provide excellent, individualized services to our clients. Set Free Alaska is a Christian outpatient substance abuse treatment center that uses a mind-body-spirit approach to recovery. Our programs are designed to assist people in gaining freedom from the bondage of addiction and destructive behaviors. Set Free Alaska realizes that cost can be a huge deterrent to people seeking and receiving the help they

Alaska Celtic Pipes & Drums

Those interested in lessons, or in playing pipes or drums with Alaska Celtic Pipes & Drums, please contact the Band by email at craigag@ mtaonline.net or by telephone at (907) 688-4196. The band’s website can be found at http://www. alaskaceltic.org , plus, we’re on Facebook! “The Pipes, the Pipes are calling...”

Radio Free Palmer

Radio Free Palmer is community radio serving the Sutton and Palmer communities as KVRF 89.5 FM and online at radiofreepalmer.org. On air since 2011, KVRF’s mission is to foster community involvement. Currently we produce great local shows on topics from health to mushing - and the list of programs is growing. Online we add important community events such as the Borough Assembly and School Board Meetings. Listen to Radio Free Palmer KVRF 89.5 for more community-centric news, music, sports, music or come volunteer to to help bring great radio programming to the valley. 745-8951, Manager@radiofreepalmer.org Radiofreepalmer.org and on Facebook and Twitter

Valley Fine Arts Association

VFAA was formed to teach techniques, and encourage fellowship among visual artists in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. we strive to promote a supportive attitude toward visual arts in our Alaskan community. We welcome beginners, students, part-time and professional artists who focus mainly on twodimensional art mediums and want to connect with other creative people and gain more exposure locally. Throughout the year, we inform our members about opportunities to show their work, participate in group events, view other local artists, and enroll in workshops. During the school year, we organize regular sessions for painting together and host monthly artist demonstrations. Membership in the Valley Fine Arts Association provides many diverse opportunities for artists. Check our website calendar at www. valleyfineartsassociation.org for upcoming events.

Mat-Su Community Chorus, Inc.

As Musical Ambassadors of The Valley, The Mat-Su Community Chorus has provided quality vocal music, in its various forms, for the benefit, education and enjoyment of its members and the surrounding communities since 1970. Our

membership is open to the public, inviting all who wish to add their voice in song. We offer complimentary performances at public celebrations and deliver formal concerts twice a year. We are a 501(c)3, non-profit organization, currently with twenty-two members and we are looking towards expanding the organization to better serve the community. With the support from individuals, businesses and other civic organizations we are able to grow our group by bringing the community together through music and to continue our standard of excellence. We meet Octember through Nov. on Thursday evenings at 7-9pm in the Choir Room at Wasilla High School. Nan Potts 745-8788 matsucomchours@gmail.com

Alaska Celtic Pipes & Drums of Eagle River

Alaska Celtic Pipes & Drums of Eagle River, under the leadership of Pipe Major Aja Stewart and Drum Sergeant Bryan Gonzales, are actively recruiting pipers and drummers, as well as those interested in learning Great Highland Bagpipes and Highland Drumming (snare, tenor, bass.) We would like to extend a cordial invitation to anyone who would like to learn to play bagpipes or drums, to FREE lessons with our Band. We are a grade IV competing, family-oriented pipe band established in 2005, and beginners of any age are welcome. Alaska Celtic Pipes & Drums are very active in supporting the community in which we live. Our purpose is to advance the rich cultural heritage of Great Highland Bagpipe music, and to have FUN doing it! ACPD provides free instruction in piping and drumming, with Band practice to follow, every Friday evening at 5:00 and 5:45 pm at Eagle River Presbyterian Church, 12836 Old Glenn Highway, in Eagle River. Those interested in lessons, or in becoming members of ACPD, please contact the Band by email at Nov.gstensgericht@yahoo.com or by telephone at (907) 376-5060. The band’s website can be found at http://www.alaskaceltic.org

Mat-Su Concert Band, Inc.

Our mission is to promote, plan, support and conduct educational and cultural activities and opportunities for the benefit of the citizens and residents of Alaska. We do this by providing an outlet for the many talented musicians in and around our area to perform and a venue for the public to come and enjoy with us our music. Rehearsals are every Mon. from 7 to 9 p.m. at Teeland Middle School. For more information, contact Gleo Huyck at 746-0628. matsuconcertband@gmail.com

The Whirling Rainbow Foundation

Grandmother Drum International Peace Project The Whirling Rainbow Foundation is an international spiritual and educational non- profit organization which honors and celebrates the diverse cultural and spiritual paths of the human family. The foundation cultivates the universal teachings of inner peace, loving compassion, wisdom and understanding at the core of every culture and spiritual tradition. We are starting a Global Peace Sanctuary and Sustainable Community in Palmer. The GrandMother Drum International Peace Project travels the world as the international voice of the Whirling Rainbow Foundation. As a symbol of the heartbeat of love that connects all nations and all races, the seven foot, crystal inlaid GrandMother Drum holds local and global events promoting peace and unity through the universal language of music, dance, cultural and healings arts. White Eagle Medicine Woman (Suraj Holzwarth) Executive Director www.whirlingrainbow.com

Valley Performing Arts

We will be celebrating 40 years of Quality Live Theatre this season! VPA performs seven plays per season, beginning September and ending in May. We welcome actors, volunteers, program advertisers and play sponsors to join in supporting VPA, one of the oldest continuing operating community theatres in the State of Alaska. The VPA Summer Theatre Arts Program


Purchase your tickets online or from our office. Check out audition dates and show times on our website. www.valleyperformingarts.org or (907) 373-0195.

Valley Arts Alliance

The Valley Arts Alliance is a group of likeminded individuals who have joined together to encourage, sponsor, facilitate and support artistic expression. We are a place for both new and established artists of all types—painters, sculptors, musicians, and those involved in the performing arts—to network and to experiment with new ideas and media. We work with local libraries, schools, museums, art councils, and music and art groups to create more venues for the arts, and to help promote art related events. www.valleyartsalliance.com

Meadow Gates Farm Sanctuary

Meadow Gates Farm Sanctuary has provided shelter and care for unwanted pet rabbits since 2001. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable corporation. Rabbits are taken in when space is available. They are evaluated for behavior and personality, spayed/neutered, then adopted to new pet homes. Bunnies not able to be adopted are maintained permanently at the sanctuary. Responsible adult volunteers are always needed. 907-357-6437, www.meadowgates.com manager@meadowgates.com

Alaska Animal Advocates

Make a difference. Save a life! Alaska Animal Advocates is reaching out to the community. We provide everything that is needed to meet a dog’s needs. We ask YOU to provide the love. Contact Angie at 841-3173 or email at aaarescue@yahoo.com Check out our website at www.alaskaanimaladvocates.com

ANIMALS

VARIETY

The mission of the Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center is to care for injured, orphaned and sick wild birds with the goal of releasing them back into the wild; and to educate the public about these birds and their habitats.

United Way of Mat Su was formed in 1987 to serve as a single, borough wide, fundraising agency, but we have grown to be so much more.

Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center

request a live bird program.

AK Cat Kitty Rescue

is a local small kitty rescue. We specialize in litters of kittens, and our facility is designed that way. We will take in litters from the community, and will assist in getting their mom cat spayed. ALL of our kittens are up to date on vaccines, and have been spayed/ or neutered prior to adoptions. We are a 501c3, so any donations are tax deductible. If you are looking to adopt, or need help placing a litter, please call us! We are currently looking for help with computer type tasks, updating website, or updating our adoptions and monthly expences. AK CAT 907-232-4444 www.akcat.org

Alaska Dog & Puppy Rescue (ADPR)

Alaska Dog & Puppy Rescue is an all volunteer, non-profit organization formed for the purpose of rescuing homeless dogs and puppies. We have rescued dogs throughout Alaska, including various Bush communities. These rescued dogs are placed in foster homes, where they are socialized, vaccinated, dewormed, and taken to the vet to be microchipped and spayed or neutered. It is our goal to have an animal sanctuary, so that all adoptable dogs are given an opportunity to find their forever homes. We encourage individuals to volunteer for this very worthy cause. 745-7030 adpr03@yahoo.com

Alaska Assistance Dogs (AAD)

United Way provides information on available services through the 211 hotline and website www.alaska211.org and keep current and distribute the Mat-Sui Resource Guide. Our goal is to bring together individuals, companies and agencies to achieve measurable, positive, lasting results. We ask the community to LIVE UNITED which means all of us coming together to volunteer, advocate and give to create a brighter future for all. To find out more visit www. unitedwaymatsu.org or call 373-5807. The United Way of Matanuska Susitna Borough is physically located at 550 S Alaska Street Suite 205 Palmer, AK 99645.

The Valley Quilters Guild

was formed in 1985 to promote quilting in the Matanuska Valley. We currently have a membership of about 180. Our main objectives are service to our community and the education of Quilters. We serve the community by donating quilts to organizations and groups that approach us with their needs. We also give quilts to the victims of fires, child abuse, homeless families, and Law Enforcement agencies for comforting victims of domestic violence. The Guild meets the first Thursday of each month at the Palmer Train Depot at 7 p.m.

Mat Su Sertoma Club

The Mat Su Sertoma Club focuses on hearing health. They are part of a national organization with more than 600 clubs throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The club provides free hearing screens to the public the first Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Wasilla Physical Therapy, 3750 E. Country Field Circle, Wasilla from September until May. During the summer we’re fishing, camping and gardening like most Alaskans! The Mat Su Sertoma Club is the host to the Annual Mat Su Polar Plunge, the original valley dip each February. They have been responsible for providing funding to non profits in the Mat Su Borough for more than 5 years, along with scholarship funding for two students who are pursuing an education in the hearing health field. The website is www.matsuhearing.dot to stay abreast of activities. Meetings are held the

The Mat-Su Special Santa program is the largest Christmas gift giving program in the Valley. Mat-Su Special Santa teams with Toys for Tots, Salvation Army, Food Banks, state and local agencies, churches and schools to help families in need. Last year over 3400 children completed a wish list with requests for Christmas presents. The program provided at least two toys/gifts, winter wear when possible, a new book, personal items and stocking stuffers. All of this is possible through the generous donations of our community with over 1000 community members, organizations, clubs and schools either volunteering or donating to the program. This is an all volunteer program. We are also in need of volunteers. The Special Santa Program’s goal is to help children receive the magic of Christmas and know that people care. In reaching this goal the program: 1. Coordinates with agencies and programs to provide for families, 2. Provides the citizens in the Community an opportunity to give, 3. Assists families in need at a stressful time of year, 4. Spreads the joy of Christmas throughout the Mat-Su Valley. Go to www.specialsanta.net for more information or e-mail us at matsu_santa@yahoo.com.

The Last Frontier Honor Flight

Our mission is to transport WWII, Alaska Territorial Guard and Korean War veterans to Washington D.C. to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices AT NO COST TO THE VETERANS.

Valley Residential Services

VRS provides housing to people with special needs. We define people with special needs as those individuals who are experiencing behavioral or developmental disabilities, low-income levels or who are seniors. VRS currently manages 198 residential units distributed in the Mat-Su Valley and participates in special programs to assist with rental assistance. We can also assist with linking individuals to social service agencies who can assist with life skills programs. (907) 357-0256, www.valleyres.org

TOPS

Take off Pounds Sensibly Non-Profit Weight Loss Support Group Three (3) Chapters meet weekly in the Valley. Kathy Miller - 376-9571 or write to matsutops@webtv.net

Valley Community for Recycling Solutions (VCRS)

Valley Community for Recycling Solutions (VCRS) RECYCLE cardboard, magazines, this newspaper and more at your community recycling center. Recycling drop off hours are Tuesday thru Friday 10:30am to 6:00pm and Saturday 10:30am to 3:30pm. We are located at 9465 E Chanlyut Circle, next to the MSB Animal Shelter at the MSB Central Landfill. Volunteer opportunities available. community@valleyrecycling.org, wwww. valleyrecycling.org, 745-5544 Volunteer opportunities available. community@valleyrecycling.org valleyrecycling.org - 745-5544

Valley Residential Services (VRS)

All Donations are tax deductible, according to state and federal laws. You can make a donation to The Last Frontier Honor Flight PO Box 520116 Big Lake, Alaska 99652, or pay with a credit card on our website at www.tlfhonorflight.org. If you would like to volunteer you can contact our President Ron Travis at (907) 892-6097 for meeting times and places.

VRS provides special needs housing to individuals who experience behavioral or developmental disabilities, low-income levels or those who are homeless. VRS currently has 168 properties in the Mat-Su Valley with special programs to assist with rental assistance and we can assist with linking individuals to social service agencies who can assist with life skills programs. (907) 357-0256 , valleyres.org

The Sertoma Club - Wasilla

Alaska Attachment & Bonding Associates (AABA)

We host the Mat Su Polar Plunge raising funds for non-profits in the Matanuska Susitna Valley, Alaska. February 2011 we saw 85 jumpers raise almost $20,000 which was then given to the Food Pantry of Wasilla and Turn A Leaf Thrift Stores. The Food Pantry provides emergency food supplies to families in need. Turn A Leaf has a medical lending equipment program which is now organized with software purchased with funds received. Both were grant recipients from the Mat Su Sertoma Club. Grant applications for the 2012 Mat Su Polar Plunge are located on our website: www.matsuplunge.com.

Mat-Su Community Chorus

Do you love to sing? The Mat-Su Community Chorus welcomes new adult members in all vocal ranges each September and January. We are a well-established, male-female, SATB community singing group conducted by Anna Crowther. Group singing benefits your emotional and physical health and enriches our community, so bring your talents and join the Chorus! No audition required although previous experience is helpful. We offer complimentary performances at public celebrations and deliver formal concerts several times a year. Rehearsals are on Thursdays at the WHS choir room from 7 - 9 pm. Contact us at matsucomchorus@gmail.com or call Sandy at 907-355-5836 for membership details. Like us on Facebook for concert reminders. We have a wonderful club of volunteers! On a weekly basis you’ll find a Mat Su Sertoman at the Food Pantry, Wasilla Senior Campus, Valley Charities, helping Special Olympics and the list goes on and on! Our goal for 2011/2012 year is to raise more than, $25,000 in polar plunge funds. You can pledge or sign up to jump! Just visit our website for more information. Join us every other Thursday at 5:00pm at the

Educates and supports foster, adoptive, kinship care, step, grand and guardianship parents and professionals who care for children with emotional mental health issues, such as Attachment Disorder. AABA provides workshops, e-mail/telephone support, resource/referral information, self-advocacy, AABA web-site www. akattachment.org, RAVEN Respite, newsletters, brochures, lending library, and Mom2Mom/ Dad2Dad parent support group. For more information: Laura Wagner 907-376-0366

The Homeless Actors of Mat-Su

HAMS, the Homeless Actors of Mat-Su, is a valley non-profit community theater group created to further theatrical opportunities for actors and technical personnel of all ages, be experienced or beginner and the audiences who have not been fully represented in the valley. With local support we intend to produce a broad range of the atypical classical, modern, comic, dramatic and musical one act and full length plays and improvisational theater that are both educational and entertaining in the traditional and dinner theater format as fundraisers for various local causes and to continue to encourage development of the theater arts in the Mat-Su Valley. Contact Elizabeth Clausen, General Manager, 841-4119; akhams@yahoo.com

Mat-Su Food Bank

At the Matsu Food Bank we provide emergency supplemental food to residents of the Matanuska Susitna Valley. The Matsu Food Bank distributes thru the Food Pantry of Wasilla directly to clients in need. The Pantry hours of distribution are Monday

through Friday from 10:00AM to 1:00PM. The Pantry is located at 501 E. Bogard Rd. in Wasilla. We have three programs operating under the Matsu Food Bank. The community supplied Food Pantry of Wasilla accepts donations of food or funds to help feed our neighbors. We distribute to clients on an emergency monthly basis. We also distribute TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program). This is a program is supplied by the USDA and is also once a month. Our third program is Food4Kids. We prepare and deliver, in safe community locations, nutritious meals and snacks for hungry kids 18 and under. We provide meals during the school year. We have a summer program at various locations around the Valley from Willow to Sutton and provide nutritious lunches for all kids in the valley for free. Our website is: www.matsufoodbank.org. If you have any questions please go to the website or call us at 907-357-3769.

OUTDOORS

North America Outdoor Institute

The North America Outdoor Institute (NAOI) is a not-for-profit community outreach organization providing outdoor safety and environmental awareness education programs for the general public in an effort to save lives from preventable outdoor injuries and deaths. Debra McGhan, debra@naoiak.org 376-2898 , www.naoiak.org

Alaskans For Palmer Hay Flats

Dedicated to conserving the natural and cultural resources of Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge through public awareness, year-round recreation and events, education and enhancement projects. Healthy, outdoor recreation in a safe, beautiful setting is what APH helps provide to all users. 357-8711, alaskans@palmerhayflats.org www.palmerhayflats.org

Alaska Frontier Trappers Association

The Alaska Frontier Trappers Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the ethical and lawful practice of trapping Alaska’s fur bearers. We work to educate fellow trappers, children and the public in general about trapping as a necessary wildlife management and research tool. Our monthly meetings usually include a guest speaker and/or a demonstration and fur handling information. Meetings which are held at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month at the Palmer Library. Everyone is welcome to attend. www.akfrontiertrappers.com

CONSERVATION

Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center

The mission of the Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center is to care for injured, orphaned and sick wild birds with the goal of releasing them back into the wild; and to educate the public about these birds and their habitats. AWBRC, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is always looking for volunteers and donations. We are undergoing a building project this summer, and can use carpentry assistance. In addition, regular volunteers are always needed for care of our resident birds. Please visit our web site at http://www.akwildbirdrehab.org/ for further information about us, to volunteer or to request a live bird program.

Wasilla Soil & Water Conservation District (WSWCD) The WSWCD is a non-profit formed in 1948 to assist landowners & land managers with conservation & development on land through technical assistance, projects & education programs & services. distmgr@wasillaswcd.org

DEC. 2015

AAD provides service dogs to Alaskans with special needs (physical, physiological & mental health), and incorporates therapeutic programs into service dog training. AAD works with special education students at school, provides teen mentoring in community training venues, offers domestic violence/PTSD support groups, FASD/ Autism programs, and provides service dogs and support groups for veterans with PTSD and their families. Therapist on staff, and all trainers are certified by the founder of the service dog concept, Dr. Bonnie Bergin. Carole J. Shay, Lpc. carole@alaskaassistancedogs.org

We are dedicated to working in our community on education, stable income and health. These are the building blocks for a quality life. We provide grants to programs with these areas of focus and administer programs that improve early childhood education, reduce substance abuse and improve senior citizen nutrition. We supply Familywize prescription drug discount cards, which have saved people in the Mat-Su over $500,000 since its beginning.

Mat-Su Special Santa

Tailgaters Sports Bar and Grill. Our next meeting is Nov. 25th. We always have new speakers and a great time. See you there!

www. MAKEASCENEAK .com

AWBRC, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is always looking for volunteers and donations. Volunteers are always needed for care of our resident birds, office and web assistance, fundraising and advertising. We will be undergoing a building project this summer, and can use carpentry assistance or donations of materials. Please visit our web site at http://www.akwildbird.org/ for further information about us, to volunteer or to

United Way of Mat-Su

second and fourth Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Tailgaters Restaurant in Wasilla.

PAGE 19

takes place June through August and are for youth, ages ranging from 7 to 17. The VPA Annual Meeting & Awards Ceremony is held each June and our FUN-Raiser is in October.


PAGE 20

Theatre

V.P.A. Auditions: On Golden Pond

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Comedy-Drama Directed by Larry Burton

VPA proudly presents this classic story of family and unconditional love which is being directed by Larry Burton, veteran VPA director and actor. Audition times are: Saturday, January 16th, from 1PM to 4PM and Sunday, January 17th, from 5PM to 7PM. This is the love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, who return to their summer home on Golden Pond for the forty-eighth year. He is a retired professor, nearing eighty, with heart

The writers of the popular The Dixie Swim Club bring you more comedy… Southern style! Hilarity abounds when the feisty females of Eden Falls, Georgia, decide to shake up their lives. The action in this rollicking comedy takes place in SPA-DEE-DAH!, the abandoned church-turned-day-spa where this group of friends gathers every Friday afternoon. After the loss of a dear friend, the women

DEC. 2015

Local Music

palpitations and a failing memory— but still as tart tongued, observant and eager for life as ever. Ethel, ten years younger, and the perfect foil for Norman, delights in all the small things that have enriched and continue to enrich their long life together. They are visited by their divorced, middle aged daughter and her dentist fiancé, who then go off to Europe, leaving his teenage son behind for the summer. The boy quickly becomes the “grandchild” the elderly couple have longed for,

and as Norman revels in taking his ward fishing and thrusting good books at him, he also learns some lessons about modern teenage awareness—and slang—in return. This is a wonderful story of hope, enduring love, and what it means to be family with enough laughter to warm the heart even more.

We will be looking for: 4 men (one 60 – 70 in appearance, two 35 – 45 in appearance, and one teenager 13 – 16 in appearance) and 2 women (one 55 – 65 in appearance and one 35 – 40 in appearance)

realize time is precious, and if they’re going to change their lives and achieve their dreams, they have to get on it now!

shout “Hallelujah!” This hilarious production is being directed by DJ Rotach, veteran actor and our very own king of comedy.

Join Sugar Lee, Carlene, Nita, Mavis and Crystal as they tackle how to fake your own death, rewriting Christmas carol lyrics, sexy ex-boyfriends and everything in between. This is a side-splitting, joyful comedy that will make you laugh out loud and

The Hallelujah Girls opens January 15th and runs through January 31st, 2016. Ticket prices are $18 for Students/Seniors and $20 for Adults. This fantastic comedy will be appearing at Valley Performing

If you would like to read the play script, a copy will be at the VPA office for overnight checkout. Visit our website www.valleyperformingarts.org and click on the “Auditions” link for more information. Auditions will be held at Valley Performing Arts, 251 W. Swanson Avenue. Download the audition form at www.valleyperformingarts.org or contact VPA at 373-0195.

Arts, 251 W. Swanson Ave. in Wasilla. Dinner Theatre for THE HALLELUJAH GIRLS will premiere at Evangelo’s, February 4th, 5th or 6th. Tickets are $45/person. Call VPA at 373-0195 www.valleyperformingarts.org Come join us in our 40th Season of celebrating quality live theatre in the valley!


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Winter Solstice ART & CRAFT SHOW WINTER SOLSTICE FESTIVAL Palmer Middle, 1159 S. Chugach St. 10-6 Saturday - 12-5 Sunday

ALASKAN MADE GIFTS

DRAWING FOR PRIZES PHOTOS WITH SANTA JURIED ART COMPETITION QUILT DISPLAY

Film

After eight long years (from script to screen), numerous re­ writes, failed fundraising campaigns, twenty­six solid days of shooting involving hundreds of amazing talented filmmakers and/or movie aficionados and three unbelievably long years of post­production 1964 Motion Pictures is proud to announce the completion of their first full­length feature film; PROPER BINGE.

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1964 Motion Pictures announces the completion of their character­driven, full­length feature film; PROPER BINGE. Over 150 Alaskans volunteered their time and talents to the production. 1964 Motion Pictures aims to seek a national audience for their all Alaskan film.

Wasilla-based 1964 Motion Pictures were not only able to assemble a talented and generous cast and crew for their 100 minute, dark­comedy, they were able to do so with virtually zero funds. The film became a true passion project for everyone involved; making it all the easier for them to chip in their time, supplies and even money when necessary. Assistance didn’t only come from local citizens though; local businesses had a big part in the production of PROPER BINGE.

DEC. 2015

In the world of “no budget” filmmaking PROPER BINGE is undeniably a monumental achievement. 1964 Motion Pictures will be screening PROPER BINGE for the cast and crew on December 4th at the Valley Cinema in Wasilla.


PAGE 22

Art By Tonya Moreno

www. MAKEASCENEAK .com

In a little town in the outskirts of Wasilla there lived a man named Mistletoe Joe. He was a kind man who earned his name based on his overwhelming Christmas spirit and his tendency to carry around mistletoe during the month of December, always quick to put that mistletoe up to receive an innocent kiss from the townsfolk. Christmas was his favorite time of year. He loved every part of it. A lot of the people in the Valley thought he was a little crazy but being that it was Christmas would never say anything about his insane Christmas cheer. He was always one to break out the Christmas Carol in the town square all by himself but of course by the end of the song everyone had stopped what they were doing and joined in. Mistletoe Joe was the town’s Santa Claus. Every Christmas Eve he would put on the bright red suit and walk down to the town center and hand out candy canes to the children telling them to go on home and be good little boys and girls so Santa could come and leave them that special toy. “Don’t forget to leave out the cookies for Santa!”, he would yell after them.

NOV. 2015

This happened for years, so much that children who had grown up seeing him on Christmas Eve brought their kids and families back every year just for Mistletoe Joe to hand them that special candy cane. He was the reason so many people enjoyed Christmas in this town. As time wore on Mistletoe Joe began to get older and his health began to decline. He would never let anyone else know how sick he really was. He didn’t want to break their Christmas spirit and let everyone in the town down.


December came around as it always does every year and everyone was excited about putting up their lights and getting ready for the festivities, however there was something different about this year, Mistletoe Joe was not running around town with his mistletoe in hand and no one had seen him in the town center singing Christmas carols. Everyone was saddened because he was the reason Christmas was so much fun. The Mayor decided it was time to make a visit to Mistletoe Joe’s home. He was not prepared for what he found. Mistletoe Joe had passed away in his sleep. The Mayor found a note on the kitchen table. It was written by Joe. Dear Townspeople: I have always enjoyed being your Christmas Elf. I never did it for any recognition. I did it so everyone could love Christmas and enjoy it as much as

I did. Christmas is never about how many gifts you receive; it’s about the joy you can bring to someone else. It’s the feeling that you get when you know by the end of the Christmas carol you turned that person’s entire day around. It’s the smile on the child’s face when you hand them that candy cane. I will always be with you in spirit. Please keep Christmas alive in your hearts. Love, Mistletoe Joe. The Mayor took the letter and called everyone to the town center. He read the letter aloud and made a proclamation, the town’s name will officially be changed to Mistletoe Valley in memory of Mistletoe Joe. So come by and see a Mistletoe Valley and get that Christmas spirit that was left by Joe!


Make A Scene Magazine December 2015  

Dec 16th - Jan 15th

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