It was cold and rainy, but thanks to everyone who came out and joined together to Walk for Life! Thanks to Donna Bach @ YKHC for printing our advertising posters. Thanks to Meghan Crow for her continuing support of Drew’s Foundation and much thanks to John Wallace for always finding time to document the things we do. Also my wife Jeanette who took care of the run timing and logistics and my kids who share this journey. Thanks again everyone for supporting community wellness and suicide awareness.
On Saturday the 16th of May Drew’s Foundation will sponsor the 5th annual Walk for Life. The Walk will start at 11:00 am at the Cultural Center parking lot. A 5k run will also be held at the same time. Runners should come a little bit early to register and get numbers. Please come out and support Suicide Awareness in our community.
Cama-i has come and gone again. A wonderful gathering of people from all over the state celebrating dance and culture. The Cama-i week is the busiest of the year for Drew’s Foundation and always requires a bit of decompression. Lots of thanks.
First to the Winter Bear Project. This great group of performers and production people put on two shows here in Bethel and did numerous workshops at the high school and at the Cama-i festival. A large number of people told me how much they enjoyed the play and what a great message it conveyed. The return of the group to the upriver villages from Bethel and also to the High School is in the works. Hoping for early next year. if your village would like to see “The Winter Bear” please contact the project thru their website and invite them.
Second, I want to thank Buddy Kutch and his friend /helper / brother Cory Palacios. I invited Buddy to Bethel to spread his message of positive thinking and attitude about never giving up to the young people of Bethel. We spent lots of hours at the high school, the youth facility and PATC. Buddy and Cory were generous with their time and spirit. If you aren’t familiar, Buddy was paralyzed as a teenager and has spent half his life in a wheelchair as a quadrapeligic. His positive attitude was an inspiration to me and to many that he spoke to.
Thirdly, I want to thank all those who came to the Place of Memory at Cama-i. More names were added to the wall but much healing took place. Thanks to Alaska Dispatch News, KTVA, and Katie Basile’s multimedia students for their coverage and forwarding of our message. Thanks to Linda Curda for allowing me to do this. John Wallace for doing all the tech stuff and photography. And as always my family who support me and the great kids at TAAV for their help.
Next up-our spring Walk for Life. Be on the watch for time and date.
This week the Winter Bear Project comes to Western Alaska. The performers arrive in Bethel on Tuesday the 7th and head directly to the coast. In their first week they will do shows in Hooper Bay, Scammon Bay and Chevak. The following week the group returns to Bethel for performances at the Ypriit Piciryarait Cultural Center on April 15th and 16th. The performance on the 15th will be preceeded by a potluck starting at 6:00pm. Please bring a dish and share and enjoy. Winter Bear performers will facilitate some play and acting workshops through the 3 days of Cama-i.
On the 20th of April this hard working group will again hit the road (the air) heading for the Northern enviorns of the Yukon. Performances in Alakanuk, Emmonak and Mt. Village will conclude this 3 week road trip.
I encourage everyone to catch a performance of “The Winter Bear”. This is a very uplifting play with a powerful message.
The Cama-i Dance Festival will kick off on Friday the 17th. For the forth year Drew’s Foundation will sponsor the Place of Memory. Please stop by to remember those we have lost to suicide.
Drew’s Foundation is proud to partner with the Northstar Community Foundation in presenting “The Winter Bear”, a play by Anne Hanley. The play tells the story of a young Native boy that rises above his past to become a hero. The play has been very positively reviewed and is highly recommended for young people. The play is performed by professional actors and is inspired by the life of Alaska Native leader Sidney Huntington.
The group will perform in Hooper Bay on April 8th, Chevak on April 10th and Scammon Bay on the 13th. They then come tp Bethel for two performances at the Cultural Center on April 15 & 16. Members of the cast will be doing some workshops at the Cama-i Dance Festival on the 17, 18, and 19th. From Bethel, the group will travel to the Yukon for performances in Emmonak, Alakanuk, and Mountain Village on the 20th, 22nd and 24th respectively. Look for flyers in all the above communities for times and locations.
The community support generated to help make this happen has been tremendous. I’m so proud of those businesses and groups that stepped up. Without their help we could not have made this happen. For financial support so much thanks to Alaska Dept Health & Social Services, Donlin Gold, Bethel Community Services Foundation, Bethel Native Corporation and AVCP Inc. Thanks to Mike Stevens & Cheryl Johnson with Northern Air Cargo for generously agreeing to haul all the props and groceries from Fairbanks to Bethel and back. To Kurt Kuhne at YUUT for housing. Renee Athanas at Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center for finding time during a very busy week at a great rate. Susan Murphy at the Catholic Church for housing and cooking facilities. Donna Bach at YKHC for coming thru, as she always does, with printing and helping get the word out.
There are so many more people that will help in the villages. I don’t know their names but I know that they will show our guests the true heart and soul of our region. They will show that when we work together, support one another, and care for each other, good even great things happen.
Forgot to mention-All of these shows are FREE. See you there.
Drews Foundation, with support from Donlin Gold, is proud to sponsor Team 3 in this years Iron Dog snow machine race. Team 3 features Steven Boney and Doug Dixon. Steven has been on the previous Iron Dog teams sponsered by Drew’s Foundation. Doug is a new partner for Steven this year but is by no means a rookie. Best of luck to Team 3 as they race accross Alaska with the “Suicide is Never the Answer” message. Follow them online!