Monday, October 3, 2011

Revisiting America

I'm afraid my venturesome spirit has become one of "I'll just wait, or I don't want to get out in the rain, or I'm not sure what to do first, or I'll just wait until Shirley gets here then I won't have to do it over again." I've chosen the latter apparently because I've done very little this week.
True to its billing, it has rained just about every day. Never a steady downpour, but a twenty minute rain, the sun come out, another rain, the sun, all day long. It doewn't matter, I'm in Ketchican, Alaska.
My landlady, Nicole, got us tickets to one of the very special events of the year here, the "Women of Distinction Annual Awards Dinner and Silent Auction". I knew that would be a way to meet a lot of people and learn about the WISH organization. WISH is a non-profit organization established in 1977 in Ketchican to provide advocacy for adult and child victims of domestic violence and sexual assult. The WISH organization sponsors the Women of Distinction celebration which affirms the extraordinary effort and commitment women have shown for community. This year celebrated the efforts of 5 women.
Women In Safe Homes (WISH)is a shelter, open 365 days a year, serving Ketchican, Saxman, Prince of Wales Island, Metlakatla, Wrangell, Petersburg, and Hyder. Victims needing shelter are transported to Ketchican from these outlying areas as well as support being given to assist volunteers in these communities. Last year 5,830 shelter nights and personal services for women, men and children were provided for those residing in southern southeast Alaska.
Pre-program music was provided by "Tears of Fancy" I would say music with a Celtic origin, with fiddle, guitar, lute, very nice and a sound not often heard. Then, during the program as each honoree was introduced a special music presentation was given, one of these the Ketchican Inter-tribal Drummers, native dress and dances. My first time to see something like this.
The Ted Ferry Civic Center was beautifully decorated, auction items were displayed around the room and the meal was prepared and served by members of the High School Soccer team and their parents. You could tell this wasn't their first year (it was the 4th)because everything ran smoothly. This was so much like our Library Auction at home, growing every year in attendance, more money raised each year, and a wonderful core of volunteers that can "get the job done".
Our table of eight was Nicole and myself, Choc Schafer, Agnes Moran (running for City Council woman), Lois and Lloyd Gossman, Ellen Bishop, and Anne Lucas, one of the founders of the program. All such nice people and supporters of community endeavors. I understand I'm to attend another event like this in several weeks, is that right, Nicole? Great!

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