22nd Alaska State Legislature
Information from Senator Ben Stevens (R)

Click image for large 5'' x 7'' picture, 153.5k Session:
State Capitol, Room 119
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-4993
Fax: (907) 465-3872

716 W 4th Avenue, Suite 510
Anchorage, AK 99501-2133
Phone: (907) 269-0200
Fax: (907) 269-0204

Kindness Out of Tragedy

Published: in the November 2001 WestSide Pulse
Contact: Senator Ben Stevens at (907) 269-0200

Most Alaskans remember exactly where they were the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. We will never forget our feelings of horror as we watched our national tragedy unfold, and our feelings of hope as we watched the heroic rescue efforts commence. Not surprisingly, the kindness and generosity displayed by Alaskans since that day has been overwhelming. Individuals and groups throughout the state continue to contribute to those directly affected by these unthinkable events.

Brownie Troop 915 at Kincaid Elementary School is one such group in the Sand Lake area whose members felt the need to contribute to the relief efforts in New York City. On Sept. 20, the girls put together a care package for the fire fighters on the rescue and recovery mission there. Each of the eight girls in the troop contributed an item of her choice to the box, ranging from Alaska meats, candies, and water, to rolls of Lifesavers, a pillow and masks, and a tiny guardian angel ornament. The girls included letters and pictures in which they expressed their sympathy and encouragement "all the way from Alaska."

There are countless stories similar to this one; stories of Alaskans lending a helping hand in this time of turmoil and uncertainty. Please take a moment to look at some of the ways are young friends and neighbors have contributed:

  • Eight-year-old Breanna Lango, her big sister Megan, and other Independence Park neighborhood kids and moms raised $500 selling lemonade and baked goods.
  • Chani Krueger, a Bowman Elementary School fifth-grader, and her sister Caitlin McSweeney, made red, white, and blue lapel ribbons and collected over $1,300.
  • Hundreds of Trailside Elementary students gathered on the school's sledding hill one morning to form a giant U.S. flag by holding colored paper above their heads. A photo of the student flag was used for relief effort fundraising.
  • Oceanview Elementary students raised over $3,500 from a handprint flag made of 647 handprints in red, white and blue. The Flag will be sent to New York.
  • Turnagain Elementary students raised over $4,000 in a "Run for Remembrance."
  • Students from Birchwood ABC K-8 and Stellar Secondary School held car washes to raise money.
  • Tudor Elementary School held a quarter drive and collected stuffed animals to send to children on the East Coast.
  • Whaley School students colored flags and wrote notes on them to mail to the New York City Fire Department.

I have never been as proud to be an Alaskan and an American as I am today. The efforts on behalf of our fallen brothers and sisters in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania are a testimony to the freedom and spirit that makes our nation what it is today - the greatest nation on earth.

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