Happy Ted Stevens Day Alaska…

In an e-mail to the Dispatch U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski wrote, “Happy Ted Stevens Day, Alaska! Theodore Fulton Stevens was the Alaskan of the 20th Century and a tireless advocate for the 49th state. He was committed to our people, our economy and all that we contribute for America – from national security to energy independence to our bountiful fisheries. 

Today, though, is about Senator Stevens’ deeply held belief in physical fitness. It’s appropriate that as we wake up from Friday night’s Olympic Opening Ceremonies – a cause that Senator Stevens was involved with – we take up activities that require a little sweat, a little effort, and maybe catching our breath afterwards. Whether you decide to walk, run, hike, climb, fish, bike or just play outside, I encourage you all to give a personal salute to the Alaskan of the 20th Century. We lost Uncle Ted nearly two years ago, but there is no statute of limitations on paying our respect to a man who meant so much to our state and made it what it is today. So today, for Senator Stevens and the entire Stevens family: Let’s get out and play!”

In cooperation with Progress Days in Soldotna Senator Stevens Day will feature a Concert in the Park at Soldotna Creek Park starting at noon following the parade down Binkley Street. “We’ll be celebrating Senator Steven’s dedication to public service, children, education, and his devotion to the Kenai River. There’ll be live music all day, family activities, and various booths including raffles, food and beverage,” said January Yaeger, event coordinator for the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce. Additionally the Kenai River Sportfishing Assoc. (KRSA) has partnered with the Peninsula Food Bank to make their traditional Hooked on Fishing rod give-a-way an “Uncle Ted’s Catch, Clean, and Cook,” event for kids 6-16 years of age. “Senator Steven’s got great pleasure presenting rods and reels to the kids in the Hooked on Fishing program so we felt what a better way to honor Ted’s contributions through the years then to provide rods and reels for kids in our Hooked on Fishing program on Ted Stevens Day and to enhance our efforts to get kids their own fishing equipment we decided to expand our focus and include an educational component. So this year kids can earn their rod and reel by attending an educational activity that will include proper use of the equipment to catch a fish, clean, and cook it,” explained Dave Lowry, creator of the Hooked on Fishing program for KRSA. The class will begin at 1:00pm and the rod give-a-way will commence at 2:00pm for those who complete the course component. “The Catch, Cook, & Clean event is also in partnership with Senator Lisa Murkowski’s office, the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce, the ADEC, and Cooperative Extension Office, are all cooperating to teach individuals how to catch and then properly process and finally how to cook what you’ve caught,” added Linda Swarner of the Food Bank. 

In looking forward to Ted Stevens Day July 28th, Peggy Arness who worked for the Senator in the Peninsula’s Congressional Delegation Office for 15 years says Senator Stevens was “One of Kind! I had three bosses Don Young, Frank Murkowski, and Ted Stevens and that was challenging they were all different but of equal positions, but Ted was one of a kind. I loved going with him to visit his constituents, he always listened and truly wanted to support the people and their needs. He always remembered people and would ask me how they were doing by name, he had a phenomenal memory and you could tell that people respected him for that and it’s his dedication to Alaska and our people that I’ll be remembering on Ted Stevens Day.”