Army of volunteers turns out for AWG orientation

Posted: Tuesday, February 28, 2006


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  Borrowing Grandpas credit card to stock up on AWG memorabilia during volunteer orientation day at KCHS

AWG general manager Tim Dillon presents Lt. Governor Loren Leman with an AWG mini-cauldron at volunteer orientation day at KCHS

With 2,700 volunteers from Seward to Homer registered to be assigned to a wide variety of tasks for the 2006 Arctic Winter Games to be held on the Kenai Peninsula AWG officials anticipated around 800 of those would turn out for the orientation Saturday at Kenai Central High School. AWG volunteer manager Kathy Moore was excited when an estimated 1,800 turned out for their training and pick up their official AWG volunteer gear. “It was incredible, a real tribute to this community and our ability to host this world class event,” said Moore.


Some 1,800 volunteers stood in line for their gear and assignments at KCHS.

Lt. Governor Loren Leman, who was born and raised in Ninilchik, attended the event and expressed his amazement, “I have never seen the KCHS parking lot as crowded as it is today, it is very exciting to see this turn out and the community spirit from all over the Peninsula come to support the Games and dedicated their vacation time to assist the event wherever needed. I think people feel the excitement of the Olympics and know that this is our opportunity to host the northern world and showcase our community. I’m excited for what the people of the Peninsula are about to experience and for the benefits that will remain for years to come,” said Leman.


Some 1,800 volunteers stood in line for their gear and assignments at KCHS

The enthusiasm was infectious as the older generation willing turned over their credit card so an excited granddaughter could stock up on AWG trading goods, and young adults shared plans to attend their favorite cultural event. Kenai Peninsula College will host the musical group, Pamyua, as a Showcase event in celebration of the Arctic Winter Games. The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m., Saturday March 4 in the Ward Building. This is the group’s first performance on the Peninsula. At the 45th Annual Grammy Awards in March of 2003 the group was chosen to represent Native American music while their third album, “Caught in the Act,” won Record of the Year at the 2003 Native American Music Awards.


Borrowing Grandpas credit card to stock up on AWG memorabilia during volunteer orientation day at KCHS

Pamyua, which means “encore” in Yup’ik, creates music that is a mix of Inuit and African rhythms. The group was founded in Alaska 10 years ago by brothers Stephen and Phillip Blanchett, who are of Yup’ik Inuit and African American decent, as a way to share the stories of their ancient cultures. Together with Ossie Kairaiuak, an Alaska Native who grew up in Chefornak performing in a traditional Native dance troupe, the group formed as a trio. Kararina Moller, a Greenlandic Inuit singer, joined the group in 1996. The quartet has since performed across the United States and in Europe, Asia and South America as ambassadors of modern Yup’ik culture.

Their latest CD, “Drums of the North,” was released in 2005. Tickets for the event are available at KPC books, River City Books and the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center for $17 general admission, $15 for students, staff, senior citizens, and $7.50 for children under 12 years. For more information about the concert, call Dave Atcheson at 262-0346 or e-mail, at

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