Long time Peninsula resident and teacher Jan Hanrahan is closer to a new van this week, because of a little help from her friends. "We raised a hunk of money and when the final count comes in, I think we'll be about half-way there," said Mike Sweeney, one of Jan's friends that helped organize the fund raising event last week. Approximately 300 people turned out for the oyster feed and auction last Saturday night at the Elks Lodge in Soldotna.
Long time friend John Davis gives Jan a hug as the bids start coming in at her fund raiser last week at the Elks Lodge in Soldotna.
Dan Mortenson, another friend that has known Jan for decades, said he learned of the effort from Mike Tauriainen who was talking with folks about what some of the local clubs might be able to do to help get Jan into a new vehicle that would accommodate her wheel chair. Hanrahan has been battling MS for over 20 years and her old vehicle was no longer able to meet her transportation needs. "She's a great lady, so I suggested we have a meeting and a bunch of guys like Norm Blakeley, Ed Krohn, Irv Carlisle and Fred Hammond showed up, and it just kept growing from there as people kept coming on board. It ended up being one of the most fun event's I've ever been involved with," said Mortenson.
According to Mike Sweeney, it turned into a real community event with folks like Jerry Near doing the gourmet barbeque ribs, Ed Krohn getting items donated for the auction, Norm Blakeley as Auctioneer, assisted by Jim Golden, Barb Elson and Phil Turkington, and the Young Marines helped out with the setup. "It always amazes me what this community can accomplish when a few friends get together to help somebody," said Blakeley.
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