Top 12 to compete for over $25,000 in Caring for the Kenai cash awards

Posted: Wednesday, April 20, 2011

This year marks the 21st anniversary of the Caring for the Kenai (CFK) competition. On Thursday, April 21st fifteen Kenai Peninsula Borough High School students will take the stage at the KCHS Little Theatre to present their ideas on improving our environment or preparing for a natural disaster in this annual Earth Day competition. The finalists will be competing for over $7,000 in cash prizes plus $17,500 in cash grants to their high schools. The annual event is sponsored by Chevron and Tesoro and is part of the Kenai Watershed Forum's educational program. The Kenai River Sportfishing Association contributes a matching $5,000 grant toward the classroom awards, and this year the Kenai River Raven Lodge has given a $2,500 grant toward the classroom awards. "Chevron is a proud sponsor of the contest again this year and I have to say after being a proposal judge for many years that this year the ideas have progressed to an even higher level of accomplishment. As a parent I'm proud to see the level of effort put forth by the kids this year and some truly fresh and innovative ideas," said Roxanne Sinz, Chevron public relations manager.

The competition will be streamed live over the internet thanks to the Kenai Peninsula School District and Soldotna High School students. Friday night's link will be easily available by going to and clicking on the home page banner.

This year more than 400 students from high schools Borough wide, including Kenai, Nikiski, Soldotna, Ninilchik, Skyview, and Cook Inlet Academy submitted entries. Over 35 local businesses, organizations, and individuals selected entries from the 85 semi-finalist for recognition. April 2nd those entries were displayed for the public to review at Wal-Mart in Kenai.

The CFK community partnership offers cash awards to the best twelve proposals addressing the prompt; "What can I do, invent, or create to better care for the environment on the Kenai Peninsula, or to improve the area's preparedness for a natural disaster?" All judging is done anonymously with the student's name and school being revealed after the final oral presentations. This year's panel of judges includes Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor David Carey, KPBSD superintendent of schools Steve Atwater, John Zager Alaska general manager for Chevron, Soldotna mayor Peter Micciche, Monica English ADEC water management specialist, Richard Erkeneff, Kenai River Sportfishing Assoc. board president, Dr. Paula Martin, Kenai Peninsula College, and last year's CFK winner Olivia Pfeifer. The public is encouraged to attend the CFK oral presentations to experience personally the great ideas coming forward from our youth. The program begins at 6:00 pm.

The following day the KPC Sustainability Club presents the 3rd Annual Earth Day at KPC from 2:00pm - 9:00pm featuring speakers throughout the day such as Dr. Dawn Magness of the KNWR who will speak on how climate change may affect the Kenai Peninsula, Carrol Martin on agriculture in the classroom and many more. Caring for the Kenai winners will also be on hand to share their projects and experience along with an array of information booth with tips for environmental stewardship and self-sufficiency.

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