Soldotna Community News

Posted: Monday, October 22, 2007

Annita Braun is only 14, and she's a serious car racer. She has been racing cars for the past five years starting with quarter midgets and now races a half-scale stock car, a Bandolero 600 racing car, for the past two years. She can reach up to 70 mph and said, "I love it! I like the speed and it's fun to be in a male-dominated sport and be a girl in it."

She watched her dad, Kurt Braun, race in the Fur Rhondy when she was 2, and couldn't wait until she could too!

"I was 9 when I started racing," Annita said.

She has been accepted to the Lyn St. James Driver Development program.

Her mother, Jerri, said, "I'm totally jazzed, she tried last year but was to young to be accepted. It's for girls ages 14 to 20. Her goal is to race in NASCAR some day. Mom and Dad would like to see her do the Indy!"

Former Indy driver Lyn St James formed a foundation to help women and men excel in motorsports and other fields and created the program Annita is going to. While she's there she will have the driver development program, which covers most aspects of professional motorsports from physical and mental preparation to working with the media and sponsors, as well as honing driving skills. The program only accepts 10 to 20 drivers per year out of more than 100 applicants from across the country.

"She's the only one from Alaska that we know of," said Jerri.

Annita said, "I'm really excited."

Learning marketing, how to get sponsors and marketing yourself are some of the things she is eager to learn about. Some of the graduates from the program include Danica Patrick and Sarah Fisher, current Indy drivers, as well as Erin Crocker from Craftsman Trucks and Busch series.

She'll start the first section in November with the physical and mental preparation. The second part is in March with media and sponsors and the third in June with driver training, probably at Bondurant Racing in Phoenix, Ariz.

"We are still working to peel Annita off the ceiling," said her proud Dad.

Good luck Annita.

Birthday wishes for Tia Earll on Oct. 22; Michael Lewis, 10, on Oct. 23; and Cyndi Romberg on Oct. 25.

You may want to wear a costume and join in some spooky fun at the annual Halloween Carnival hosted by the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church. It will be held Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. at 222 W. Redoubt. There will be bingo for quilts from 6 to 9 Friday. You can purchase barbecue pork sandwiches and the fixings. If you have more questions call 262- 7801.

Soldotna Community Schools will host "Croptober" for scrapbooking fans for a day of fun Oct. 27 at the Soldotna Sports Center. Breakfast and lunch will be included. Bring scrapbooking supplies. It's $30 to share and $40 for your own table.

Call Triana at 262-3151 to register.

Other Soldotna news

Brown joins the Army

Soldotna resident Jarod D. Brown joined the United States Army under the delayed entry program. The program gives young men and women the opportunity to delay entering active duty for up to one year. He reported to Fort Benning, Columbus, Ga., for advanced individual training in September.

He is the son of Mariah R. Brown and Ruben G. and Kelly K. Hanke of Big Eddy Road, Soldotna.

Brown is a 2000 graduate of Soldotna High School.

VFW holds scholarship contest

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Jerry V. Horn Post No. 10046 and the Ladies Auxiliary will sponsor the following scholarship opportunities:

* Voice of Democracy Students in grades nine through 12, including home-schooled students, have an opportunity to compete in the nationwide annual audio essay competition, win monetary awards at the local, state and national levels, as well as a trip to Washington, D.C. Students compete by writing and then recording a three-to-five minute audio essay on a standard cassette tape or CD expressing their views the theme "My Role in Honoring America's Veterans." State winners receive at least $1,000 national scholarship in addition to the other awards given at the preliminary levels of competition.

* Patriot's Pen Essay Competition Students in sixth- through eight-grade including home-schooled students have the opportunity to earn monetary awards, U.S. Savings Bonds and a trip to the VFW and Ladies Auxiliary Community Service Conference in Washington, D.C., in March. Students should write and submitting an original 300 to 400 word essay on the theme "Why I Am An American Patriot."

Interested students and teachers should contact the school counselors, call the Voice of Democracy Chairman Dave Carey, at 262-9107, 260-6413 or visit the VFW Web site at for entry forms and more information.

Entries must be submitted directly to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Jerry V. Horn Post No. 10046, 134 N. Birch St., Soldotna, no later than Nov. 1 for both programs.

Reading council seeks members

The Kenai Peninsula Reading Council is seeking community members interested in promoting literacy in the community through a variety of activities.

The group is in the process of planned a reading carnival. For information, e-mail Monica Heath at or call 283-5015.

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