Cooper Landing

Posted: Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Everyone is invited to attend the Christmas potluck Saturday night beginning at 6 at the community hall.

This is a family night sponsored by the Cooper Landing activity divas.

Bill and Mary Fort donated a 6-foot-tall lighted Christmas tree for the museum open house, which brightened the north end of Jack Lean's old cabin. Ladonna Herbert, Ron Gravenhorst, Mary Fort, Jan Mitchell, Carla Britton and Tom Knock turned up for cleaning and decorating and then came back to host visitors Dec. 3 and 4. Jim and Pinkie Richardson, Marilyn Gravenhorst and I helped, too. Phil Weber, Kay Windous, Helen Gwin, Alma Fowler, Brearley Wilson and Linda Gephardt won the door prizes.

It looks like about $800 was made to help support the museum after expenses and commissions — just in time for the nearly $300 fuel delivery two days later.

Santa and Mrs. Claus (Phil and J.B. Weber) helped quash "The Reindeer Rebellion" at Cooper Landing Elementary School on Dec. 7. The play was performed by students and volunteers, with special thanks going to Tom McReynolds for help with set decorations, Rebecca Yoder for lighting and Steve and Alice Daly for the Christmas tree.

Elves and reindeer performers were Dustin Fair, Joy Bartlett, Meghan Day, Jessie Stewart, Fran Daly, D.J. Fair, Maggie Daly, Hannah Norris, Wyatt Bartlett and Shelbe Holben.

Deb Carlson asked Jordan Leaders to draw for the community Christmas card album and teacher Joyce Koppert was the winner. I forget how many smiles Deb said were in the book, but a good part of the local population is pictured.

Thanks to Michelle Stewart and Phil Weber for the following information about the Cooper Landing Volunteer Ambulance squad. Michelle recently was elected president of the group and wants to thank all of the volunteers.

The Cooper Landing Ambulance is staffed by volunteers from the community. Many times these heroic people are taken away from family gatherings, meals and other activities to come to the aid of someone in a car accident or to help a person who has a medical problem.

The volunteers are Michelle Stewart, Jack Harris, Carrie Williams, Kerry Marshall, Grace Reger, Cheryle James, Rhonda Newman, Shannon Bauer, Heidi Thrasher, Gaelyn Alexander and Kendall Thomas.

In recognition for their efforts, each member was presented with an early Christmas present of high quality Littman stethoscopes. Taking the blood pressure or accomplishing other internal diagnosis of a patient in the back of the ambulance is difficult due to road and background noise. These new stethoscopes will allow all the volunteers to do a better job while tending a patient.

Congratulations to Cooper Landing honor roll students at Skyview High School: Emma Westerman, Casilyn Dreifuerst, Sasha Forbes, Erick Romig, Travis Gephardt, Matthew Smith and Kelsey Skolnick.

My daughter-in-law and grandchildren — Kim, Kemarrae and Koebryn Mlynarik — are visiting from Bethel and were invited by Cooper Landing School to go to Operation Santa Claus in Moose Pass on Friday. I was glad to be the chauffeur and be part of what turned out to be a full day. With students, teachers, preschoolers with parents and chaperones from Hope, Cooper Landing and Moose Pass schools and special guests, about 100 people filled the Moose Pass School gym.

Mark Norgren, who is principal of all three schools, was the master of ceremonies. Maj. Mike Haller and Master Sgt. Ken Denny from the Alaska National Guard Camp Denali in Anchorage were in charge of carrying on the Guard's 48-year tradition of bringing holiday cheer to Alaska communities. Maj. Haller is in his 18th year of volunteering for Operation Santa Claus.

Many businesses donate gifts for the kids with the Tidal Wave bookstore donating 7,000 books a year. Santa and Mrs. Claus came in to talk to the children and give them each a wrapped gift and candy treats. The children chose their books from a table full of choices. In some communities, the Guard also brings donated clothing, school supplies, food and even water.

A lunch with fried chicken and mashed potatoes was served to all at tables decorated with candy houses. The Moose Pass children ended the day's activities singing to the Maj. Haller, Sgt. Denny, Principal Norgren, Kenai Peninsula School Board member Sandra Wassilie and others. Denny will head for a tour of duty in Afghanistan as a public affairs specialist sometime after the first of the year. Kim, Kemarrae and Koebryn vowed to keep him in their prayers.

Mona Painter can be reached by phone at 595-1248 or by email at

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