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Articles written by dianne barske

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'Mother' of the Cordova Iceworm Festival recalls its roots, evolution

It's the 56th year for the Cordova Iceworm Festival, and for more than half of those years, Barbara Beedle chaired the festivities. Current chair of the annual event, Darrel Olsen, calls her "The...

 

Celebrating 125 years of service to Alaskan families, children

The New Year, 2015, represents a landmark year for one agency, AK Child & Family. "It's our quasquicentennial," states Denis McCarville, president and CEO. "How many organizations or businesses in...

 

An interview with a former Jesse Lee Home resident

Author and educator Dr. James Lewis Simpson was another of the early childhood residents of the Seward Jesse Lee Home. Now age 90 and living in Oregon, he shared some of his early stories in a phone...

 

Alaska enthusiasts flock to annual Christmas Bird Count

"There's a lot of senior volunteer power behind the annual Anchorage-area Christmas Bird Count." That testimonial to senior volunteerism comes from Louann Feldmann. She's education chair of the...

 

Veterans Week builds at Anchorage center

"People laugh at me," says Maria James, chairperson of the Senior Veterans Group at the Anchorage Senior Activity Center (ASAC). "I seem able to spot a veteran – often a cap with pins and medals is...

 

New Anchorage senior center manager feels right at home

"Where's my calculator?" Eyes popping in surprise, Rebecca Parker proclaims, "Yes. It's true. I have been in Anchorage for 41 years!" Becky and I have known each other for most of those 41 years. We'd...

 

Serving up a healthy lifestyle in Sitka

"This is the heart of Sitka for so many seniors." Anita VanDyck shared this with me as she was busy serving desserts, fresh fruit cups, to several tables at Swan Lake Senior Center for the Friday...

 

Friends and poles add to the fun

I followed along as Tim Chinn, fitness director at the Anchorage Senior Activity Center, glided ahead of me. "Try Nordic pole walking," my orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Stephen Tower, had advised,...

 
 By Dianne Barske    News    May 1, 2014

Changing lives through literacy

I sat there, transfixed by the diversity in the room. "Sad, sadder, saddest," Cindy Johnson said to the group. She wrote the three words on the board at the front of the classroom, then drew simple...

 

Always ready with more TLC

It's Tuesday morning, and Elise Patkotak is heading off to the Bird Treatment and Learning Center on King Street in Anchorage. She has volunteered for this early shift for 14 years. "I feel so...

 

Retirement didn't work for her

Thirty-two years of teaching seemed like a long stretch to Chris Walker. Time to try something new? She pulled the plug on her teaching career and looked forward to retirement. "I was happy. I...

 

Iditawalk becoming an annual fitness adventure in Chugiak

"I see a lot of seniors who have done something right. Many are fit and active into their 80s and 90s." Betty Burke shares this positive assessment when reflecting on her position as Health Outreach...

 
 By Dianne Barske    News    November 1, 2013

Tools for creating and for living

"Our objective is helping people to live as independently as they would like. Confidence is our goal." Lowell Zercher, Manual Skills Instructor for the Alaska Center for the Blind and Visually...

 
 By Dianne Barske    News    August 1, 2013

OLLI: Unique opportunities for lifelong learners

Who knew there is so much going on around us – in the air, under foot, even under the ground or under the sea? OLÉ! seeks to explore, to help adult learners keep on discovering and learning about...

 

Volunteers provide rides, smiles to disabled guests at Alaska Zoo

It was a caravan of carts, full of givers and receivers, and they were all having fun. The givers were a group of senior volunteers, members of AARP Sourdough Chapter 533. The receivers were people...

 

Strength in diversity

“Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.” – Kenyan proverb Cal Williams sat with a gathering of eight other people late on the afternoon of Thursday, March 14. He was a happy man. It was the day after the new pope had been named. “I believe Pope...

 

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