ASTAR Hands Over Proceeds From Fundraising Trek Across Alaska
(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – Event organizers presented the proceeds of the Alaska State Troopers Adventure Relay to the Wish Upon the North Star Foundation today and thanked the event sponsors who contributed to a wonderful second year of the fundraising relay. The 2011 ASTAR event not only raised $16,100, but awareness for the Wish Upon the North Star Foundation. Made up of volunteers, all donations to Wish Upon the North Star go to granting wishes for some of Alaska’s most vulnerable children with life threatening conditions. All of the Department of Public Safety is proud to be part of such a wonderful cause.
“Not only is it a morale builder for the troops, but we get to feel part of the community and give back to the community,” Department of Public Safety Commissioner Joseph Masters said after handing a giant check over to WUNS’ members of the Board of Directors.
The presentation today was not only to the sponsors, but to honor all the volunteers, donors and participants that made ASTAR a success. Major contributors this year were:
The Byrne Family
Matanuska Telephone Association in Palmer
Bearly Threaded Quilting in Cooper Landing
Dr. Cary Keller, M.D., P.C., Sports Medicine in Fairbanks
Doyon Universal Services in Anchorage
Mary Louise Molenda in Cooper Landing
Stellar Designs in Anchorage
Chugach Outdoor Center in Hope
Alaska Recreational Management in Cooper Landing
AmeriGas in Wasilla
Wal-Mart in Wasilla
Evangelo’s restaurant in Wasilla
The event took place June 13-17 with the goal to travelling once again from Fairbanks to Soldotna, a journey over 566 miles that took over 90 hours to complete. During which, 68 people from 17 different law enforcement and military organization raised these funds through donations from their family, friends, local businesses and community members. A special acknowledgment goes to Fairbanks Police Department and all of the team members for their dedication and support to the ASTAR event. This year Anchorage Police Department participated in a big way as well as members of US Army 6th Battalion, U.S. Probation office, Soldotna and Kotzebue Police Departments, State Parks Service, the U.S. Air Force Police and others. Also this year, AST Chaplains Boyd and Debra Waltman’s fifth-wheel was a regular presence at checkpoints, sometimes cooking breakfast for organizers and participators, including those who spent the night climbing over snowy passes on the leg over Powerline Pass.
On the organization side, a special thank you goes to Alaska Wildlife Trooper Ken Acton for master-minding the route and coordinating the equipment and supplies. Acton’s wife, Jeanne, also was a huge help along with Trish Greenstreet and Martha Tugmon, who designed and donated a beautiful quilt that was raffled. The quilt raffle raised over $2,600 alone. Other organizers were Capt. Barry Wilson and the rest of his “motley crew”: Lt. Mo Hughes; Sgt. Bryan Barlow; Sgt. Mike Zweifel; PIO Beth Ipsen; Cassandra Byrne; Dianna Darnell; and Mark Pearson and Terry Vrabec for the barbeque at the end of ASTAR in Soldotna.
Next year, ASTAR will change directions and head from south to north, and ending in Fairbanks. Plans are for mid-July 2012.
Photo caption: On right, DPS Commissioner Joseph Masters, AST Director Col. Keith Mallard, presents a check to the Wish Upon the North Star charity board of director members, from left to right, Reeni Calinoff, Rich Owens, Ken Odsather , Gay Odsather and Ron Rice.