The Annual Christmas and Awards Party was held at the Elks Lodge in the Northway Mall on December 7th from 5 to 8 PM. A special thanks goes out to the Elks Lodge for graciously hosting this event! Forty individuals attended the event during which numerous awards were given. The Participant of the Year Award was bestowed upon Dale Aki and Rick Knight. During the past year, Dale participated in the National Bamboo Rod Building Trip where he polished his rod building skills and returned to share his skills and excitement with others. His enthusiasm and eagerness to share with others is contagious. Rick Knight also has wonderful enthusiasm and a desire to promote the program throughout the Wasilla area by meeting with local public and private personnel to arrange support for program casting and rod building sessions. In addition, he has opened his home and property for fishing events and has developed accommodations for individuals with limited mobility.
The Volunteer of the Year Award was given to Gary Eichhorn. Gary has been instrumental in organizing and staffing the tying clinic in Wasilla. Usually, he arrives two hours prior to the start time to arrange all materials and identify needed materials and he works closely with VA staff members who refer individuals to the program. He is a calm and dedicated tier who creates a stress free, fun filled environment that is enjoyed by all.
Eight volunteers received the PHWFF 2-Year Service pins and certificates including Bob Becktold, Cindi Crawford, Gary Eichhorn, Leslie Holland-Bartels, Charlie Hune, Duane McHenry, Bob Pawlowski & Josh Shearer. Francesca Popp-Wright was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for her volunteer efforts in photographing many PHWFF trips and events and for maintaining the PHWFF Alaska Facebook page.