Alaska youth catch YouthQuake fever

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CAPTAINS JOHN AND Pam Brackenbury helped raise nearly $4,000 to send Alaska youth to YouthQuake 6.02. They prepared lunches at DHQ, cooked meals for advisory board members and prepared food at the women’s retreat and men’s fellowship camp.


BY JENNI RAGLAND – 

The young people of the Alaska Division have caught the much-anticipated “YouthQuake fever” and have been deliriously busy raising money to cover travel and lodging expenses for the event, which will cost close to $1,000 for each delegate traveling from Southeast Alaska. So far about $23,000 have been raised across the division, with more fundraisers planned.

Early last fall, Divisional Youth Leaders Captains John and Pam Brackenbury encouraged the corps to start raising money for the event. Leading the effort, they organized a “weekly lunch special” for the DHQ employees and officers, charging a mere $5 for a great lunch. Soon, they were cooking meals for Advisory Board and other meetings held at DHQ, and even tackled cooking during the Women’s Retreat and Men’s Fellowship Camp, both held at The Salvation Army Camp at King’s Lake. Their efforts, supported by the young people, have resulted in nearly $4,000 being raised.

Many of the fundraisers were very unique. The Sitka teens raised funds by collecting grocery store receipts from family and friends who shopped at the Lakeside Grocery Store. The store gives local non-profit organizations a 1% cash-back bonus for groceries purchased. Although this is an on-going project, the store is encouraging customers to support The Salvation Army young people with this fundraising effort. Selling Christmas trees in Ketchikan raised almost $4,000. Special coat racks and Easter craft items brought in nearly $1,300 in Hoonah. In Juneau, the teens had popcorn and hot chocolate when the Olympic torch and runners route passed in front of the corps building. Many responded with a donation for their efforts.

Of course, there were more traditional ways of raising money with the selling of candy bars and calendars, standing kettles, car washes and asking friends and relatives to sponsor the trip. The teens from the Anchorage Korean Corps raised $1,000 in one day by washing cars. In Sitka, they raised almost $800 selling chili dogs and washing cars one Saturday.

Overall, food seemed to be the best way to talk people into parting with a few dollars to support a worthy cause. In Juneau, close to $4,500 was made selling fry bread and deer stew, hosting a spaghetti dinner, an English tea, hot dog sale and numerous bake sales. In the community of Hoonah, population 875, Captain Londa Upshaw and her teens raised over $980 by hosting a Chinese take-out dinner. Another $1,100 was made at a halibut and chips dinner. The Petersburg teens raised over $2,800 by holding several bake sales, a pancake breakfast and selling fry bread at the Little Norway May Fest.

Captain John Brackenbury shares, “It is so exciting to see the accomplishments of our young people. They took what was a seemingly impossible task, raising money in small communities, and through their determination and resourcefulness, raised thousands of dollars.”

Fifty-two teens (112 with officers and chaperones) are registered to represent the Alaska Division at YouthQuake 6.02.

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