Alaska’s new canteens are ready to roll
BY JENNI RAGLAND –
The Alaska Division is better prepared to respond to emergency disaster efforts and local community needs with the arrival of two new mobile kitchen units for the south central Alaska region.
A ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony was held recently to unveil the new canteens and thank Wells Fargo Alaska for their $125,000 donation to purchase one of the units. Richard Strutz, Alaska Region President of Wells Fargo Alaska, stated “Wells Fargo is proud to partner with The Salvation Army in bringing these canteens to Alaska. With Alaska’s unique geographic location, relative to the Lower 48 states, we need to have our own resources on hand to respond to community needs and these new canteens are a significant step in that process.”
As part of the Army’s appreciation and acknowledgement of their contribution, the canteen will visit Wells Fargo branches in south central Alaska, from Fairbanks to Homer. TOTE (Totem Ocean Trailer Express, Inc.) was also recognized for their contribution in shipping the canteens to Alaska at no charge.
Volunteers are also stepping forward to join the Army’s local disaster response team. Organized by Major Cal Prouty and Anchorage advisory board member Steve Cavin, a training program is underway. The volunteers will be dispatched with the canteens during community events to become familiar with the units should the need to deploy for disaster work arise.
“We don’t know of any other units like these in Alaska,” stated Major C. Joe Murray, divisional secretary and disaster coordinator for the division. In 1996, during the state’s largest wildfire, canteens from other divisions were barged to Alaska, some taking more than a week to arrive. Murray said, “We are excited about the opportunity to impact our community to an even greater degree with these new canteens.”