SAIL turns Only Fools Run At Midnight fun run over to CoastAlaska and KCAW in Sitka


Only Fools Run at Midnight SitkaSoutheast Alaska Independent Living Inc. (SAIL), the organization behind the much-loved costumed fun run fundraiser, Only Fools Run at Midnight, is passing the reins to CoastAlaska Inc. public media.

SAIL has organized the race to run simultaneously in Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka for more than a decade. This year SAIL will help organize the 12th annual Only Fools Run At Midnight races with KTOO in Juneau, KCAW-Raven Radio in Sitka and KRBD in Ketchikan. Proceeds will be shared between the organizations during this transition year.

“It was a challenging decision for us. The race is so much fun and we love putting it on. Ultimately though, we decided that we wanted to focus our efforts and staff time on our mission: Inspiring personal independence for seniors and people with disabilities living in Southeast Alaska. We are excited to pass the torch to (CoastAlaska) public media and help with the transition this year,” said Joan O’Keefe, SAIL Executive Director.

SAIL is a Center for Independent Living and an Aging and Disability Resource Center serving people with disabilities of all ages and seniors throughout Southeast Alaska. SAIL has offices in Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka and Haines.

“We think this is a perfect fit for the public radio stations. The race will allow us to connect with our listeners and supporters through a fun and creative community event. We are thankful to the SAIL Board for choosing us and are looking forward to organizing the event,” said Mollie Kabler, Executive Director of CoastAlaska Inc.

“Raven Radio is happy to help sustain this healthy, creative community tradition!” said Ken Fate, Station Manager at KCAW-Raven Radio.

CoastAlaska supports and provides resources for public broadcasting organizations throughout the state. In Southeast, KCAW-Raven Radio, KTOO and KRBD are all members of the CoastAlaska family of stations.

The race will be held at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, June 13, in Juneau and Ketchikan, and at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, June 20, in Sitka. The Sitka race will start and finish at the Sitka Fire Hall, and there will be a five-kilometer (3.1-mile) fun run or one-mile walking course.

Registration materials are available at Old Harbor Books, First Bank, the SAIL office (514 Lake Street), and the KCAW-Raven Radio office in the Cable House. You also can pre-register online at the KCAW website, or by clicking this link (online pre-registration is the preferred method). Pre-registration ends on June 18, and day-of-race registration starts at 10:30 p.m. at the Sitka Fire Hall. The registration fee is $20 per person, and the first 100 to register receive a t-shirt. In addition to prizes for the fastest finishers, there will be prizes for the best costumes (including centipede costumes connecting five or more runners/walkers). Costume judging runs from 11-11:45 p.m.

For more information about the Sitka event, call the KCAW-Raven Radio main number at 747-5877 or email If you are interested in donating to support the event, please contact Justin Shoman at CoastAlaska in Juneau at 1-907-463-6422 or

If you would like more information about SAIL and the ORCA (Outdoor Recreation and Community Access) program, please contact Tristan Knutson-Lombardo in Juneau at 907-586-4920 or email at, or contact Dave Nuetzel or Bridget Kratz in the Sitka office at 747-6859.

• Sitka Only Fools Run At Midnight Registration Form 2015

Walk MS Sitka on May 30 will raise money for multiple sclerosis research and awareness

Walk MS Sitka Poster

Sitka will join the party when it hosts its first Walk MS event at 9:30 a.m. (registration at 9 a.m.) on Saturday, May 30, at Sawmill Cove Industrial Park. This is the 25th anniversary of Walk MS, a national series of walks to raise money for programs and services, research, treatment and awareness of multiple sclerosis.

Walk MS Sitka will feature a 1.5-mile walk along the new coastal multi-use path from Sawmill Cove Industrial Park to Whale Park. Transportation will be available to take people back to the walk’s start line, or people can walk back to Sawmill Cove Industrial Park.

“Many of us have friends or family who are affected by multiple sclerosis,” Walk MS Sitka local coordinator Patricia Atkinson said. “Walk MS is a national event, held in many cities around the country and in Alaska. A small group of people in Sitka decided to create a fun local opportunity to raise awareness and raise funds to support people living with MS here in Sitka. Walk MS uses the color orange as a theme, and people are encouraged to make costumes or just enjoy the beautiful walk along our Sitka shoreline.”

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. It is thought to be an immune-mediated disorder, in which the immune system incorrectly attacks healthy tissue in the central nervous system. MS can cause many symptoms, including blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, problems with memory and concentration, paralysis, and blindness, and more. These problems may come and go or persist and worsen over time. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, although individuals as young as 2 and as old as 75 have developed it.

To register online, go to, find the Ketchikan AK page (zip code 99901), and register as a team or an individual (please make sure you put Sitka in the team title when you register). People also can register onsite at the Sawmill Cove Industrial Park. If you can’t make the actual walk, you still can go online and pledge your financial support. All money raised in Alaska stays in Alaska.

“We started organizing too late to get our own page, so we have to use Ketchikan’s this year. Next year, we’ll have our own,” Atkinson said. “Rain or shine, show your support for people living with MS and join us!”

For more information, contact Patricia Atkinson in Sitka at (907) 317-0619 or contact National MS Society Community Engagement Manager Jessica Lavoie at (907) 331-0179 or You also can like the Walk MS Sitka page on Facebook to get updates.

• Multiple Sclerosis 101 (facts about MS)

• How your Fundraising Helps

• MS Research FY15

• MS Research FY15 – Local

SEARHC suicide prevention program hosts third annual Southeast ‘Walk for Life’ event Saturday, May 11, in Sitka

revised 2013 Walk for life flier Sitka

The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) suicide prevention program and “1 is 2 Many” regional suicide prevention task force will host its third annual Southeast “Walk for Life” event in Sitka at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 11. Participants will walk from the Crescent Harbor shelter to the Sheet’ká Kwáan Naa Kahídi to show their support for suicide prevention and awareness.

This is one of several similar walks that will take place throughout the region on Saturday, with other walks scheduled for the Southeast communities of Angoon, Coffman Cove, Craig, Haines, Hoonah, Hydaburg, Juneau, Kake, Kasaan, Ketchikan, Klawock, Klukwan, Metlakatla, Thorne Bay, Wrangell and Yakutat. In addition, there will be similar walks in other parts of the state, including the Northwest Arctic Borough, North Slope Borough, Bering Straits, Fairbanks and Bethel areas.

“The SEARHC Behavioral Health/Suicide Prevention Program is happy to sponsor this event,” program manager Wilbur Brown Jr. said. “We look forward to raising awareness about suicide and our prevention efforts such as the ‘1 is 2 Many’ regional suicide task force.”

Also, the 24/7 toll-free SEARHC Help Line (1-877-294-0074) is available for use by any Southeast Alaska resident who might need help working through a crisis. The SEARHC Help Line is staffed by a team of master’s-degree-level mental health therapists who will listen and provide effective, compassionate and confidential care. The SEARHC Help Line is offered as a free resource to complement the care provided at SEARHC Behavioral Health clinics throughout the region.

For more information about the Sitka “Walk for Life” event, contact Rena Wallace at 966-8755.