OPENING SPLASH – Chaix Mooney shoots out of the water slide at the Mt. Edgecumbe Aquatic Facility Wednesday night. The pool was officially opened to the public Wednesday with an open swim. Scheduled public openings are lap swims on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8 a.m.; and open swims 5-8 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The pool has an eight-yard lap pool attached to a walk-in therapy area and diving well. Other features include a climbing wall, dual diving boards and a water slide. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)
at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Local Foods Network In Running for Grant


The Sitka Local Foods Network  has been selected as the Alaska representative in the fifth annual “50 States for Good” contest.
    The contest, sponsored by Tom’s of Maine, allows one representative nonprofit organization from each state and the District of Columbia to compete for a chance to win $10,000. Tom’s of Maine, a manufacturer of toiletries and toothpaste, is making 15 awards of $10,000 from a total of $150,000 in grants.
    Winners are chosen by an online vote, with instructions for voting available at
    People can vote once per day for one nonprofit finalist until the close  Tuesday, Oct. 15. A free Facebook account is required for voting, and people who don’t already have an account can go to to create one.
    A news release from the Sitka Local Foods Network said “50 States for Good” was created to help uncover local nonprofit groups that address a variety of community needs and engage volunteers to get the work done.
The Sitka Local Foods Network created the Sitka Farmers Market, which sells produce grown at the organization’s St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden and from family backyard gardens. It is also trying to build the Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center, which will be a commercial greenhouse providing local produce and bedding plants for residents, and an education center teaching local students about gardening.             The organization also sponsors the “Let’s Grow Sitka” garden exhibition in March and brings nationally known speakers to town to teach about gardening, seeds and greenhouses.
“We are honored to be chosen to represent Alaska in the 50 States for Good competition,” said Lisa Sadleir-Hart, president of the Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors. “If we are successful, we hope to further food production in Sitka using a host of strategies, such as creating an additional community garden, offering seed money to the community greenhouse and education center working group, or helping the school district jump start a school-based garden program. An award of $10,000 from Tom’s of Maine can really help Sitka make strides in improving its local food system.”
The 51 finalists in the national contest were selected from a pool of about 1,100 nominations by an independent panel of judges that included Huffington Post columnist Lisa M. Dietlin; Cool People Care president Sam Davidson; Matt Petronzio, assistant features editor covering social good for, and Ian Somerhalder, star of “The Vampire Diaries.”
“A desire to do more for a favorite can often be hindered by a lack of time to volunteer or the financial means to make a donation,” said Susan Dewhirst, goodness programs manager at Tom’s of Maine. “The 50 States for Good program makes it easy for anyone to have an impact and directly help organizations that are bringing goodness to communities in a variety of creative and inspiring ways.”
Tom’s of Maine says that for several decades it has donated 10 percent of its profits to community betterment and encourages its employees to use 5 percent (12 days) of their paid time off to volunteer every year.
 Information about The Sitka Local Foods Network can be found at or on its Facebook page at

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