WEEKEND HANGOUT – Gina Lusher, foreground right, and other Sitka Cirque aerialists rehearse Thursday night for this weekend’s show, Cirque Noir, at the 207 Smith Street studio. The show includes cage dancers, live music and champagne. Kids from first grade through high school will have a separate fundraiser showcase event Saturday afternoon from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Tickets for both shows are available online at sitkacirque.com. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

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Daily Sitka Sentinel

Trudy Prewitt Gets Chamber Cossack Cap

By Sentinel Staff

The Sitka Chamber of Commerce has named Trudy Prewitt winner of its highest annual award, the Cossack Cap.

Trudy Prewitt (Sentinel Photo)

The award was announced Saturday night at the Chamber’s annual gala at Centennial Hall. Prewitt is owner and operator of Island Bus Company, Prewitt Funeral Home and Sitka Tours.

Others honored by the Chamber were Spenard Builders Supply as Business of the Year; Mountain Brewing Co. and Campfire Kitchen, sharing the New Business of the Year award; and American Legion Post 13, Community Heroes.

Prewitt was unable to attend, but the banquet audience greeted the announcement of her award with loud applause. Chamber Executive Director Rachel Roy praised Prewitt for her compassion and community service in running the school buses, local tours and shuttle buses.

Contacted today, Prewitt said she was “stunned, appreciative and humbled by this honor. I thank whoever considered me.”

Prewitt has lived in Sitka since 1974, and is the second in her family to receive a Cossack Cap. Her late husband, Gene Prewitt, won the honor in 1976.

In her statement today Trudy Prewitt expressed her debt to Gene, who died in 2014, “for his example, leadership and wisdom. I have truly tried to, in some way, please him by carrying on Prewitt Enterprises in his same direction.... I feel I have been the beneficiary of all three very different businesses, and each is a blessing to me!”

In announcing the Business of the Year recipient, Chamber board member Tim Fulton reviewed the history of Spenard Builders Supply in Sitka: the statewide building supply company opened the Sitka branch in 1978, and through the years it has supported the Chamber and Sitka’s economic development by encouraging its staff to participate on nonprofit boards and to volunteer for community groups.

Adora Dumag, Spenard’s local contractor sales representative, accepted the award and thanked Sitkans for their patronage.

Chamber board member Holly Reeder presented the New Business award, saying it was actually for two new businesses: Harbor Mountain Brewing Company and Campfire Kitchen Pizza, which operate at a shared location at 1209 Sawmill Creek Road.

Zach Anderson, representing the brewery, and Lucas Bruckert, of Campfire Kitchen shared the podium to say thanks.

In announcing the American Legion Post 13 had won the Community Heroes award, Chamber board member Loren Olsen cited community services provided by the veterans organization: its school award program and scholarships; participating in veterans’ services at Sitka National Cemetery; joining Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp 1 in identifying and honoring five WWII Tlingit Code Talkers; and assuring that local veterans are recognized on Veterans Day for their service to their country.

Sitka American Legion Post was founded in 1920, and was instrumental in establishing the site of the oldest national cemetery west of the Mississippi. Olsen also noted that the local legion post was a sponsor of the contest to design of Alaska flag, now the state flag, and helped establish the Sitka Public Library 100 years ago.

Vince Winter, commander of American Legion Henry “Gene” Burton Sr. Memorial Post 13, thanked the Chamber for the award, noting that Waldo Mills, the first commander, “gave Post 13 life on June 4, 1920,” and that since then its members “have demonstrated ... the important principles of service to others and dedication to many important causes through their actions.”

Chris McGraw was recognized for his nine years of service on the Chamber board. Several Legion members and Peter Karras, president of Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp 1, went on  stage for the presentation.

Entertainment at the circus-themed gala was provided by Sitka Cirque aerialists, performing on the lyra, two giant hoops, that is the studio’s newly acquired stand-alone aerial apparatus.

Our Town Catering provided the dinner.


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At a Glance

(updated 9-12-2023)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 8:57 a.m. Tuesday, September 12.

New cases as of Tuesday: 278

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 301,513

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,485

Case Rate per 100,000 – 38.14

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

COVID in Sitka

The Sitka community level is now "Low.'' Case statistics are as of Tuesday.

Case Rate/100,000 – 152.50

Cases in last 7 days – 13

Cumulative Sitka cases – 3,575

Deceased (cumulative) – 10

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.






December 2003

The Sawmill Cove Industrial Park board of directors endorsed a final contract tuesday for the city to sell a minimum of 40 million gallons of reservoir water per year to an export company based in New York City. ... under the contract Quest would have the right to purchase up to 1 billion gallons of water per year at 1 cent per gallon



December 1973

 The City and Borough of Sitka conducted a community public opinion poll evaluating municipal services and facilities. ... The overall results gave this priority order: 1. roads and highways; 2. water and sewer; 3. downtown parking; 4. garbage collection and disposal; 5. hospital and medical facilities; 6. planning and zoning; 7. boat harbors.


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