WIN Minutes 3-29-16

Nenana Wellness Coalition


March 29, 2016


The Nenana Wellness Coalition is an alliance of representatives from various organizations, government agencies, community groups and individuals that meets weekly to discuss, evaluate, coordinate, consolidate, celebrate, masticate and help implement plans for improving the wellness and quality of life in Nenana Alaska.


We had 10 participants today:  Jeannie Bennett, Harriet Borst, Bonnie Reed, Kat McElroy, Ed Herrgard, Rose Allen, Miles Martin,  Virginia Young, Laura Hokenson and Sue McCullough.

We enjoyed baked salmon with rice pilaf, pickled purple kim chee, cabbage/carrot/mango Cole slaw, Ritz crackers with sliced cheese and mixed raisins and pecans for lunch.


WELCOME and READING OF MISSION STATEMENT: By this week’s chairperson: Jeannie Bennett


SPIRITUAL MOMENT: was lead by Rose, with the Lord’s Prayer.


PRESENTATION OF AGENDA AND CALL FOR MODIFICATIONS: There was one item added to the agenda.

MINUTES: Minutes were posted at the WIN link at and submitted electronically to the WIN e-list.


INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS: WELCOME: By this week’s chairperson: Sue McCullough introduced herself to us. She is the Early College Coordinator for Effie Kokrine School up in Fairbanks and is the teacher leader for their Future Farmers of America projects.




Compost Bins: Sue said she and her students have been studying soil biology and nutrition. She is an avid organic gardener and composter. Sue has been in dialog with Mary Alexander regarding a project for her FFA students. She would like them to build compost bins for Nenana for use in the community and the school gardens. They will gather the materials and construct the compost bins. She envisions having the students do some teaching as well and would like to draw our students into the project. Ideally, it would become a community-wide composting project with all households collecting compost in five gallon buckets. Students could trade out the filled buckets for empty, transport the food scraps to the compost bins and help educate community members about the project.

Sue very much wants to get Agriculture education into the school’s curriculum by whatever means required. She told us about the upcoming FFA State Conference to be held in Palmer April 26-29. People interested in finding out more about this should go to the web site at and she encourages people to attend to learn more about how they can support agriculture in Alaska.

Nenana Food Pantry/Soup Kitchen: Kat and Rose have been working on this grant proposal and it is ready to submit. It would create a partnership between the city, the tribe, the food bank in Fairbanks and community members interested in helping create food security in Nenana. The activities would include obtaining food stuffs from the food bank through their agency shopping program which is held five days a week from 4-5 PM; the food would be transported to and stored in Nenana. Anyone referred to the Nenana Food Pantry could come to the pantry and make up food boxes for their family as needed. We would also assist participants in accessing other services they may qualify for: heating assistance, health insurance, medical or behavioral health services, etc. We would also prepare and serve one meal a week, with the goal of doing outreach to our target population, providing nutritious foods, educate people on shopping, storing, preserving and preparing food. These are activities we have been doing; the grant will allow us to make it a formal project. WIN is instrumental to the project as the genesis of ideas, core of volunteers and conduit to other segments of the community.

Nenana Health Fair: The Health Fair will be THIS Saturday, at the Civic Center. Blood Draws from 8 AM- Noon, exhibits 9 AM -1PM. Jeannie has the finished buttons and they turned out really nice. Set-up will be Friday afternoon, 5-5:30 PM for anyone wanting to put their exhibits in place early. People needing vouchers to get blood work should see Jeannie. We are pleased to celebrate our 10th annual Health Fair. Especial big thanks go to Jeannie for spearheading this painstaking process.

WELLNESS THOUGHT:  Alcohol and drugs are destroying us and we want to recover. Alcohol is a symptom…not the cause, drugs are a symptom…not the cause, domestic violence is a symptom…not the cause.  To “heal a community” we need to deal with the cause. Intergenerational trauma is the cause.                                                 White Bison


Harriett: Got a new bed, rocker recliner and microwave. 🙂

Virginia: Tomorrow evening, 6:30-ish, Virginia and Mary will be doing some seed starting with the students at the Nenana Student Living Center.

The Fairbanks Soil & Water Conservation will be holding their annual tree and shrub sale. Go to: to see their prices list and online order form.

Bonnie: March 31st, Thursday, is the Choose Respect March which will be kicked off at the school with a short talk by Kat McElroy followed by a rally and walk about town.

Friday the Close Up group will be selling pizza for a fundraiser.

April 2, of course, is the Health Fair. That night, Alumni Games will be conducted at the school with women playing at 6:30 and men at 8:00 PM. Be there!

April 7th there will be a free presentation of the award winning play Winter Bear, about the elder Sidney Huntington’s experience of suicide in his family, at 7PM. This will be preceded by $20.00 per plate steak dinner Annalee Coy has organized as a fundraiser for student activities.

May 5th will be the GVEA annual meeting.

Rose: It’s all about grants, grants, grants right now at RMHA.

Kat: David is busy building new pig huts for the three sows ready to have litters. It’s all about pigs, pigs pigs at Nenana Urban Farm.

April 16th is the Tae Kwan Doh tournament starting 9 AM.

Ed: The road down from Fairbanks was a little slick from fresh snow and foggy. He came down to attend services at Assembly of God Church. The church gave two new bikes away.

Miles: Book number six is out. He is learning a lot about post-publication marketing. He has the book in both print-on-demand paperback and Kindle format at Amazon.

Sue: Effie Kokrine School received an FFA Leadership award. She wants to use the money to build agricultural education in that school.


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