• Easter Group to auction off painted boots to raise money for the homeless during the Sept. 15 Sitka Farmers Market

The Easter Group will raise money for Sitka’s Project Homeless Connect event when it auctions off several pairs of painted rubber boots during the final Sitka Farmers Market of the season, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall (235 Katlian St.).

The white rubber boots were a donation from Sitka Sound Seafoods, which found them inadequate for its slippery floors. According to Dorrie Ferrell, the unpainted boots were available to Sitka’s homeless residents during the Project Homeless Connect event in January, but only a couple of of pairs were taken. So the boots were given to local artists to paint, and now they will be auctioned off to help raise money for future Project Homeless Connect projects.

The boots will be on display at Kettleson Memorial Library from Sept. 1-14, when they will be moved to a booth at the Sept. 15 Sitka Farmers Market for the auction. The auctioneer will be Brock Bauder. In addition to Project Homeless Connect and other projects to combat homelessness in Sitka, Easter Group also supports the local Blessings in a Backpack program, which sends food home on the weekend with school children whose families need food assistance. For more information, contact Easter Group at info@eastergroup.org.

And don’t forget the Running of the Boots fundraiser for the Sitka Local Foods Network is on Saturday, Sept. 29, at Crescent Harbor shelter, which is a perfect time to wear your newly purchased painted rubber boots. Registration opens and the Sitka Blues Band starts playing at 10 a.m., costume judging is at 10:30 a.m., and the fun run is at 11 a.m.

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• Fish to Schools program to serve fish lunches at two schools twice a month

The Fish to Schools program will kick off this year’s schedule of serving fish lunches at school on Wednesday, Sept. 14.

Local fish lunches will be served every second and fourth Wednesday of the month at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary and Blatchley Middle School as a hot lunch option. This is a Sitka Health Summit project that got started last year with once-a-month fish meals at Blatchley, so this is a major expansion of the program. The goal is to get more wild, local fish into school lunches.

These fresh and tasty meals will be prepared with locally caught fish donated by Seafood Producers Cooperative and Sitka Sound Seafoods. Encourage your children to eat healthy and choose fish for lunch. It’s yummy and good for you.

Sitka Conservation Society Community Sustainability Organizer Tracy Gagnon was interviewed about the program on Aug. 22 on KCAW-Raven Radio, and you can listen to the interview at this link. For more information about the project, contact Tracy at 747-7509 or tracy@sitkawild.org.