Posts Tagged ‘people’

“Across the country, people are recognizing that cooperatives are trustworthy, responsive and major assets to their communities. What makes co-ops different from other, investor-controlled businesses is the people who own it. Shoppers who depend on a store to meet their needs are the owners and investors in co-ops.

Instead of maximizing stockholder returns, the co-op will strive to serve the members, customers, local producers, store employees and the community at large–keeping the business balanced and sustainable. Your loan is an essential part of the capital that will create this strong, independent grocery store. It is an investment in quality food, meaningful jobs, and community education. Please consider a loan now. The co-op needs you, and you need the co-op!”

Stuart Reid
Executive Director, Food Co-op Initiative


“I envision  Fairbanks Community Cooperative Market as one venue that can help with food security by providing a reliable local outlet for many smaller producers.  We can still buy the more exotic foods from far away, but we can buy a lot more of the basics much closer to home.”

Tom Paragi – see full article here


“After considerable rumination can only agree that the cooperative is of vital importance to us, and indeed people everywhere should be engaged in a similar effort. Having read Slow Money by Woody Tasch and also Ultrametabolism by Mark Hyman I am seeing the world quite differently.

As a child I had polio and over recent years my mobility has been declining, severely. I learned of the possibility that this may not simply be an effect of the polio when reading Ultrametabolism. Toxins and allergies can cause joint inflammation. This seemed unlikely however I started on an organic diet, no sugars of any kind, no engineered foods, and pretty much nothing out of a box. In just two weeks my mobility has recovered to the way it was 10 years ago and I am both ecstatic about this and suddenly an evangelical community focused whole foods advocate.

It makes my toes curl, now that they can curl again, to see a child munching on their corn fructose and trans fat made thousands of miles away mass produced concoctions, their parents totally ignorant of the multifaceted consequences.

Thank you. Power to the Coop!”

Paul Morgan


“The availability of diverse and safe food is a vastly under-rated luxury of our modern life.  Having it readily available when we want it, in great diversity, and affordably, is a treasure which too many take for granted.  A Cooperative grocery could improve and localize our food supply, and for that and many other reasons,

I am a board member of the Co-op Market effort, and a willing lender, and here’s why:

An established food Cooperative, stressing local production of healthy vegetables, fruits, meats, and seafoods, is not only a huge asset, it is a wonderful insurance policy for all our friends and neighbors. We now import a vast majority of our food. This is insecure, lowers its quality, and makes us less self-sufficient. All of us would be healthier, more food-secure, and the community more resilient if we develop increased production of local foods. I have committed $5000 to a board member portion of the financial nest egg we want to use to build the Co-op.  This can and likely will be one of the most important community actions we can take for our future.

Won’t you join me in a community effort to build a food source and market we can be proud of?”

Rich Seifert

Board member and finance committee co-chair.


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Last June we started a series of meetings of the Communications/Outreach committee. At the time we had only $6,000 in the bank and now thanks to this effort, today, we have over $90,000 in membership equity dollars.

Those meetings launched an outreach effort that included two large events, last year’s first annual Harvest Fair and the 2nd annual Dessert Auction. The challenge put forth the to the Outreach committee was to raise membership equity dollars and to raise the funds necessary to pay for the outreach promotion expenses and our monthly office expense.

In September of 2009 we qualified to receive volunteer service through the Americorp VISTA program, an office was set up and Evan Daigneault began a year of service to Fairbanks Community Cooperative Market which we also call, Co-op Market. Evan led outreach efforts with our Partners in Business program. Now over 50 businesses have joined us in these efforts and many businesses have memberships in Co-op Market.

The biggest challenge has been raising the money to fund our outreach efforts. In October we started a Breakfast to raise funds the old fashioned way. Good food. Good conversation. Sometimes good music and good folks. Four breakfasts were held over the winter and over $4000 was raised.

In November we raised another $7000 at the second annual dessert auction. You may have also seen us at outreach booths at the Winter Show, a Women’s affair, the midnight Sun Festival, Golden Days and the fair. We also had a presence at numerous other events around town. Those events paid for themselves and gave yet another opportunity to build our membership base.

We would not be at this point were it not for the help of an army of “enthusiastic volunteers”. Some people have given us the generous “in-kind” donation of their valuable time and skills that have saved us thousands of dollars.

A few deserve mention here for going above and beyond the call of duty to help with this amazing effort. Sue Sprinkle, of 5th Ave. Design, has given us an enormous gift of an amazing logo, print advertisements, a brochure and a beautiful member letter. I extend my immense gratitude for this magnificent undertaking.

In January, two new members joined our ranks ready to share their considerable talent. Johanna Carson is responsible for the beautiful breakfast flyers you will see posted at our Member Loan table and for the advertisements for today’s event.

Paul Delys created a new look for our website and continues to assist us in improving and streamlining the site. My thanks to both of them for their considerable efforts on this project.

Helen and Mike McClean and Tom and Barbara Bradley have been our breakfast team. At each breakfast they arrived promptly at 8 am and within an hour a delicious breakfast of freshly ground whole wheat pancakes, potatoes and reindeer sausage appeared. To Helen, Mike, Tom and Barb thanks for all you have done to help us come this far.

There are other people to thank for the many tasks and they include Richard Seifert and Hans Geier for their unfailing efforts with the finance committee, Evan Daigneault for his work on the Sprout Fund and Member Loan campaign materials, Shaun Lott for her continued enthusiastic efforts, not the least of was to put together the wonderful event we have enjoyed today. Cora Kelley and Morgan Macchione for their work on the second annual dessert auction and Morgan for giving us the idea of the breakfast series. Sharon Alden for leading the charge with the Health and Wellness Committee and Leila Ryterski for always being ready to jump in and do stuff. Gary Toth for once again being the “sound” man and Jose Luis Martinez for hosting this afternoon Andrew Crow of University of Alaska Anchorage deserves special thanks for finding available funds for the upcoming trip to Fairbanks of a professional grocery store planner.

Finally, I especially want to thank our chairman, Robert Leach, for his compassionate leadership, his thoughtfulness and steadfast efforts on this journey. Robert has contributed countless hours to special projects such as the two beautiful fair booths. Mostly, he has been a tireless advocate for consensus building and problem solving and has helped us to get along well with his unfailing positive attitude. Thank you Rob.

There are numerous other volunteers who help out. I can’t list them here but you will find their names posted at the door. If I left anyone out please feel free to place your name there.

Here is how you can help! Attend our fundraisers. The next one is the 3nd annual Dessert Auction that will be held on November 20, 2010 at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge. Pat Fitzgerald and Robin Dale Ford will be the featured entertainment.

You can also join our efforts today by helping out with our, Each One Bring One Campaign. And we will reward you. When you bring one more person who becomes a member of Co-op Market You can activate the $7 gift certificate we passed out today. It is good anywhere you see our Co-op Market Mini Store. If all of us bring one more member we will have a community grocery store in no time.

Thank you for your time today.

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907Britt-Alaskan Songwriter

Meet our featured Harvest Fair entertainer. 907Britt will play at 12:30pm and again at 4:30 pm.

“Alaskan songwriter 907Britt speaks to and from the heart through music, to entertain and inspire for all ages.”

Britt has a great website where you can hear her play. Check it out at http://907britt.wordpress.com/

26 year-old Alaska singer-songwriter Britt K. Arnesen jokes she is “old enough to know better but young enough to do it anyway” so self-employment as an artist suits her well. Britt’s portable recording studio called 907Alaska is currently set up outside Fairbanks, where Britt earned a B.S. in Biology from the University of Alaska in December 2o02.

907 is the sole telephone area code for Alaska, where Britt was born and raised and is still loathe to leave, despite her love for sharing her music in far-flung places. Everything 907Britt owns fits in the Toyota stationwagon, most of which seems to be taken up by 6 year-old Canyon’s Lego collection and the assortment of instruments and gear that allows Britt to produce her original music and share it with us. In recent years she has been traveling in Washington and Montana to share her music.

Britt and CanyonOn a personal note, Britt enjoys beaches, playing guitar, picking berries, and being outside in beautiful Alaska places on long summer nights. If you want to connect with 907Britt, please drop a line! You can leave a comment on the website, or sign up on your favorite social networking service.

And no, Britt still doesn’t have a straight answer about whether she is from Juneau, Fairbanks, Anchorage, or all three.

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Caleb was born in a little bitty town in Northwest Washington called Mt. Vernon. Growing up in the country was fun and taught him such valuable lessons as: always wait until the fruit is ripe, the fruit at the top is for the birds, and…well many more lessons about fruit, and gathered foods learned the hard way.

At the super-self conscious age of 12 he moved to sunny California, where he received his first and only sunburn (ouch!). Not too long thereafter, he began what has been an unending relationship with activism and community service.

At the age of 17, community service agreed to share Caleb with college, and to help him become the first in his family to successfully navigate a college degree – service even agreed to help him do so debt free! In the past few years Caleb (and service) have moved from California back to Washington for his first year with AmeriCorps, mentoring and tutoring high school students; then the two moved back to California for another AmeriCorps term tutoring elementary students. Caleb is now preparing for his longest move – more than 3000 miles to Fairbanks.

When not getting things done for America you can usually find Caleb at the gym, in the kitchen, or wrapped up in music and philosophy, for fun! In addition to exciting task of helping launch the Coop Market, Caleb is excited to babysit his (soon-to-be) newest cousin, and to learn the Tanana language and traditional art from his Uncle Pat.

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Board Member Candidates – 2010

This year’s board member candidates for four board seats are:

Colin Craven – Colin currently works as the director of the product testing lab for the Cold Climate Housing Research Center.

Hans Geier – Hans has been an economist with the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He has been involved in cooperative education since 1996.

Sandra Lee Trumbower – Sandra currently lives in Anderson, Alaska, and teaches special education there and in Cantwell.

Catherine (Cat) Whitney – Cat started farming off of Chena Hot Springs Road this year with the non profit organization she has founded known as Turning Light Farm.

Miriam Woody – Miriam works to home school her children, raises animals on a small farm and volunteers in the community.

For more information about all of the board candidates please go to www.FairbanksCoop.org and click on the tab that says 2010 letter. You can read the full biographies in our member letter.

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Dessert Auction Applause

This is an interactive post.  Please feel free to comment and add to this applause list or email cjfriar@riseup.net to add your thanks to this post.

This event has been in the works for months. Many hands worked tirelessly behind the scenes to help in the effort to raise funds to open our food co-op.

It began with a committee and a chair. Thanks first need to go to Helen McClean for her talented management of the event and constant good cheer. Cora Kelley assisted with auction logistics, Sharon Alden made sure we had many delicious desserts and Morgan Macchione handled the cashier/donation table along with Barb Bradley.

Meanwhile, Sue Sprinkle, created breathtaking graphics for our advertisements, Barb and Tom Bradley handled all of our fundraising items, Shaun Lott helped distribute flyers and wrote thank you letters and Evan Daigneault coordinated the volunteers for the membership tables.

A new and prolific behind the scenes committee member, Christopher Friar, assisted with the Facebook page, blog advertisements and created advertisements in other social media. Rob Leach and Hans Geier lent critical support at the auction. Countless members helped out at the auction or created awesome desserts for us. Special thanks go to the ReJoySing Choir for providing entertainment at opening and to Jersey Jones for his auctioneering expertise.

Thanks to DeVonne Koppenberg for taking such great photos at the Dessert Auction.

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Harvest Fair Thank Yous

It took many hands to make our Harvest Fair the wonderful community event that it was.

First I would like to thank those who entertained us!

Enormous thanks to Steve Brown and the Bailers, Laura Vines, Barney McClure and “Musical Rumours”, Felix Bambury Webbe and “Project Cuba Alaska”, Susan Chapa and Lara Lotz with “Tundra Caravan”, Jean McDermott, and Krista Katalenich. You made the afternoon a real delight. And to Amy Angaiak, you stole the show and we thank you for keeping the kids entertained.

Then there was the kitchen crew! Sue Sprinkle and Sharon Alden led the charge to make the lovely table runners and cloth napkins. You will see these at many coming events as we build and develop our food co-op. Helen McClean and Cora Kelley rounded up the team that made sure food was on the table.

Thanks also go to those who helped at the membership table, you are too many to name (but watch the applause section of the newspaper.)

Rob Leach not only designed our fundraising booth but he also put it together and took it apart  at the end of the day. Plus, a team of people helped with that. Thank you all.

Many vendors displayed their wares and made our fair more colorful and interesting. Huge thanks to Morgan Macchione and Leila Ryterski for finding such great vendors!

Reply with a comment and contribute to our Applause Blog!

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