Longtime Homer resident, Mr. Frank J. Vondersaar, 63, died Friday, Sept. 12, 2014, at Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage.
Visitation was held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept.18, 2014, at the Homer Funeral Home on Diamond Ridge Road. Funeral Services were at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Homer. Frank was buried following the services at the Hickerson Cemetery on Diamond Ridge Road. A potluck followed the services at the Salvation Army Church on the Sterling Highwa.
Tall, lanky and almost always smiling, Frank Vondersaar could be seen volunteering for nonprofits from the Salvation Army to the Pratt Museum. When campaign season rolled around, the name of Vondersaar, a tireless Alaska Democratic Party member, frequently could be seen on the ballot. Most recently a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for U.S. Congress, Vondersaar ran against Forrest Dunbar, who won the nomination.
With the fireweed blossoms long gone and leaves turning yellow, it’s time to think about what’s around the corner: winter.
With that in mind, the Salvation Army is holding a coat give-away for area youngsters at the Salvation Army’s Sterling Highway location from noon-2 p.m. Saturday.
“We have tons and tons of coats that came from Fred Meyer’s,” said Lt. Christin Frankhauser. “They have distributed the coats throughout Alaska for the Salvation Army to give out free of charge to people in need.”
The Salvation Army will hold a coat give-away at its 1468 Sterling Highway location from noon-2 p.m. Sept. 13. As in past three years, the coats have been donated by Fred Meyer and are distributed throughout Alaska free of charge. “There are no requirements,” said Lt. Christin Frankhauser of the Salvation Army in Homer. “People from Homer and nearby communities can come in and pick up coats for their kids. We’re hoping to get the word out so we have a good turn-out.”
Available sizes are 2T-youth extra large.
A little help from here, a little help from there. For the Anchor Point Food Pantry, that help is coming from within and without the community and going a long way in helping provide food and serve a hot meal.
“We’ve been doing this food pantry for about 10 years,” said Jack “Pastor Jack” Michael of an unofficial, volunteer effort in place to meet a community need. “Some people don’t even know we have it in Anchor Point.”
Homer Police are investigating two Pioneer Avenue break-ins that happened sometime between last Friday evening and Saturday morning. The break-ins happened at the Salvation Army store and J & B Smokehouse. Both businesses are within a block of each other, with the Salvation Army just west of Pioneer Avenue and Svedlund Street and J & B Smokehouse in the parking lot of Bay Realty across from the intersection.
On behalf of the Students in Transition Program, I want to thank the Salvation Army for their donation of jackets to our local schools and students. They have been very accommodating to last-minute phone calls and searches for different size coats for our students. Thanks to them, several of our schools have a backup supply of jackets ready for those without during the upcoming winter.
The Students in Transition Program is for students who lack a permanent nighttime residence. Please call 235-8130 for more information.
The recent theft and damage done to the Salvation Army Thrift Store on Pioneer Avenue has some good news and some bad news.
First, the good news is that the September break-in most likely was not a forerunner of similar acts that sometimes increase in the area as winter approaches.
For women and children staying at South Peninsula Haven House, the domestic violence shelter has an in-house second-hand clothing supply. Called “My Sister’s Closet,” it’s provided clients with clothing and other supplies to help them get their lives back together. Now, Haven House has expanded that idea with its new second-hand store, Homer Thrift.
With temperatures dropping and frost on windshields, it’s clear winter is on its way. For some, that means hauling out heavier coats, planning holiday dinners and settling in for the cold, dark months ahead. For others, it means increased worry about staying warm, fed and sheltered.