On Saturday, Talkeetna, Willow, and Trapper Creek held Choose Respect events to raise awareness for domestic violence and sexual assault. Choose Respect is a statewide initiative that began during the Parnell administration, and includes marches, rallies, and other events throughout the state. In Talkeetna, the Choose Respect march began at the Flying Squirrel Bakery Cafè and ended at the Talkeetna Roadhouse. After the march, the younger participants created flags with messages related to the Choose Respect program and the theme that “hands are for helping, not hurting.” After the small, colorful flags are strung together, some will be displayed at the Sunshine Community Health Center and others will be sent to Denali Base Camp during mountaineering season.
Local students also participated in a Choose Respect poster contest, which was judged by the Peer Helpers at Susitna Valley Junior and Senior High School. First and second place winners in each category were awarded Subway gift cards and had their posters displayed at the
In the Kindergarten and First Grade age group, Jessie Wentworth won second place and Kiara Apple won first place. In the Second and Third Grade group, Celia Carbone’s poster won second place and Hazel Gunter took first place. In the oldest age group, Fourth through Sixth Grades, Rachel Fox received second place and Katelyn Hicks’ entry was chosen for first place.