Thursday, June 11th, the who’s who of the Central Peninsula donned their favorite apparel for an “Evening by the River”, the 7th Annual Fundraiser for the Central Peninsula Health Foundation (CPHF), featuring the “World’s shortest auction!” The first Evening by the River started out at Soldotna Creek Park under tents and perfect blue skies, “It was a beautiful summer evening on the banks of the Kenai River and gave us the opportunity to host a unique evening with excellent food and inspirational speakers and celebrities like cancer survivor and Iditarod champion Lance Mackey. And it gave us a chance to let local residents know about what the Foundation does and our purpose,” said CPHF board president and one of the 5 CPHF co-founders Ed Krohn.
“After a couple of events with inclement weather we decided to move the event inside but stick with the same theme and have an event where we can honor students in pursuit of a career in the medical field with scholarships named after the Peninsula’s first doctor, pioneer Dr. Paul Isaak. This year we had 80 attendees and raised over $25,000 with our world’s shortest auction. The event was catered by Kenai Catering and the Duck Inn provided the refreshments,” said Krohn.
Winners of this year’s $1,000 Dr. Isaak Scholarships were Ali Dusek, SoHi graduate, and Jenna Hansen, Nikiski Jr/Sr High grad. Table sponsors this year included Ed and Lila Krohn, Sky Carver, Dave and Jane Stein, CPH Emergency Room Physicians, Wells Fargo, Skagit Radiology, Peninsula Radiation Oncology and Zan, Inc., according to CPHF executive director Kathy Gensel. “The Central Peninsula Health Foundation was incorporated as a 501c3 in 2005 by a group of longtime peninsula residents who wanted to create a local charity dedicated to improving access to quality health care here. CPHF is responsible for building philanthropic support for the benefit of our patients, Serenity House clients, Heritage Place residents and our communities,” said Gensel. “Our Mission is to support Central Peninsula Residents by Seeking Innovative Partnerships and Creating Resources for the Health and Wellness of Our Communities. Our Vision is to become the clearinghouse for philanthropic support for health and wellness programs serving our community residents.”
Two of the unique items that went up on the world’s shortest auction block were a birch burl bowl and walking stick made by legendary carver Roy Baldwin “The Willow Picker” who recently passed away from cancer. Dr. Bucci was the winning bidder on a large bottle of wine that brought $1100.00.
Karen Encelewski, Dr. Isaak’s eldest daughter told some inspiring stories of her father and early life on the Kenai as a homestead kid. For more information about the Central Peninsula Health Foundation go to www. Givingheals.org. Since its inception the Health Foundation has raised over $3,000,000 due to the generosity and vision of local community members.