Community editor and columnist Kris Capps is a longtime resident of Fairbanks and Denali Park. Contact her at, in the office at 459-7546 or by cell at 322-6334. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.

Roni Olson

Roni Olson and the six children she and Skook Irwin are raising as seen a few years ago. The photo is at the top of her GoFundMe Page. 

If you are driving the Parks Highway on Saturday, take a moment to stop in Nenana for a special all-afternoon and evening fundraiser being held for a local family.

It’s happening at the Nenana Civic Center, where the day will be filled with activities designed to benefit Roni Olson, who is battling a rare form of blood cancer. She’s a 10-year breast cancer survivor, but this new disease can cause bone marrow failure, severe anemia and loss of the immune system.

She and Skook Irwin are parents to six adopted children and are much loved in the community of Nenana and surrounding areas.

Roni Olson needs to temporarily relocate to Seattle for medical procedures at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance to participate in the Fred Hutch Bone Marrow Transplant Program. Friends and neighbors are rallying to help with that cost.

A garage sale fundraiser will be held from 1-5:30 p.m. A silent auction will be held at the same time. A fundraiser dinner and dessert auction are planned from 5:30-8 p.m.

Items up for silent auction include a kayak, chain saw, junior archery sets and much more. A GoFundMe account has also been set up at

Top 10

In case you haven’t heard, a team of North Star All Stars from Fairbanks was selected as one of the Top 10 teams in the nation at the recent D2 Summit in Orlando.

This group of 6- to 11-year-old cheerleaders competed against 163 other teams from across the country. Those young athletes are Sophie Petrie, Kinzie Thruston, Angie Gonzalez, Alayna Wells, Macy Conley, Tamia Hunziker, Teagan Callison, Ember Clayton, Olivia Adams, Claire Bunselmeier and Jordan Boatman.

All Star Cheerleading is a discipline of cheerleading that is open to all ages and skill levels. It is not regular cheerleading, such as what you might see at a high school sporting event. It includes dance, tumbling, stunts and group maneuvers. It requires skill, concentration and lots of practice.

Softball stars

Jaelynn Accola, of Lathrop High School, and Janice Dykes, of North Pole High School, are among the 60 top softball players in the country, selected to attend a special national camp over the Memorial Day weekend.

The two travel to Kansas City, Missouri, for this year’s Softball Breakthrough Series, a special amateur development camp designed for players. Only 60 high school players from across the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada are selected to participate in this special gathering. Instructors there include softball legends such as Jennie Finch and Natasha Watley, Jenny Topping, Leah O’Brien-Amico, Sheila Douty and many others.

The two local players will visit the Negro Leagues Museum, participate in a career chat at Kauffman Stadium with front-office female Kansas City Royals employees at the Urban Youth Academy, watch the Royals take on the Yankees in a matinee game, and attend special speaker sessions.

The Softball Breakthrough Series is an extension of the Baseball Breakthrough Series established in 2008 and is an all-expenses-paid experience for participants who are selected. 

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at Call her at the office 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter @FDNMKris.