Denali vaccine clinic

Volunteer Elizabeth Beavers keeps the line running smoothly. 

On the fence about getting a Covid vaccination? Just haven’t found time to do it? Maybe this will provide some incentive.

The Denali Chamber of Commerce is offering $25 gift card incentives, as part of a state chamber program, under the umbrella of the Department of Health and Social Services. 

“I will use it to buy gift cards and prizes and give those out to people as they get vaccinated,” said Vanessa Jusczak, director of the Denali Chamber of Commerce. “There’s not a lot of restrictions on how to use the money, it just has to be spent to increase vaccination numbers.”

The program is not intended to change anyone’s mind about vaccinations, if they are opposed to vaccinations. It is geared toward people who are either on the fence or who have put off getting vaccinated for any reason.

Jusczak said she may also purchase some bigger items, like $250 worth of heating fuel or septic pumping. So it is possible names would get thrown into a hat for those bigger prizes.

The program was intended for Alaska residents only, but Jusczak pointed out that the Denali area has a huge influx of seasonal workers. For them, a $25 gift card could be substantial incentive. The state agreed. The bigger prizes, however, will be for Alaska residents only.

The grant money — $10,000 — must be spent by the end of June. The incentive gift cards will be available until they are all distributed.

She is coordinating with Horizon Medical, which is spearheading vaccination clinics in the Denali Borough.

50th Reunion

The Tri-Valley High School graduation isn’t the only celebration happening this week. A reunion of all Tri-Valley graduates for the past 50 years will take place as well.

That is a weekend-long event that begins with a 7-9 p.m. Game Night Friday, May 21, at the Tri-Valley Community Center.  The next day, some discounted local activities are available (see the TVS 50th Reunion Facebook page for details).

The main event happens at the Tri-Valley Community Center on Saturday, May 22. Dixon’s Fixins food truck is available 4:30-6:30 p.m. for dinner and a dance will be held beginning at 7 p.m. An alumni band will be featured. This is a BYOB event and designated drivers will be available at the exit door.

On Sunday, alumni are invited to tour Tri-Valley School at 11 a.m.

High school senior Breanna Mayo organized this event. Donation jars will be available at each event and proceeds will go to the student council program for planning future student events.

Farmer's Market 

The first Farmer’s Market of the season in Healy happens 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 22, in front of the Alaskan Coffee Bean at Mile 249.2 Parks Highway.

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at Follow her on Twitter @FDNMKris.