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One million cans – and counting!

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Carlo ‘Kan Man’ Pelaccio
Kans are big business in Brookings-Harbor, and no, that isn’t a typo. The program is called Kans for Kids, and Carlo Pelaccio, chairman of the can program sponsored by the Brookings-Harbor Lions Club, is the “Kan Man.”

On Saturday, the industrious Lions met at the Bankus Fountain at the corner of Fifth Street and Chetco Avenue to celebrate the one millionth can they have sorted over the three-and-one-half years they have been gathering cans to support their services to the community’s children and others in need.

The Lions have raised more than $50,000, providing $23,000 for eye examinations, glasses, and cataract surgeries, $4,000 for hearing aids, $12,000 for clothing for children in Brookings-Harbor schools, $1,700 for special computers for the visually impaired, $1,500 for Relay for Life, plus youth camps, a robotic program for Azalea Middle School, support for the children’s KASPER summer program, training funds for a seeing eye dog, food bank donations, and scholarships for students.

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Keeping children warm a labor of love for Brookings knitter

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Brookings resident Heide Heikilla has been knitting clothes, babies and children for years. The Pilot/Marjorie Woodfin

Brookings knitter Heide Heikilla said she was thrilled when she saw the looks of joy on the faces of the 11 children who received her gifts of sweaters, hats, mittens and socks on a recent Sunday at Trinity Lutheran Church.

Heikilla has been knitting for others since recovering from a serious injury she sustained when she was struck by a vehicle while walking across Highway 101. She has donated warm knitted garments and blankets for babies in the Curry County Head Start Program, the Pregnancy Care Center, and a New York organization that sends garments to needy children in other countries.

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Best chowder on the Coast

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Mike Ramsay shows trophy he won at cook-off in Florence.
It’s official, the best chowder on the Oregon Coast is served at the Port of Brookings Harbor.

Mike Ramsay, owner and chef at Sporthaven Marina, brought home the gold last Saturday from the annual Chowder Cook-off in Florence.

The competition, at the Florence Annual Chowder Brews and Blues Fall Festival was open only to professional chefs, and included professionals from Astoria to Brookings.

The published advertisement, “Line up early to taste the best Chowder on the West Coast!” would indicate that the winner, Ramsay, the Brookings entrant, is the chef who produces “the best chowder on the West Coast.”

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A half century of ministry in Harbor

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Lighthouse Assembly of God
Lighthouse Assembly of God recently reached a milestone of ministering to people in the Harbor area – the church celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Members of the congregation gathered to celebrate with a turkey and ham dinner in the church’s gymnasium followed Sunday morning with special services last month. Five of the seven pastors who have shepherded the Lighthouse flock attended.  Founding pastor Gordon Hadley, who is 101, was not able to make the trip to Harbor for the celebration.

If the Hadley name sounds familiar to people familiar with the congregation, this is because Gordon Hadley is the uncle of Richard Hadley, who has served as pastor of the church longer than any other – half of the church’s 50-year history.

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Six from Brookings swim away from Alcatraz Island

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Six swimmers from Brookings – Dr. Mark Silver, left, Ron Griswold, Zyan Silver, Sue Calnek, Dan Brattain and John Herzog – completed swim from Alcatraz Island to the mainland in San Francisco. Photo by Lorna Silver
There I was in the cold waters of the San Francisco Bay.

I had just jumped off the Red and White Ferry which had brought us to Alcatraz Island. Was I crazy? Again?

This was the 17th annual Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim Race. On Aug. 15, nearly 900 swimmers leaped off the ferry boats and were swimming first to an imaginary starting line behind a row of accompanying kayakers. I was able to inspire five other swimmers to take the plunge with me this year.

As the horn sounded marking the start of the race, my son Zyan swimming next to me said, “Dad, I’ll see you at the finish line,” and off he went. Before I had a chance to tell him how much I appreciated him being there with me, he was gone.

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