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Fairbanks Chamber Kicks Off Fundraising for AFN


The Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) Annual Convention will once again be held in Fairbanks. After a three year hiatus, the communities of the Interior are excited to welcome the AFN contingency in October 2013. “It is with great pleasure that we welcome our rural friends and neighbors from across the state to the Golden Heart City,” said Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Lisa Herbert. “Our entire community is looking forward to providing the warmest welcomes, biggest hellos and, most importantly, an unforgettable convention for our rural neighbors.”

The Alaska Federation of Natives is the largest statewide Native organization in Alaska—including 178 villages, 13 regional Native corporations and 12 regional nonprofit and tribal consortiums. AFN seeks to enhance and promote the cultural, economic and political voice of the entire Alaska Native community. The Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce is proud to share a parallel mission for the business community in Interior Alaska. With over 700 members, the Fairbanks business community has an opportunity to contribute directly to the success of the 2013 AFN Annual Convention. Whether local businesses choose to place promotional and information material in goodie bags, host an event, display welcome signage, or invest in sponsorships—there is a chance to be involved at any level in one of the Interior’s largest conventions.

On Tuesday, the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce presented the AFN Fundraising Committee, co-chaired by Lorna Shaw of Sumitomo Metal Mining Pogo and Steve Lundgren of Denali State Bank, a check for $5,000 in a gesture of support and commitment to the upcoming AFN Convention. The AFN Convention serves as an opportunity for Interior Alaska to showcase our efforts to continually enhance our urban and rural exchanges in business, social, education, and cultural relations. Both Lorna Shaw and Steve Lundgren serve on the Chamber’s Board of Directors; Lorna is the current Board Chair and Steve will serve as Board Chair in 2014. “Bringing AFN to Fairbanks gives Interior Alaska the opportunity to enhance our relationships with Rural Alaska. This relationship building with our Alaskan Native leadership reinforces our heritage as a state and encourages our sense of community. Our economy, our business community, and our residents will all benefit either directly or indirectly from this effort,” said Steve Lundgren.

The Fairbanks Convention & Visitors Bureau (FCVB) has launched a website, www.afnfairbanks.com, as a resource and guide for the 2013 AFN Convention. Under the direction of the FCVB Fairbanks Native Leadership & Community Committee, several AFN sub-committees have been created and are seeking volunteers. These include; transportation, hospitality logistics, Elders-Youth, fundraising, health & safety, public relations/media/community relations, restaurant/retail, notebooks, cross-cultural communication, Golden Heart Greeters/volunteers, lodging/meeting facilities, and Carlson Center.

Our community is excited to host the 2013 Convention and in true Fairbanks style—we welcome the AFN Convention with genuine hospitality and warmth!

For more information on how to get involved, contact Helen Renfrew at (907) 459-3765 or hrenfrew@explorefairbanks.com.

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