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National cruise foundation makes award for Soboleff center

The Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation (CICF) has awarded $75,000 to Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) to help build the Walter Soboleff Center.

The award by the CICF puts the institute one step closer to raising the remaining funds for the center, which will break ground on Thursday, Aug. 1, in Juneau.

"We are honored to receive this generous donation from the cruise industry to help us build the Walter Soboleff Center," said Rosita Worl, president of Sealaska Heritage Institute.  "Partnering with the cruise industry makes sense.  Not only will we be able to utilize the facility to help perpetuate and enhance the cultures and languages of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian tribes, we will be able to help educate and share our culture with tens of thousands of visitors."

SHI is in its final push to raise the rest of the funds to build the $20,000,000 building in downtown Juneau. Its Capital Campaign Committee, chaired by Byron Mallott, is leading the effort to raise the remaining $4,000,000. Committee member John Binkley, president of CLIA-Alaska, formerly the Alaska Cruise Association, was instrumental in steering SHI to the grant opportunities at the cruise foundation.

"The cruise industry has been honored in supporting many charitable organizations throughout Alaska and we are pleased to be able to assist in the development of the Walter Soboleff Center which will promote the great heritage of Alaska," said Binkley.

The nonprofit Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation (CICF), founded in 1998, focuses its efforts on programs designed to strengthen and improve the quality of life in communities served by cruise lines in North America. CICF supports civic and community development, educational assistance and training programs, and environmental preservation initiatives. More information is available at www.cruisefoundation.org.

Sealaska Heritage Institute was founded in 1980 to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars. Its mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska.

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