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Individuals, club make significant donations to Walter Soboleff Center

Juneau Lions Club presentation of award to build Walter Soboleff Center. From left: Louise Kadinger, Geny Del Rosario, Byron Mallott, Steve Bradner, Jan Burke, Ted Burke. In foreground, model of the center.

Juneau Lions Club presentation of award to build Walter Soboleff Center. From left: Louise Kadinger, Geny Del Rosario, Byron Mallott, Steve Bradner, Jan Burke, Ted Burke. In foreground, model of the center.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Sealaska Heritage Institute

Funds to help leverage an extra $250,000 award from foundation

DSC_0838_250A number of individuals and a local club have given donations totaling nearly $75,000 to SHI to help build the Walter Soboleff Center, putting the institute closer to raising matching dollars to leverage extra funds from a major foundation.

A delegation from the Juneau Lions Club this week presented a check for $20,000 to Byron Mallott, chair of the Walter Soboleff Center Capital Campaign Committee. The club made the donation in honor of the late Walter Soboleff, who was a long-standing member of the Juneau Lions Club, said President Steve Brandner.

“He was our Monarch Lion, a mentor to all, motivator for every Lion and the beloved sponsor for many of our Lions Club members of the years. He set a standard for caring for others, kept us going when times got tough and always shared stories about how important our volunteer work was when helping others in our community who were less fortunate,” said Brandner, who also presented a $500 check to help support SHI’s 2013 summer culture camp.

Other recent, sizeable donations were received from Chris and Mary McNeil, who have given $28,000, and the Walter Soboleff Trust, which gave $20,000.

The Rasmuson Foundation in 2012 awarded $1,000,000 to help fund the center. The group offered an extra $250,000 if SHI raised matching funds. The recent donations plus contributions ranging from $10 to $5,000 from more than one hundred other individuals and groups have put the total at $106,000 in matching funds so far. SHI has until the end of 2014 to raise the rest of the funds.

SHI has raised more than 75 percent of the total $20,000,000 to build the center, which will be located in downtown Juneau.

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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