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Sen. Sullivan Praises Homer’s Shari Daugherty for 30-Years of ‘Sharing the Spirit’

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Homer woman has pioneered Homer gift-giving tradition

Last week Alaska’s junior Senator recognized a Homer woman on the floor of the U.S. Senate for her three decades of - quite literally - sharing the Christmas Spirit. Senator Dan Sullivan praised Shari Daugherty as his “Alaskan of the Week.”

“For the last month, as she has done for the last 30 years, she has been working pretty much around the clock, volunteering her time for the nonprofit Share the Spirit,” Sullivan said. “Share the Spirit--that is the nonprofit that Shari helped found in 1992--30 years. Share the Spirit's mission is to make sure that hundreds of less fortunate families in Homer, AK, her hometown, get all of the ingredients for a proper Christmas dinner and presents for the kids.”

He said that in 1991, during the very first year of the program, packages included all the fixing's for a Christmas dinner and there were more than enough gifts for the kids.

“They put together 57 baskets of food: turkey, stuffing, potato, sugar, salt, eggs, celery, pie crusts, cards with recipes on them -- all the fixings for a nice Christmas dinner,” he said. “And then there were the presents for more than 100 children. 220 gifts that first year, 30 years ago.”

Sullivan related one of many eventful holidays that have occurred over the years.

“Throughout the years, many stories and people stand out. This is Alaska. So, of course, this was the year of the huge blizzard. Nobody could drive. So they enlisted a club of snow machine riders to deliver the presents and the food throughout the area. There is the woman who now lives in Pennsylvania, who lived in Homer for a while, with a young child. That child, because of the group, was able to experience Christmas. And now, like clockwork, this woman sends a quarterly donation to Share the Spirit,” he said. “You see how the spirit is literally being shared all over the country: Alaska, Homer, Pennsylvania.”

Sullivan pointed out that Daugherty is retiring from Share the Spirit after this Christmas, as well as her job as a medical biller at South Peninsula Hospital.

“She will be leaving Share the Spirit in good hands, though: Kelly Glidden, who began volunteering as a sixth grader in 1993; John Adams, who started when he was eight-years old volunteering; and Emmy Olsen Drye, who has been involved in Share the Spirit since she was three, and who is also Shari's daughter,” Sullivan said. “They will take on the mantle of this great volunteer effort, focused on the Christmas spirit that Shari started.”

Senator Sullivan’s speech praising Daugherty was read into the Congressional Record.

Jay Barrett, KBBI's new News Director should be a familiar voice to our listeners. He's been contributing to Kenai Peninsula news for the last three years out of KDLL Kenai, and was the voice of The Alaska Fisheries Report from KMXT for 12 years. Jay worked for KBBI about 20 years ago as the Central Peninsula Reporter at KDLL.