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“Eye on the Sky” Meteorologist Mark Breen Highlight of Alice Peck Day Volunteer Recognition


June 11 - On Thursday, June 10, Alice Peck Day Health Systems celebrated its volunteers and Auxiliary members with a dinner featuring meteorologist Mark Breen of the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, best known for his regional “Eye on the Sky” weather updates for local radio and television stations.

Chief Operating Officer Todd Miller and Volunteer Coordinator Jane Darby welcomed the attending volunteers, who were also thanked  retiring REC Center Recreational Coordinator Linda Gurney. “In the thirteen and a half years I’ve been at APD, I’ve worked with more than 110 volunteers,” Gurney said. “They have ranged in age from six months to over ninety.” She recalled several notable volunteers and residents, including weekly singalongs and a woman with dementia who “no longer responded to people around her, but would tap her feet to music in perfect time.”

Breen described “A day in the life of a weatherman,” beginning when he rises — at 3:15 every morning — and shared stories of his early days at the Fairbanks Museum, when his only forecasting tools were a World War II-era teletype machine and, later, a small black-and-white television. He also answered many questions about current weather trends and weather lore.

According to Volunteer Services Coordinator Jane Darby, volunteers contributed nearly 6,000 hours to APD in 2009, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics translates to more than $120,000 in service. The APD Auxiliary also makes significant contributions to the hospital community, completing a $100,000 pledge to the hospital in fiscal year 2009. To learn more about volunteering or joining the APD Auxiliary, contact Jane Darby at (603) 448-7456.