Help us build Jenae's Playground in Haines!

Hello all,

Thank you for considering donating to our fundraiser to design and construct a beautiful playground in honor of our beloved daughter, sister, niece, friend, teacher, and community member, Jenae Larson.

As many of you know, our little community in Haines, Alaska was upended by an extreme weather event in December of 2020. Scientists and geologists called this a “200-year event” as rainfall records show that we received approximately 10 inches of rain in a 48-hour period. The cumulative effect of this extreme rainfall and snowmelt was damage to roads, homes, and other infrastructure across the community. Most tragic of these impacts, a 600-foot-wide landslide occurred on Beach Road, sweeping away the homes and lives of two loved community members, Jenae Larson and David Simmons.

The linked articles provide more information about these events and about our dearest Jenae:

As the city of Haines turns to recovery and rebuilding, the loss of Jenae, and her puppy Red, is something from which we cannot simply move on. In a town of less than 2,000 people, our little community was and is closely connected to Jenae and her loved ones. At the time of the landslide, Jenae was 23 years old and in her first year as the kindergarten teacher at the Haines School. After graduating from the University of Idaho in May of 2020, it was a dream come true for Jenae to return to Haines and teach at the very school she had attended as a child. Having grown up helping her mom with her daycare business, Jenae developed a strong love for children and cared deeply about her new role as a kindergarten teacher.

To honor Jenae and her legacy in our community (and beyond), we are organizing a project to build a playground at the Haines School. Our idea is that this playground would be in the K-2 outdoor area at the school, near the entrance where Jenae and her students came together for learning and development. Before the landslide took Jenae from us, she spoke to her mom, Kim, about her desire to improve this playground area for her students. The current play structure and equipment in this area are in dire need of an upgrade. In tribute to Jenae’s bright and loving spirit, we would like to build a new play structure that is more meaningfully connected to our community where Jenae’s students and other children can play and enjoy. When the sun shines over this new play space in this community that Jenae loved, we will all remember Jenae’s smile and her lingering impression in our hearts.

We are deeply thankful for any donations to help us build Jenae’s playground. We will continue to provide updates on the playground creation process on this page, so stay tuned!

With gratitude,

Team Jenae

  • Jocalyn Elston
    • $25 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous
    • $200 
    • 3 mos
  • Tim McDonough & Ann Myren
    • $100 
    • 3 mos
  • Jeanne Morrison
    • $50 
    • 3 mos
  • Heather Parker
    • $20 
    • 3 mos
See all

Fundraising team (5)

Michelle Sloper
Raised $1,050 from 9 donations
Haines, AK
Kim Larson
Nancy Schnabel
Team member
Raised $10,315 from 8 donations
Kristine Robinson
Team member
Raised $350 from 3 donations

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