HoWL holds fundraiser Saturday

Homer Wilderness Leaders (HoWL) has organized the Reel Rock 7 Tour Saturday at the Alaska Island and Oceans Center from 6-9 p.m., with a silent auction of items donated from more than 50 local businesses.

The evening will begin showcasing three short films made by and starring HoWL students this summer: “How to Build a Backcounty Hot Tub,” “Awesome Sauce Montage” and “How HoWL Rocks It.”

The evening will end with the full-length feature film “Reel Rocks 7,” directed by Josh Lowell and Peter Mortimer. The film follows the world’s best alpine and rock climbers tackling Catalunya, Spain, Mount Meru in India, and Yosemite.

Homer is one of 280 international stops on the Reel Rocks 7 Tour, and the final stop in Alaska.

HoWL director Libby Veasey describes the annual event as “a celebration of the youth in the community and a look at what they are up to.”

As a celebration, 2012 HoWL participants will be honored at the event for their dedication to the program. HoWL student and volunteer Sarah Wolf has been in the HoWL program for two years and describes a HoWL trip as different than what she was used to.

“There was all this stuff I hadn’t learned yet. HoWL introduced me to all these new ideas and skills like how to build a fire and edible plants,” said Wolf.

The math-loving 12-year-old has received firstplace two years in a row at the DiRtBaG trash cleanup event, and her favorite HoWL trip is the Kachemak Crack-Paddle Surf trip, combining land and water sports.

“Because of that trip, rock climbing and paddle boarding are now my favorite sports. It was crazy learning how to paddle board. I remember falling off a lot,” said Wolf.

Third year in the making, the annual HoWL film event is the largest fundraiser for the Homer-based program, and this year HoWL is expecting to raise $6,000 from tickets sales and silent auction.

“Our DiRtBaG clean up week in the spring is the biggest fundraiser in terms of scholarship funding for HoWL students, whereas the film night fundraiser goes directly into the programs that we offer to the local community through the winter,” said Veasey.

HoWL’s winter program will start in January with day trips teaching winter skills and camping. HoWL also continues its rock climbing classes at the Bay Club throughout the school year.

Kids rock climbing classes are offered Sundays from 2-4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Teen classes are offered Wednesdays from 6-7:30 p.m. All rock climbing classes will break for usual school holidays.

The Reel Rock Film Tour is $12 per person or $22 for appetizers made by Two Sisters Bakery and the film. For more information on the Reel Rock 7 Tour and HoWL’s programs, go to