Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 17 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.
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For nearly a decade and a half now, the United Way of Becker County has been kicking off the fall season in Detroit Lakes with its annual Community Celebration. "It's a celebration of this community — not just Detroit Lakes, but all of Becker County," says Luann Porter, the United Way's executive director. "It's such a generous community we have here... it's neighbors helping neighbors."
It may seem as though February is a long time from now, but Propel DL, the 501(c)3 nonprofit in charge of organizing Polar Fest, is already starting to plan for Detroit Lakes' "coolest" celebration of 2019 — and they need some help to put it all together. This Wednesday, Sept. 19, the members of Propel DL will be hosting a Polar Fest kickoff celebration at Detroit Mountain Recreation Area from 4-6 p.m.
Hoping to persuade voters to give the green light to a $49.9 million school bond referendum on Nov. 6, the Detroit Lakes School Board is in the process of finalizing times and locations for a series of six public informational meetings on the project, to take place between Sept. 25-Nov. 1. At a work session held after the board's regular meeting on Monday evening, lead architect Brian Berg laid out nine possible dates for the meetings, and stated that he felt they should be held on different days of the week as well as in different locations around the district.
The Detroit Lakes City Council approved a preliminary 2019 budget of $23,145,140, and a property tax levy of $5,498,426 at its regular meeting Tuesday. The 2019 proposed budget and tax levy will be finalized following a public input meeting set for 6:01 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11. Though Finance Committee Chair Dan Wenner said the proposed 2018, payable 2019 levy marks a 7.52 percent increase over last year's final figure, the impact on the average homeowner would be minimal.
A near perfect fall evening brought out more than 230 guests to Richwood Winery Friday evening to help support Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge. Friday night's Toast to Tamarac fundraiser featured live music by the David Ferreira Trio, a silent auction and lawn games, as well as appetizers and ample opportunities to sample the winery's best vintages, or enjoy a beer, water or soda.
With about 520 paid attendees, and 100-plus kids running around the grounds, this past weekend's 7th Annual Grape Stomp Festival at Richwood Winery was a resounding success. "I anticipate there was a crowd of at least 650," said winery coordinator Deb Krogsgaard. "It was a fun event."
Dancing to the music of the Front Fenders, dining from a tasty, beach-themed menu, and browsing through a variety of silent auction packages... it's all part of the fun planned for the Ecumen Charity Benefit at Long Bridge Bar, Grill & Marina in Detroit Lakes. Set to take place this Thursday, Sept. 13 from 5 to 10 p.m., the event is a fundraiser for Ecumen Detroit Lakes. Ecumen's staff, residents and volunteers are asking area residents to step up and "Be the One" to make a difference and help make life a little better for Ecumen's memory care residents.
The first helicopter could be touching down on the new helipad at Essentia Health-St. Mary's in Detroit Lakes by the end of this month. "They're putting in the sprinklers today, so we're getting really close (to completion)," said Jim Sinclair, chairman of the Essentia Health-St. Mary's Foundation, on Thursday.
Parents who choose to adopt children, for whatever the reason may be, face many challenges, as Audubon resident Lori Kenney knows first hand. As the mother of four adopted children who are now between the ages of 16 and 25, Kenney has often struggled with parenting issues that are unique to those whose children are not born to them — and now she wants to help others who are in similar situations. "When our family went through a tough time, not that long ago... I felt very alone," Kenney said. "I didn't know who to reach out to, or where to go (for help)."
It takes a staff of over 2,000 volunteers to keep the crowds entertained at the annual Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion in Rollag, Minn. — but they're always looking for more. "We can always use more helpers," says WMSTR President Pete Mandt, who is wrapping up his third year in charge of the annual event. And even though this year's show concluded on Labor Day, anyone who's interested can sign up to be a member, at any time, by emailing the WMSTR secretary at email@example.com .