Making a grand entrance
A New Year’s Day birth wasn’t necessarily on the calendar for parents-to-be Kristina and Shaun Wilson of Audubon. But their daughter, Clara Anya, decided she wanted to make her entrance into the world a little earlier than planned.
“Clara’s due date was Jan. 12, so we weren’t expecting to have the New Year’s baby, but we think it’s pretty cool having the first baby of the new year as well as the new decade,” mom Kristina said. “What a fun story to tell her as she grows up!”
Clara Anya Wilson was born at Essentia Health St. Mary’s in Detroit Lakes on Wednesday, Jan. 1, at 4:16 p.m. She weighed 6 pounds, 7.8 ounces and measured 18.5 inches at birth.
“She’s tiny, but healthy and strong,” said Clara’s proud mom.
Clara is the youngest of 12 children in the Wilsons’ blended family, which ranges in age all the way up to 18.
“There are nine of us living at home right now,” Kristina added, noting that the family’s newest arrival came home with them from the hospital at around 2 p.m. Friday.
There are a couple of big business moves in the works in Detroit Lakes: The Boys & Girls Club Thrift Store is moving to the former Kmart property on the west side; meanwhile, Outlet Recreation is preparing to move into the thrift store’s current spot.
The thrift store is at 605 Highway 10 East, a property that was formerly home to a Pamida department store. Profits from the thrift store go to meet the financial needs of the local Boys & Girls Club. Mike Larson, co-owner of Outlet Recreation, said the thrift store property is “just the right size for our store,” with substantially more room for indoor displays than their current location has — something they’d been wanting for awhile. Both moves are at least partially motivated by a need for more space, as both the thrift store and Outlet Recreation report continued growth.
“We couldn’t do this without the great philanthropic attitude of the Lakes Area,” said John Kerzman, Chairman of the Boys & Girls Club Thrift Store. “The Boys & Girls Club Thrift Store affects everybody in this community, and the community has been so amazing.”
At Outlet Recreation, Larson said sales have increased every year since the business opened in 2014. “Detroit Lakes has responded very well to us,” he said, “So we feel like this is something people in Detroit Lakes are really going to love … Expansion is always a great thing for us.”
A buttoned-up story
Winter clothes have mysteriously appeared in trees around Detroit Lakes. The coats are left on hangers on low branches, with little notes saying “take me,” or “if u can use, please take.”
Residents reported seeing the coats by CareerForce on Roosevelt Avenue, outside Diary Queen at McKinley Plaza, near Zion Lutheran Church on Lake Avenue, outside the county government building at Lake Avenue and Front Street West, and by Detroit Lakes Middle School.
Shelly Knudsen, an assistant manager at Dairy Queen, said that all of the employees there noticed and had been talking about the coats. They haven’t heard any comments from customers yet.
“I think it’s a great thing that’s happening,” Knudsen said. “Hopefully somebody can use them.”
Detroit Lakes Police Chief Steve Todd response was also positive, saying that it was “a good thing to hear.”
Lunch debt eliminated
Frazee’s school lunch debt was paid off thanks to some area churches and a giving community.
Frazee School District Superintendent Terry Karger was presented Jan. 14 with checks totaling $12,658.41 to pay off the schools’ lunch debt. The amount more than met the $11,000 debt, Ryan Stockstrom, the lead pastor at Harvest Fellowship Church, said in an email.
The money was raised throughout December after Harvest Fellowship and Bethlehem Lutheran Church teamed up and announced that they were looking for donations with the intent of paying the debt.
“We just wanted to do something to bless our community over Christmas Eve,” Stockstrom said. “We wanted people to know that the church is here to bless the community it is a part of ... in a tangible way.”
In addition to the two churches, Twice Blessed Thrift Store was also a major contributor to their efforts, along with the many community members who donated.