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Upcoming events Dec. 26- Jan. 20

Sunday, Dec. 26

The story of the "Founding Mothers," the 12 women who created and built the award-wining Village of the Smoky Hills at Osage, will be aired on Lakeland PBS (Bemidji) at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 26.

Lorelei Kraft authored and produced "Five Weeks and Five Days" in 2009, lauded by PBS program director Jeff Hanks as "one of the best submissions from a local independent producer."

In 1984, the Park Rapids area was experiencing almost 20 percent unemployment. Kraft and 11 other women decided to build a heritage handcrafts "village" in this rural area of northern Minnesota, a village which would employ people, create an outlet for area crafters and become a tourist attraction.

The time frame in which the Founding Mothers did this - less than two months - is what makes the story remarkable.  

They bought a 67-acre piece of wilderness with no infrastructure, road or electricity.  They had an extremely limited timeframe in which to build eight cottages and a restaurant.  

They also needed to hire 60 people, find 200 hand-crafters to fill the buildings and do publicity.  Yet from the day they broke ground to the day The Village opened was an astounding five weeks and five days.  

The Village of the Smoky Hills went on to receive the top tourism awards in Minnesota, and was written up in many national and regional magazines.  

Lorelei Kraft was chosen the Minnesota Business Woman of the Year.

Wednesday, Dec. 29

The North Star Chapter of

the American Red Cross is offering a babysitter training course from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 29 at their new location at 1900 Division Street, Unit 1, in Bemidji.

The class is for boys and girls ages 11 to 15 who would like to start their own babysitting business.

The program teaches young people the skills needed to be a safe babysitter and smart business owner. Participants will

learn how to tell when there is an emergency and when it's a situation that can be confidently handled.

Skills to be gained include

supervising children and infants; performing basic child-care skills such as diapering and feeding; handling bedtime and discipline issues; identifying safety hazards and preventing injuries; caring for common injuries and emergencies such as choking, burns, cuts and bee stings and communicating effectively with parents.

Participants will also have the option of becoming trained and receiving a certificate in Infant and Child CPR and First Aid.

The training also provides tips on how to run a babysitting business, creating a résumé, interviews with prospective parents and keeping track of clients.

To sign up for this class or other upcoming classes, contact the North Star Chapter at 218-444-9490 or visit

Friday, Dec. 31

The Friendly Squares will welcome the new year with a square dance starting at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31 at Century School.

Members will dance from 8 to 10 p.m., stop for a potluck dinner and then dance again from 11 p.m. to midnight.

The caller will be Roger Lueth and Donna Stone will cue round dances between tips. All square dancers are welcome.

Monday, Jan. 3

Runners, swimmers and bikers: Registration for the Nevis Northwoods Triathlon opens at 8 a.m. Monday, Jan. 3 at

Registration closed for last year's event within a few days of the opening.

Wednesday, Jan. 5

Region 2 Arts Council will offer a free grant-writing workshop from 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 5 in the R2AC office, 426 Bemidji Ave., the historic Carnegie Library Building.

The workshop is for anyone interested in applying for an arts grant within the R2AC area (serving Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Lake of the Woods and Mahnomen counties).

This workshop will familiarize potential applicants with the application process, what projects are eligible, how to develop a project budget and other valuable tips.

Advance registration is required. To reserve a place or for further information, call 218-751-5447 or 800-275-5447 or email

Thursday, Jan. 20

A free, weight-loss informational session about surgical and non-surgical solutions will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20 at MedSave Family Pharmacy and Wellness Center in Bemidji.

Bariatric surgeons along with the Essentia Health Park Rapids and St. Joseph's Center for Weight Management multi-disciplinary team will be on hand to explain processes involved with bariatric surgery, your choices, and to answer questions about your weight-loss goals.

St. Joseph's Center for Weight Management was named a Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. It offers laparoscopic gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, adjustable banding and non-surgical options to patients.

To pre-register (required) for this event, please call Stacey Offerdahl at 218-732-2837 or e-mail sofferdahl

MedSave Family Pharmacy is located at 217 Paul Bunyan Drive NW in Bemidji.