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Earlier this spring, Park Rapids Library Assistant Leann Willenbring asked for community members to share their expertise. Osage artist Boyd Sharp answered her call. On Tuesday, the nationally recognized painter taught kids how to design an abstract painting. More than a dozen youth attended the free workshop. "I think abstract art is more difficult to teach than representational art, so I'm happy he wants to lead this workshop as it is a great fit for our Reading By Design theme," Willenbring said.
For the past 12 years, Chapter T of the P.E.O. Sisterhood has held an annual garage sale at the Hubbard County fairgrounds. They have raised a significant amount — $53,123, to date — to financially assist women with continuing their higher education. The P.E.O. Sisterhood is a philanthropic educational organization that offers grants, loans and scholarships to help women reach their educational goals.
Creativity will know no bounds at River Art Community, the newest venue in downtown Park Rapids. Located on the corner of Fourth St. and Main, the center offers art classes lead by professionally trained artists, plus gallery space featuring up to 40 regional artists. "We're not just catering to the people who've been artists all of their lives or are professional," said Donna Hill, who co-owns River Art Community with husband Ken. Art classes are geared for all skill levels and ages.
Aches and pains? Flo Kahlstorf may have answers. Bringing 20-plus years of experience as a massage therapist and personal trainer, Kahlstorf aims to educate young and old how to stretch major muscle groups. Her business is called Minnesota Pines Therapy. Through Park Rapids and Laporte Community Education classes, she is teaching the secrets of how, when and why to stretch.
The Menahga Area Historical Society and Museum will celebrate the town's most notable figure. Legendary cartoonist, illustrator and graphic novelist Wallace Wood would have turned 90 years old, if his life had not taken a tragic twist. "If people read MAD magazine, they'll be impressed," said Gloria Markkula, historical society president. A birthday party in Wood's honor will be held Saturday, June 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cake and ice cream will be served.
Travis and Chiara Bolton's honeybees are true Minnesotans. Able to withstand the state's long, bitterly cold winters, Bolton bees are also "Minnesota nice." For the past three years, the couple has steadily worked at breeding gentle, Minnesota-hardy bees. They have about a dozen apiaries sprinkled throughout Hubbard, Wadena, Becker and Otter Tail counties, and another 15 in the Twin Cities area. Travis is a 2001 Park Rapids Area High School graduate.
The Menahga City Council awarded the sale of $4,915,000 in general obligation nursing home revenue bonds. The low bidder was Baird of Milwaukee, Wisc., offering a 3.1885 percent interest rate. The bonds will be used to finance the Greenwood Connections expansion project. The project consists of adding 15 private rooms with a transitional care unit focus, plus remodeling 15 existing double-occupancy and 27 single rooms into 42 private rooms. "It was a good day to sell bonds," said Todd Hagen of Ehlers, the city's financial advisor, at the June 12 city council meeting.
The Menahga School Board scheduled a community forum to discuss how to address the district's building needs. District residents are invited to share their thoughts with board, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 22 at the high school media center. It's intended as a listening session; no action will be taken at the meeting. As for the format, Board Chair Andrea Haverinen said she's seeking concise, 3-minute statements from the public. Haverinen will use her discretion to allow longer remarks.
Yips, yaps and wagging tails filled Heartland Park. The Headwaters Animal Shelter's largest fundraiser of the year — Tails on the Trail — was held June 10. The event raised money through pledges and donations. All proceeds go toward the shelter's mission of securing homes for animals and returning lost pets to their rightful owners. In remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of all creatures, Pastor Glenn Anderson welcomed furry friends with a pet blessing.
Local cancer survivors, caregivers and supporters united for the 23rd annual Hubbard County Relay for Life. "We're here to celebrate. We're here to remember. And we're here to fight back," said Bernie Schumacher, mistress of ceremonies at the June 9 fundraising event. "This is a special night for all of us. The Relay for Life is near and dear to my heart. I live with a survivor. I'm friends with survivors. I've been a caregiver, so I get it. I really get it."