Rob Schanilec (By All Means Graphics) stopped by my office at the Spur last week with a copy of the January Entertainment Guide. He showed me his full-page ad on page 23 for the Jan. 25 fundraiser at the Grand Event Center that he’s helping to organize. The text from the Guide’s calendar:
A tribute to and fundraiser for Danny Freeman, aka Mr. Northfield. Silent and live auction, raffle, toast-and-roast and, of course, a lot of fun and hijinx – we are talking about Danny, after all.
I blogged about Dan’s health problems back in October. Rob wrote in his email:
Dan’s had some health setbacks of late that drew several of us together to organize a fundraiser for him. Please mark the date of January 25 and spread the word. We’ll be gathering at the Grand to honor and support our friend whose done so much to support Northfield over the years. There is no admission charge, but a silent auction, a live auction, and “donations” of storytelling at the microphone will bring in money to make his life easier this coming year.
Please consider giving an auction item — anything from merchandise to creative dinner offers to tickets for games or entertainment venues, gift certificates, to whatever you can think of — as well as bidding on and buying an auction item that evening. Susy Immel is the contact for auction items; she can take them right now or right up to the last minute: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robbie and I were among the small army of volunteers at last night’s Laura Baker Services Association annual Gala fundraiser at the Carleton’s Weitz Center last night, marching to orders by master organizer Mary Closner (Queen/Owner/Heavy Hitter/Decision Maker/Slave Girl at Swag). Like last year, Bridgette Hallcock volunteered her photography services and her photos of the evening should be posted to her Bridgette Hallcock Photography Facebook page in a few days. I took a few photos with my crappy smartphone camera, among them:
Northfield Mayor-elect Dana Graham donated sidewalk snow shoveling for the live auction ("your home or business one time during the 2012-2012 winter season"). He helped auctioneer Kevin Dahle get the crowd revved up for bidding by donning a Darth Vader-type winter coat, complete with a light sabre coming out of the hood, as my photo above clearly shows. The winning bid of $800 was by Brett Reese who owns many buildings in the area, many with sidewalks (eg, the Archer House). I’m sure Brett will be praying for a heavy wet snowfall Real Soon Now. Hopefully, Dana will be have some leverage with his teenaged sons when the time comes.
A couple weeks ago I visited one of the planning meetings at LBSA by Northfield area non-profit leaders who were working on how to best position their organizations for this week’s Give to the Max Day by GiveMN. Some of the participants:
It was cool to see the level of collaboration for what they’re calling Northfield Gives. Key word: leverage!
From the 5th Bridge Northfield Gives page:
On November 15th, 2012, your on-line donation of $10 or more to your favorite participating charity or school, could win that organization one of 5 local “golden ticket” grants of up to $1000, one of 24 statewide $1000 “golden ticket” grants, one statewide “Super Golden Ticket” worth $10,000 and could possibly put that organization on the Give MN Leader board earning them additional grants up to $15,000.
In addition, many organizations have challenge grants which could further amplify your gift. So you could say that Give to the Max Day is your chance to Give for the Max, because your gift could become so much more.
To encourage donors in the Northfield area, local sponsors are offering 5 “golden ticket” grants of up to $1000, to participating local organizations (listed below). Drawings will be held at noon and 8pm on November 15th (winning donations will be posted on the 5th Bridge website, 5th Bridge Facebook page and announced on available local media sources). So give generously and give often to increase the chances of your organization winning. “Friend” 5th Bridge on Facebook for exciting updates throughout the day and for ongoing notices of volunteer opportunities.
The participating organizations:
Of course, there are many other area non-profit organizations, projects, fundraisers and teams participating in GiveMN’s Give to the Max Day. Just go to their website and search for ‘Northfield’ or ’55057′ and you’ll see them.
Last week, members of Northfield Transition Youth/YES (Youth Energy Summit) who worked on welding downtown’s new combination recycling/trash bins stopped by my corner office at GBM for a photo. And they brought a few photos of themselves welding the bins with Eco Gardens co-owner Howie Holt.
In the photo on the left (L to R) are high schoolers Arlo Cristofaro-Hark, Helen Forsythe, Antonia Cristofaro-Hark, and Cliff Martin. Not pictured: Avery Swearer. Behind them are two of the many adults who were involved in the project: George Kinney and Mary Jo Cristofaro.
Back in July, I blogged about the arrival of the combination recycling/trash bins downtown. Three commenters to that post told the story of how the project came to be. Northfield Councilor Betsey Buckheit wrote:
Northfield Transition Youth/YES developed the project to build recycling bins for downtown because, as Griff has complained, the plastic wheelie bins chained to the trash receptacles weren’t very attractive (and then they disappeared) and to encourage recycling. I believe they had a design competition, but their first design made of wood did not pass muster with the HPC. George Kinney was helping develop the project in its design/initial attempt, but I believe this was as a private citizen and not an EQC project.
The Downtown Streetscape Task Force was moving ahead to buy receptacles much like what has been created, but they cost $1500 apiece. Streetscape was willing, but that’s when Howie stepped in to say — Hey, we can do this cheaper here. I can teach kids to weld, we can cut apart old trash containers and “stretch” them with similar-looking slats. A bit more back and forth on this — keeping recycling dry is a big deal because wet paper, according to Joe Stapf, spoils the lot, so ensuring there were lids on the containers was critical. TJ Heinricy helped by providing old trash receptacles for creating a prototype. Streetscape Task Force worked out the details and is paying for the containers.
And, now they’re beginning to appear on the street. I understand from Howie that he’s got some great youth welding talent, too. The Transition youth, Mary Jo Cristafaro (another adult assistant), and Howie deserve a round of applause for their idea, persistence, and execution. Looks great; saves money.
NDDC’s Ross Currier wrote:
Betsey, in addition to the much-deserving Joe Stapf and T. J. Heinricy, I think thanks, by name, are due to Bob Will, Chair of the Streetscape Task Force, Steve Edwins, Member of the Heritage Preservation Commission, and Betsey Buckheit, Second Ward Councilor, for walking down to Eco Gardens and checking out Howie’s prototype. They all went the extra mile (okay, maybe it was only half a mile) to give the local option a chance.
Although having a decision-making rubric is a great idea (it can promote fairness and efficiency), it would appear that sometimes it’s a good idea to add a little “common sense” or, for a lack of a better term, subjective valuation to the decision-making process. The decision had been made according to the proper policy/procedure and the process/organization was moving toward timely implementation when Howie basically asked, “Could you give it another minute or so?” and Joe, T. J., Bob, Steve, and Betsey said, “We can give it another minute or so”.
Understandably, it would be a challenge to municipal efficiency (in terms of time and, sometimes, money), if we essentially second-guessed every decision made by a public sector group or entity. However, in this particular example of a sometimes stumbling (or seemingly inefficient), and admittedly stop and go process, reviewing the decision, particularly double-checking both the explicit and implicit values likely to be used by the community to judge the results, before taking irreversible steps to implement the plan, resulted in a better outcome.
City of Northfield Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) member George Kinney wrote:
Well deserved credit goes to the stalwarts of Transition Youth/YES, Mary Jo, and Mera Colling, who worked on quite a few designs over the past year and a half or more — lots of prototypes, many false starts, and I think we are so happy that the final design received everyone’s approval. TJ and Howie really came through for the group — helping to find solutions and getting the process moving. It wouldn’t have happened without their help. The group received additional support and encouragement from Northfield in Bloom and Curt Saffle of Waste Management.
As far as the EQC is concerned, we’ve been pushing for permanent downtown recycling options for probably close to 10 years, with Suzie Nakasian being the champion for several years on EQC (and then Planning Commission).
Happy to have had a hand in it.
In August, Jordan Osterman at the Northfield News did a story: Northfield youth group leads the way on recycling in parks, downtown
Thanks to the leadership of a group of Northfield High School and Arcadia Charter School students, along with the help of the community, city workers are now in the process of installing what will eventually be 28 new recycling/garbage bin combos in the downtown area and parks where no recycling bins were previously available.
In October, high school student Logan Regnier produced a video about the project and it’s up on Northfield Patch: Youth, City Collaborate on New Recycling Bins
5th Bridge is having their annual Goods for Good garage sale today and tomorrow.
Goods for Good is a community rummage sale event to raise money for various charities (chosen by each site host) that let’s anyone be a philanthropist. Sale hosts can convert unwanted household items into cash for their favorite cause without impacting their regular budget and non-profit organizations (clubs, schools, churches, etc…) can focus on their fundraising without worrying about the event promotion.
Among the 15 sites participating: Prairie’s Edge Humane Society. See that book Sandy Vesledahl is holding? No barnyard jokes, please.
The Minnesota High School Cycling League held their first Leaders’ Summit last weekend. I attended both days (Head and Assistant Coach licensing) along with Northfielder Sue Welch, Community Coordinator for the Cannon Valley Velo Club.
Gary Sjoquist, QBP’s Advocacy Director, organized and hosted the event at their Bloomington headquarters. Austin McInerny, (NorCal High School Cycling League, Berkeley High School Mountain Bike Team) did the classroom instruction on Saturday. Michael Hayes, Colorado Rocky Mountain School, conducted the skills training (in the classroom and on the bike) on Sunday.
Austin and Michael were impressive instructors: very thorough, great storytellers, well-organized, interesting, and funny. Gary treated us royally with breakfast, lunch and even dinner on Saturday, with ample snacks throughout each day and happy hours at day’s end. The only disappointment: it rained all day Saturday and on and off on Sunday so the end-of-the-day-rides had to be cancelled.
I’m pretty enthused about all this. Sue and I will soon host a community info night in Northfield for interested student athletes and parents.
See my album of 27 photos (large slideshow recommended) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:
Three weeks ago, I stopped by the Angry Catfish Bicycle and Coffee Bar in south Mpls on my way to the Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout. I wanted to take some photos so that I could promote this week’s Big Ring: 2nd Gear Art Auction that’s hosted there. The event, a benefit for SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education), features many Northfield-area artists among the 17 and is being organized by Northfielder Bill Metz.
I met the owner, Joshua Klauck, and the general manager, Ben Rogowski, who graciously posed for a photo with the poster for the event.
You can see some of the artwork that’s been donated by the artists on the event’s Facebook page where Bill has been busy posting updates and photos.
I’ve been a mentor since 2009 through Connected Kids, a program of Northfield Public Schools Community Services. It’s been a great experience for me and hopefully, Chad, my mentee. We still meet regularly.
I got this email from staffers Linda Oto and Cheryl Strike yesterday:
January is National Mentoring Month, and as part of the celebration Connected Kids is participating in I Am a Mentor Day via Facebook. The first-ever I Am A Mentor Day takes place via Facebook on January 11.
We’re asking mentors on Facebook to tell a story or anecdote about what it means to be a mentor or how being a mentor has impacted you.
See the Northfield Public Schools Community Services Facebook page and the national I Am a Mentor Day Facebook page.
Connected Kids, a program of Northfield Public Schools Community Services, currently supports 96 active matches and has served nearly 200 youth since its inception 7 years ago. Over that time, over 88 percent of youth have demonstrated improvement in academic performance and over 87 percent have improved attendance.
For more, see all my mentoring blog posts.
Saturday, December 10th is the date for the 10th Annual Northfield Jingle Bell Run/Walk.
The tradition of the Northfield Jingle Bell Run is that each year 100% of race registration fees go to a local non-profit organization. In honor of the 10th Anniversary of the event, a total of $10,000 will go to 10 worthy charities selected by 10 local groups. The exciting results will be announced on the day of the race.
Left photo: A group of
aging mature middle-aged young and perky women runners at the GBM yesterday. L to R: Linda Tollefson, Mary Loven, Laura Tiano, Mary Carlson, Kris Estenson, Nancy Carlson.
They’re hoping that they’ll be one of the ten groups selected to designate a charity of their choice. I hope to have identified those groups by sometime tomorrow.
A group of Northfield area non-profits are staffing a Give to the Max table at GBM all day today, part of GiveMN Day. (Details here on Nfld Patch). During my office hours this morning were:
I got this email from Justin Stets late last night, asking me to post the info below.
Griff: Mea culpa. Mea culpa. We/I have failed to keep you (as the leader in the Northfield online community) in the loop about the 5th Annual 5th Bridge FMSC event happening tomorrow and Saturday. I would appreciate any help you can give in posting the following information. As important, you are always welcome to the event to pack, to take pictures, to blog or to sing (probably in that order, though I must admit I have never actually heard you croon.)
I’m a great singer, as my children will attest but I decided instead to take photos this morning when students from Bridgewater, Sibley, and Northfield High School were packing food.
See the large slideshow of 16 photos (recommended) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:
Here’s the background info from Justin:
5th Bridge is sponsoring the MobilePack unit of Feed My Starving Children in Northfield on Friday, November 11 and Saturday, November 12. Over the course of the two-day event, 5th Bridge aims to engage 1,300+ area residents in packing 350,000 meals for starving children around the globe and raising $84,000 to pay for the cost of the meals. 5th Bridge raised the meal total from 250,000 to 350,000 as FMSC identified the pressing and urgent need to send food to the continent of Africa. 5th Bridge has taken on that challenge and we are calling upon more volunteers to help achieve that goal and pack food for children whom you will never meet.
This community has proven to be extraordinarily generous and we’re confident we’ll raise the funds necessary to pay for the meals. To date we’ve been successful at engaging a great range of participants. As an example, we’re expecting Sibley 5th graders and seniors from Millstream Commons on Friday morning. So, in short, this will an event that people of all ages will find rewarding. But we’re looking for more people power to pack meals. There are still a handful of openings for volunteers and we’d appreciate anything you can do to help spread the word.
Here are the two-hour spots we’re trying to fill:
- Friday, November 11 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
- Friday, November 11 from 5 to 7 p.m.
- Saturday, November 12 from 8 to 10 a.m.
- Saturday, November 12 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
All sessions will take place at Perkins Specialized Transportation (1800 Riverview Drive). A complete schedule and online registration is available on the 5th Bridge FMSC page.
Whenever NHS Store Manager Chip DeMann sees me taking photos downtown, he concocts some excuse to drag me into the Scriver Building.
Last week, he just had to show me his burgeoning collection of female mannequins. (Jane, doesn’t this worry you a bit?)
While we were there, he introduced me to Steve Koktavy who had volunteered to paint the inner room of the museum.
Steve has a commercial & industrial painting business here in Northfield, Koktavy & Daleiden. You can reach him at (612) 865-4733 or via email.
A crew of Northfield Historical Society board members, staff, and volunteers took on a nasty task this morning, cleaning out the demolition debris from a second floor office of the Scriver Building. Their efforts saved the Taking Northfield to the Next Level campaign $9,000 in renovation costs.
Among the crew: NHS Board members Debby Larsen, Scott Richardson, Jodi Lawson, and Heather Scott; store manager Chip DeMann; and Brad Ness, former DJJD chair and most recently, Lena’s main squeeze, Ole.
See my album of 16 photos, the large slideshow (recommended), or this small slideshow:
Got something to announce to the 500-1,000 people per day who visit Locally Grown? Read on.
While we’re primarily an issues-oriented blog, we also keep connected to the Northfield community by blogging about area people, events, organizations, and businesses.
So if you have something of interest to announce, consider these options:
- Arrange for a photo opp
People who are willing to show up at one of my offices (tables at area coffeehouses) and have their photo taken can usually get me to blog their announcement for free. See examples here, here, and here and then contact me.
- Become a member of Locally Grown
You can post 2-4 announcements/month for a measly $2.50/post. You email us the content, we create the blog post for you and publish it under your name. See recent membership posts here.
- Become an advertiser on Locally Grown
A banner ad costs $4-7/week. Your ad can then link to your announcement on your website or Facebook page
If it’s a PSA (public service announcement), consider submitting it to Northfield.org, KYMN, Northfield Patch, and the Northfield News.
The Northfield VFW hosted s a benefit for the family of Don Mills yesterday (details here).
See my album of 9 photos, the large slideshow (recommended), or this small slide show:
Our Valley Pond Townhouse Association neighbor, Shannon Mills (pictured at left with my wife Robbie), has had a lot to deal with lately.
Her townhouse burned down in 2009, she lost her job at Froggy Bottoms when it closed due to flooding last fall, and in February, her husband, Don Mills, died of colon cancer.
According to this blog post on KYMN: VFW hosts benefit for Mills family Saturday:
The Northfield VFW hosts a benefit for the family of Don Mills this Saturday. Don passed away in February after battling cancer, leaving behind wife Shannon and three children, Taylor, Christopher and Landon…
Saturday’s benefit will feature a variety of activities, including a spaghetti dinner at 5:00, a beer bash at 6:00 and a Texas Hold ‘em tournament that begins at 8:00. There will also be a silent auction starting at 4:00. If you’d like to make a cash donation to the family, you can do so at the First National Bank of Northfield. The benefit gets underway Saturday at the Northfield VFW.
The last time I used that phrase in a blog post title, things didn’t turn out so well.
Yesterday afternoon, local business owners, St. Olaf students, and miscellaneous other volunteers filled hundreds of sandbags on downtown’s west side behind Larson’s Printing.
Candy Taylor, Executive Director of 5th Bridge, was the volunteer coordinator. See the 5th Bridge flood volunteer page and the Northfield.org flood volunteer information page for more info.
See the album of
14 23 26 54 photos, the large slideshow (recommended), or this small slideshow:
The Northfield Ballroom Dance Club‘s Youth Formation Team held a spaghetti dinner fundraiser at the Northfield Ballroom last night and put on a dance show afterwards. (See this blog post for background on the group.)
See the album of 18 photos, the large slideshow (recommended), or this small slideshow:
Why should you give to Prairie’s Edge Humane Society on Give to the Max Day? Because of the following animals:
- Rocky the big black lab was found with two other dogs, abandoned in a house for five days with no food, no water, no outside access.
- Lovenia, the beautiful silver Persian cat, was found scared, wandering the countryside with matted fur and open soars on her body from someone trying to cut the matted hair.
- Bones, the calico cat, was abandoned in the Prairie’s Edge Humane Society parking lot overnight in a Rubbermaid tub in 90 degree heat, suffering from dehydration.
- Hope, the sweet black cat was dumped in a kennel along the freeway with three other cats in the minus 20 degree cold, she had to have her ears and tail amputated due to frostbite.
- Trevor, the big orange Tabby cat, was turned in to the PEHS shelter because his owner passed away.
- Chance, the beautiful German Shorthair Pointer, was turned in because he was too old to be a hunting dog anymore.
- Rex, the cute Cocker Spaniel had to be given up by his owner because of an allergy in the family.
- Angel, the beautiful terrier, was found tied to the outside of the PEHS building one morning by our staff, she had been abandoned.
- Red, the adorable Shiba Inu puppy was found lost and scared along the highway.
Prairie’s Edge Humane Society has taken in over 3600 animals in the last two years, with numerous stories such as these. PEHS gives them medical care, food, a warm bed to sleep in and as much love and attention as possible in order to re-home these animals. But the cost to do so is continually rising and due to the economy, donations have decreased over the past two years. Won’t you help us, help these animals who cannot speak or care for themselves? Won’t you help these animals who have been abandoned, neglected or just unable to stay with their current family out of no fault of their own? You can help Prairie’s Edge Humane Society care for these animals TODAY by donating to PEHS thru Give to the Max Day.
Give to the Max Day amplifies your giving impact in a number of ways. First, a $1000 “Golden Ticket” will be given to a random donor’s charity every hour. You could be that donor! In other words, donating at “off hours” like very early in the morning or very late at night could give PEHS a better chance of winning the Golden Ticket. Also, your donation could put PEHS on the leader board to win $10,000 or even $20,000 for the largest number of donors for our non-profit! Help us get “on the board” TODAY by clicking “Give to the Max” for the animals at Prairie’s Edge Humane Society.
Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010 is Give to the Max Day here in MN.
If you’d like to have people donate to a Northfield area non-profit organization or related project, attach a comment here with a link to its GiveMN page.
I got to know Dale Snesrud when the local racquetball club opened up in the late 70s (now called the Northfield Athletic Club.) Dale and his sons were avid players and got so into the sport that he and son Kyle eventually bought the club. Northfield has more racquetball players per capita than anywhere in the state and much of that is due to the enthusiasm that Dale, his sons and grandsons brought to the sport. They’ve since sold the club but still make it their racquetball home away from home.
I last blogged here about Dale in 2007 when he wrote an eloquent heroin-related letter to the Northfield News titled ‘Holy Discontent.’
Dale’s losing his battle with cancer and his son Kyle and grandson Elliot have organized a tournament in his honor called The "Oh Dale" Racquetball Invitational and silent auction.
I stopped by his house this morning to take his photo. As you can see, although he’s lost weight and is in a lot of pain, he still has that same mischievous smile.
Here’s Elliot’s letter with the details:
Continue reading A tribute to Dale Snesrud
I took this aerial photo of Memorial Park in Dundas during the Sept. flooding. It’s the home park for the Dundas Dukes Class B amateur baseball club.
(Someone has posted six more photos of the flooded field in an album on the Dukes’ Facebook page.)
I got this email from former Dundas Dukes manager Bill Nelson earlier this week: Continue reading Help the Dundas Dukes clean up Memorial Park on Saturday, Oct 9