In a big show of support for a local family, hundreds of area residents turned out for the Colin Wurm benefit on Sunday at the Maple Lake American Legion.
Colin, the son of Loren and Janet Wurm, has Cerebral Palsy and is unable to walk. To help the family with the considerable expense of acquiring a van with a wheelchair lift, friends and family members worked to organize Sunday's benefit.
More than 800 pork chop dinners were sold, with the dinner line at times stretching out of the Legion's north door and into the parking lot.
Paula Schmidt, one of the event's coordinators, called the generosity of area businesses and individuals "amazing" with 206 baskets and items donated for a silent auction that netted about $13,000. Schmidt estimated that total proceeds for the event were about $24,000.
A benefit on Saturday has been organized to help give second- grader Colin Wurm a lift.
Colin, the son of Loren and Janet Wurm of Maple Lake, has Cerebral Palsy, caused by a lack of oxygen before his premature birth on June 13, 1999.
Family and friends are organizing a benefit on May 4 to provide the Wurm family with a converted minivan equipped with a wheel- chair lift.
To help Colin's family with the expense of a 2008 Chrysler Town & Country van and the $18,000 conversion, the May 4 benefit will include a silent auction from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Maple Lake American Legion. A pork chop dinner will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the Legion, the Maple Lake Messenger and First National Bank.
The Wright County Historical Society is inviting everyone to celebrate Minnesota's Sesquicentennial on Saturday, May 3. Two large events have been planned for people of all ages and both are free to everyone.
Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. volunteers from all over the county will present "A Step Back in Time" at the Wright County Heritage Center. Opening ceremonies commence at 10 a.m. and include a welcome by Honorary Chairman Ruben Bonk with acknowledgement of all honorary committee members from across Wright County. Senator Amy Koch and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann will also be in attendance.
Activities begin immediately following the opening ceremonies and include butter making, rope making, planting heirloom seeds to take home, and hand-washing clothes on a crank washer.
More information appeats in this weeks issue of the Messenger.
The I-94 killer has now become the Smiley Face Killer.
Over the past two years, various theories have emerged concerning the drownings of young men along the I-94 corridor. Now, two retired detectives from New York have gone public with the results of their investigation and attribute the drownings not to a single serial killer, but an organized group of killers.
As part of the April 22 county board meeting, all five of the Wright County Commissioners introduced themselves to a group of high school juniors as part of the annual Wright County Boy-Girl Day at the county courthouse. It is standard procedure - the commissioners will tell the students what cities and townships they represent and how many years of service they have on the board.
That process took a surprising turn when Commissioner Karla Heeter told the students that she has been on the county board for six years and this will be her last. She said she won't seek re-election. Instead, she will finish out her term and take over the position of executive director of the Buffalo Hospital Foundation.
While the decision to leave the board at the end of the year was in the works the last several weeks, Heeter said it wasn't until April 21 that it became official.
It was Prom night on April 19, and the highlight of the event, at least for the big crowd attending the Grand March, was the fashion show of gorgeous gowns.
Junior and senior couples at Prom 2008 "Winter Wonderland Masquerade Ball" paraded through the decorated Maple Lake High School gym and auditorium with winter scenes created by the Class of 2009.
Following the prom, the annual all-night Post Prom Party kept the couples busy at "Mardi Gras" with a variety of games and entertainment. Photos from the two big events appear on page 7 of the Messenger.
This year's Maple Lake High School representatives to Boys and Girls County and Boys and Girls State, are Theresa Gilbertson, Girls County; Jeana Renier, Girls County; Kathryn Metz, Girls State; Dillion McBrady, Boys State; Ryan Kotila, Boys County; and Tanner Van Lith, Boys County.
The Boys and Girls County/State programs are sponsored by the American Legion Clubs and Auxiliaries for the purpose of providing high school juniors with citizenship training and to illustrate the principals of representative government and the responsibilities young people will assume as adults. Criteria for the honor includes community involvement, high personal expectations, good character, tolerance of differences in others, ability to get along with others and to treat staff and peers in a respectful manner.
A good coach can inspire kids and two of those inspirational coaches were honored at the Annandale/Maple Lake Coaches Appreciation Banquet.
Set for April 16 at Reichel's Event Center in Annandale, the event, sponsored by Annandale/Maple Lake Community Education, has provided a means to extend appreciation to coaches from t-ball to high school varsity while selecting one individual from each school for the Coach of Excellence Award.
This year's winners were boys' basketball coach Tim Staloch of Maple Lake and volunteer softball coach Rick Walberg of Annandale.
Maple Lake's winning coaches in the first three years of the award were volleyball coach Marty Kiebel, baseball coach Tony Smith and last year's winner for both schools, wrestling coach Dean Jennissen.
Jennissen, who is now the principal of Dassel-Cokato High School, returned to Annandale to speak to the coaches gathered for this year's event.
At its April 14 meeting, the Maple Lake School Board heard that 13 companies bid on the first phase of the school construction project and the results were good for the district.
The bids ranged from a high of $1,199,900 from American General Contractors of Valley City, ND, to the low bid of $1,089,700 from Gen Con Construction of Burnsville.
Vaughn Dierks of Wold Architects pointed out that all of the bids were well under the estimated cost for the project of $1.5 million.
The bulk of the Phase 1 project to be completed this summer will be four new elementary classrooms, which were put on a fast track to help ease crowded conditions at the school. The project will also include a new kindergarten classroom and elementary cafeteria renovations.
Duncan McLeod, a 1996 graduate of Maple Lake High School, died April 9 when the vehicle he was driving collided with a dump truck just outside of Sauk Rapids.
"He was pronounced dead at the scene," said Benton County Chief Deputy Troy Heck. "He was traveling northbound on 35th Ave. The dump truck was traveling east on 2nd St. SE when it was struck." The cause of the accident is still under investigation.
McLeod, an employee of Opportunity Manor, a foster home provider for people with cognitive delays, was transporting a client at the time of the crash.
Although the passenger had to be extricated from the vehicle by the local rescue team, Jon Sargeant, Director of Development at Opportunity Manor, says his injuries were not life-threatening.