Winners of the 2006 awards for Volunteer of the Year are: front row, Lawrence and Louie Manuel and Jessica Freeman; back row, Tom Couette, John Gagnon, and Maureen and Rob McClanahan of Rob's Upholstery.
The volunteers were honored at a Sept. 21 presentation.
"You mean the world to us" was the theme of the event which took place at the Maple Lake school cafeteria and was hosted by Community Care and the Maple Lake Public Schools.
Nominated by individuals and businesses for their special efforts, the volunteers and their families enjoyed an indoor picnic, gifts, prizes and musical entertainment, provided by Tami Blahut and Sue Nelson.
Maple Lake High School began their 2006 Homecoming festivities by selecting the 10 candidates for king and queen. They are: back, Tony Treptau, Jake Elsenpeter, Traci Erger, Sam Luebbers, Adam Wold; Middle, Alana Ballweber, Seth Peterson, Laura Sawatzke; front, Kaylie Hudek, Rachel Sawatzke.
Coronation will take place on Monday, October 2, at 7 p.m. in the MLHS auditorium. The Homecoming Parade will take place at 6 p.m., Friday, October 6, just preceding the football game which begins at 7 p.m.
More Homecoming information can be found on page 6 in the September 27 issue of the Messenger.
The drive to obtain a library for Maple Lake is now in the hands of the Great River Regional Library Board.
On September 19, the case for establishing a library branch in the proposed Maple Lake City Hall was made to the GRRL Board by Wright County Commissioner Karla Heeter and Maple Lake Economic Developer John Meyer.
Heeter began the presentation by noting that Maple Lake is located in the heart of Wright County, a growing community with a population of about 2,000 and more than 500 homes platted for construction in the city. She said another indication of impending growth in the area can be found in the establishment of the Highway 55 Corridor Coalition, which is laying the groundwork for the expansion of the highway from two to four lanes within the next 20 years. And she said construction of the Annandale/Maple Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant, expected to start this spring, will allow for even more growth.
Dewey Lauderbaugh, an Avon salesperson from Maple Lake, was the winner of a 2006 Arctic Cat 500 from Kramer Sales in Maple Lake. The four-wheeler was the grand prize in a raffle conducted by the Maple Lake Property Owners Association to raise funds for a second year of walleye stocking on Maple Lake.
At left: Lauderbaugh displays her winning ticket and prize surrounded by Maple Lake Property Owners Association vice president, Nick Olsen; board member, Chris Nelson; president, Bill Ruddle; and board member, Kim Menth.
"It was a lot of fun presenting Dewey with the four-wheeler," said Olsen. "She never stopped smiling and made the comment that this was going to be the new AVON mobile. So when you see her pull up to your door on her new four-wheeler, don't be surprised."
(Editor's note: Carol McBrady regularly posts a newsletter for the Zambian Children's Fund. Italicized words are excerpts from those publications.)
If we're lucky, once or twice in our lifetime we meet someone who doesn't just talk the talk, they go out there and walk the walk. Carol McBrady is one of those people.
A 1969 graduate of Maple Lake High School, McBrady received a degree from Bemidji State University and went to work as a social worker in a battered women's shelter in Brainerd. After several years she went back to school, earning her Masters Degree in Social Studies and began a new career as a teacher. It was during her 2002 summer vacation that she visited the Texas-sized country of Zambia for the first time, traveling with a group of volunteers. She soon realized that going home and not doing something wasn't an option.
A joint effort by the Maple Lake School District and the City of Maple Lake is making both the city and its students a bit more secure.
Wright County Sheriff's Deputy Ken Kangas, who served for the past year and a half as the deputy charged with patrolling Maple Lake, is now the resource officer for Maple Lake Schools.
Earlier this summer, the city council and school board approved joint funding for a resource officer, a deputy who serves within the school as a resource on such topics as drug and alcohol abuse while building relationships with students and helping the school provide a secure environment for children.
Kangas said taking on his new role was a step in the right direction.
"I wanted to become a resource officer and I wanted to stay here because it's nice to know the area and the people in town," he said.
The 20th Annual Fly-In/Drive-In at the Maple Lake Airport on Sunday was more of a Drive-In as the wet weather hampered air traffic.
The Fly-In is co-hosted by airport operator Wright Areo and Chapter 878 of the Experimental Aircraft Association. EAA member Wayne Flury said a few planes flew in early before the weather worsened. "The ceiling and visibility dropped down to the point where it was not good Fly-In weather," he said. "But a lot of the pilots decided just to drive here because they enjoy the event and the dinner."
Flury said that although attendance was down, about 600 pork chops were consumed at the dinner.
Winner of the annual Prop Clock Raffle was Cheryl Young of St. Michael.
To view more photos of the event check out page 10 of the September 13 issue of the Messenger, or check out the photos right here on the website.
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, it was business as usual at the Wright County Courthouse. Employees were arriving for work, department heads were preparing for agenda items to be heard at that day's county board meeting and Sheriff Gary Miller was pulling into his parking spot.
Like others in his department, Miller had heard breaking news reports about a plane that had crashed into the World Trade Center. He, like most others, thought it was a tragic accident. As he and other employees watched on an office television, they learned the "accident" was anything but unintentional.
"It was a wild day," Miller said. "We watched the second plane hit the other tower. It was clear immediately that this was no mistake. Then the Pentagon gets hit within another few minutes and then we hear about the plane going down over Pennsylvania. It was something we had never seen before."
Nicole Nelsen took a long and interesting road to get to Maple Lake.
Nelsen swam for the Golden Gophers, traveled to Rome to say goodbye to Pope John Paul and hello to Pope Benedict, and is now the new youth minister for St. Timothy's Catholic Church.
A native of Alexandria, Nelsen left western Minnesota to attend the University of Minnesota and swim for the Gophers. But she discovered her passion for swimming was gone.
"At that point in my life, I wanted to pursue the faith," she said. "I fell in love with Jesus Christ and His church and wanted to study theology. I was burned out on swimming. I just felt like God was changing the priorities in my life."
Nelsen did coach swimming in Duluth after her father convinced her to study art. She obtained a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and taught art for two years in the Bloomington school system before changing the direction of her life once again.
Students at St. Timothy's School found a brighter and more colorful building awaiting them on the first day of school this week. Thanks to funds raised at the April Dinner/Auction for St. Tim's, remodeling of the school over the summer continued this year. The projects included new floor covering in the hallways and four rooms, upgraded lighting in the hallways, new switches and switchplates, refinishing of terrazzo floors, upgrading of restrooms, new shelving in the main office and stage area, a door door at the top of the bleachers and four sets of new exterior doors.
"All of this is due to the generosity of the parents and this community," said Principal Frank Mazzuca, who also noted the efforts of St. Timothy's pastor, Father Mark Huberty. "Not every priest is a school priest, but he is."