Volunteers at Maple Lake School District 881 were honored with the annual Volunteer Appreciation celebration on Sept. 18 in the Maple Lake Elementary media center.
The event included refreshments, door prizes, music provided by MLHS senior Theresa Gilbertson, and an awards program honoring the Business of the Year and the Volunteers of the Year for the 2007-08 school year.
The award winners were Kelly Pribyl, Rosealice Hayes, Inger Tempesta, Dan Zahler, Marie Mavencamp and Dan Schmidt.
Community Care Coordinator Celeste Dahlstrom led off the program by announcing Zahler Photography of Annandale as the Business of the Year.
"They have been a pleasure to work with," Dahlstrom said, "always efficient and very accommodating."
Dahlstrom noted that Zahler is helping to provide the school with identification badges for volunteers and have donated numerous items to the schools.
Brent Puncochar and Pei Lee were crowned as the 2008 Maple Lake High School Homecoming King and Queen during coronation ceremonies on Monday night in the MLHS auditorium.
Homecoming week will also feature dress-up days, Irish athletic contests from the volleyball, cross country and football teams, and the 2008 Homecoming Parade, which is set for 6 p.m. on Friday. The parade route will start from the city park on a course through the downtown area and back to the school. Homecoming coverage continues inside this week's issue of the Messenger.
You have to see it to believe the changes that are taking place on Birch Avenue in the second month of the long awaited street reconstruction project.
But at this point in the project, Birch looks more like a plowed field with a cow path coming down the center. And there aren't many customers who would take a cow path to go shopping.
Business owners have struggled with heavy equipment jarring their walls, the disruption of utilities and, after several weeks of construction, a heavy loss of customers.
"It's quite a bit slower than usual," said Becky James of Becka Beads. It's a hassle for people to get in here, especially older people. One lady told me, 'I sure hope you have insurance.' Yesterday I had a big hole in front of my door. When people call for directions or to check hours I have to tell them we're all torn up. I don't know if they even bother to come in."
The events of Homecoming 2008 began with the selection of the Homecoming Court. Named to the court by their classmates were Rob Hannon, Brent Puncochar, Tanner VanLith, Dillon McBrady, Andrew Brinza, Laura Johnson, Naomi Leino, Megan Wurm, Jeana Renier and Pei Lee.
The first Homecoming events are set for Sunday with the annual Powder Puff football game at 4 p.m. and the He-Man Volleyball game at 7 p.m.
Coronation of the 2008 Homecoming King and Queen will take place on Monday, Sept. 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the Maple Lake High School auditorium.
More information on Homecoming events appears in this week's issure of the Messenger.
Despite last weekend's rains, work on the Birch Avenue reconstruction project is still running close to its original schedule.
City Engineer Jeremy Mathiasen said the plan to substantially complete the project on Oct. 17 is still on track.
"The weekend rain did saturate the soil," he said, "but if it has to rain, the weekend is certainly the best time to do it."
Wet soil slowed the work on Monday, but Mathiasen said utility work downtown and in the residential area should be done this week, with some services and storm sewer work remaining.
Once that part of the project is complete, work on the road bed will proceed. Mathiasen said some of that work has started in the residential area, with removal and replacement of poor road bed material.
Installation of curb and gutter will follow the road work, with that part of the project expected to be completed on Oct. 17, along with the first layer of bituminous.
The wet weather didn't dampen the spirits of either those hosting or of those attending Sunday's fundraiser for Carol McBrady and her Zambian charges.
"We had a wonderful, wonderful day," said Mary McBrady, Carol's mother and one of the many McBrady's lending a hand for their favorite cause. "I suppose there were 300-400 people there. Of course, you always hope for more and maybe the rain hurt, but then again, you couldn't work on the yard or go out on the lake!"
The Maple Lake Lions stepped up this summer to take over coordination of a golf tournament and provided Camp Friendship with a check for $5,000 as a result of those efforts.
Established in 1964, Friendship Ventures, which operates Camp Courage near Annandale, is a privately-funded, nonprofit organization that creates educational, recreational, and social opportunities for children and adults with mental and physical disabilities.
Friendship Ventures serves more than 3,200 people each year through its resident camp, respite and travel programs. Ninety cents of every dollar donated to Friendship Ventures support services that directly benefit clients.
The September 9 primary elections have narrowed the field for District 1 Wright County Commissioner to two. Facing off in the Nov. 4 General Elections will be Rose Thelen of Clearwater Township and Marian 'Sam' Harmoning of Annandale. Thelen drew nearly 28% of the total vote with 520 votes. Harmoning captured just over 19% of the vote at 361.
Six-year District 1 County Commissioner Karla Heeter of Silver Creek announced in the spring that she will not run for re-election since she accepted a position as the executive director of the Buffalo Hospital Foundation.
Results for the other five candidates were as follow: Gerry 'Gibby' Gibenhain of Maple Lake Township, 307; Chris Klein of Silver Creek Township, 158; Teri A. Lachermeier of Buffalo, 292; Daniel Snabb of Annandale, 34; and Patricia 'Trish' Taylor of Corinna Township, 196.