There might be a few more presents under the tree for some lucky Maple Lake residents who have a chance to win prizes at Saturday's Christmas in Maple Lake.
This third Annual Christmas event, sponsored by the Maple Lake Chamber of Commerce, has been set for Saturday, Dec. 2, from 3 to 5 p.m.
After the 5 p.m. tree lighting, the winners of the annual prize drawings will be announced. Prizes valued at more than $500 will feature boys' and girls' bikes for children up to age 12 and prizes for teens and adults that currently include two $50 sets of Business Bucks, two $150 sets of Business Bucks, one boys' and one girls' gift bag donated by Senior Connections and a copy of the limited edition Maple Lake Memories print of Irish Stadium featuring the Maple Lake Lakers, donated by the Maple Lake Chamber of Commerce.
To find out more information about Christmas in Maple Lake, check out the November 29, issue of the Messenger.
There is nothing like a Christmas concert in a beautiful church to ring in the holiday season.
Last year, the five-voice ensemble, Voice Trek, drew hundreds of local residents to St. Timothy's Church for a December Christmas concert.
This year, Terrell Steven Beaudry, St. Timothy's music director, will present the first concert of his holiday series at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1, in St. Timothy's Church.
Beaudry's "Answer the Call" tour will also take him to Elk River High School for a concert at the Zabee Auditorium on Friday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 p.m. Both concerts are free and open to all, with CDs available for purchase at each event.
Born the fifth of seven children to Don and Susan Beaudry of Elk River, that second concert will be a homecoming for Beaudry, who has served as the choir instructor at Elk River High School for the past five years. He and his wife, Ellen, have two young sons: Kazmer, 3, and Solomon, nine months.
Darin Decker, 21, of Maple Lake, hit the deer hunter's version of the Powerball on opening day when he bagged three bucks within minutes of each other.
Decker was overlooking a swamp near the family cabin at about 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 4, when luck struck. "The one (buck) came out and I shot him right away," said Decker. "Then another one, and then another, three bucks were chasing a doe into the swamp and I shot the three bucks."
Deer hunting at the family cabin near Floodwood, Minnesota is "kind of a tradition," according to Decker who's been hunting up there since he was 12. This year's family hunters included Decker's father, grandfather, brother, uncle and cousins, 21 in all. The group had eight deer to show for the season, four of which were shot by Decker who also bagged a doe about a week after his buck bonanza on opening day.
Four years ago, three male college students from Minnesota disappeared under similar circumstances. Within a two-week period from the end of October through mid-November 2002, University of Minnesota student Chris Jenkins, St. John's student Joshua Guimond and University of Wisconsin-EauClaire student Michael Noll all vanished after leaving late-night parties.
The body of Jenkins was recovered from the Mississippi River on Feb. 27, 2003, near downtown Minneapolis. Noll's body was found on March 25, 2003, in Half Moon Lake on the west side of Eau Claire. No trace of Joshua Guimond of Maple Lake has ever been found.
There were signs that the Great River Regional Library was preparing to turn down Maple Lake's request for a library branch before the library board's Nov. 21 meeting. GRRL administrators provided a gloomy outlook for the library budget at a Nov. 2 meeting if Maple Lake was accepted into the library system.
Despite a list of nearly 500 supporters and Maple Lake efforts that collected pledges of over $30,000 in a two-week fund-raising drive to show GRRL that Maple Lake would support a library branch, only Wright County Commissioner Pat Sawatzke, who sits on the 15-member library board, could be heard voting for a Maple Lake branch.
Friends and family of Joshua Guimond gathered at Holy Cross Lutheran Church on November 10 to remember the St. John's college student who disappeared without a trace four years ago from the St. John's campus.
Joshua, the only son of Brian Guimond and Lisa Cheney of Maple Lake, was a 2000 graduate of Maple Lake High School where he was a top student and a class leader. At the memorial service on Nov. 10 a video was shown of Joshua delivering the student address at the 2000 commencement at Irish Country Stadium. In his speech, Joshua praised Maple Lake's teachers and the support of parents for a competitive class that he said fed off each other's accomplishments. "No matter the adversity, our class has always come out on top," he said.
Jody Sherwood of Maple Lake was recognized by Sports Illustrated in its November 13 issue as one of six athletes in its "Faces in the Crowd" column.
Sherwood, 36, an executive assistant for a land development company, was cited by the magazine for leading the U.S. Senior team to the gold medal at the 2006 Barefoot Water Ski Championships at Lake Silverado in Adna, Washington. She won a tournament-record six gold medals and was named USA Water Ski's Female Athlete of the Month.
A story on Sherwood was featured in the October 4 issue of the Messenger. The edition of Sports Illustrated recognizing Sherwood is on newsstands this week.
Next year is going to be one to remember for Security State Bank.
Not only will 2007 mark the 100th birthday of the local bank, it will also include the sale of the bank to a new and enthusiastic owner.
First National Financial Services of Elk River, a family-owned financial holding company, has been operating in the Elk River Area since 1902 and has signed a purchase agreement as the first step in an effort to acquire Security State Bank.
"First National has been in my family since the beginning," said Chairman John K. Houlton. "We really understand community banks and the place they hold in a community."
But Security State Bank will not be a branch of First National. Both banks will operate under their separate charters, with Security State Bank keeping its name and its staff.