Month: October 2018

Local Author Visit at the Ortonville Library

Author Michael J. Larson (Mike) grew up in the middle of the ‘bump and now lives right on the top of the ‘bump in Wheaton!  Our Public Library (Vicki Bartz) always has a full calendar of activities and author visits are of course on that list.  It is always fun to see one of our very own area authors featured! Mike will be at the Ortonville Library on November 27th from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. for a book signing (and some fun!)  for his children’s book “The First Advent:  Stories and Activities”  (this is Mike’s seventh book) Other Dates & Locations are: Clinton Bank on November 20th 11:00 to 2:00 p.m. Graceville Public Library, November 26th 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. This newly released book is designed to prepare children’s hearts and minds for the arrival of baby Jesus.  The First Advent contains stories and activities for each of the twenty-five days of Advent.  (More info link: A Grandchild) At the Library events, there will be some additional fun: At 5:30 pm author Michael J. Larson will …

Visitor Quote “This is just like a Hallmark Movie”

It is Monday morning with October fast coming to a close – and I heard an awesome quote from a visitor who happened to be in Ortonville for Friday’s Harvest Madness – Treat Street. Quote:  “This is just like a Hallmark Movie” The quote is from Marcee who is a friend of Rachelle Hasslen.  Marcee has always lived in larger cities and is not familiar with our Minnesota rural!  Well, not until Rachelle!   🙂 Wow.  I took the time last night to think on that statement.  We get so busy with work, volunteering, extended family and friends that I don’t think we really take the time to step back and take in the ‘big picture’.  So I thought I’d gather a few highlights starting with the festivities that earned that quote. Harvest Madness – Treat Street started at 4:30.  The kickoff was organized to start at Northside Medical Clinic (part of Ortonville Area Health Services-OAHS) for treats and to pick up a bag which they then took downtown where the Main Street businesses were ready …

Ortonville Flower Shop

From the “Meet Our Businesses Series” – Ortonville Owners:  Mark & Kandi Hamann Address:  136 2nd Street NW, Ortonville Phone:  320-839-2818 History:  When we purchased the flower shop, I wanted to do something that I really (really!) enjoyed.  I’ve had a great support system including family, friends, great staff and great customers!  There has not been a day that I dreaded coming to work. What they carry:  We strive to provide the freshest high-quality products possible including fresh flowers, plants, and candy bouquets. We also have a wide variety of gift items as well as seasonal decor. We also recently purchased additional space and are able to provide a great environment for people looking to get their products on main street (Second Street) What do you enjoy about Ortonville?  I love the small town atmosphere, love calling people by name when they come into the shop! My staff will tell you that it’s a must to greet each and every person that stops in! I also love to get to know people’s personal tastes and style. Helping …

What a Great Idea!

As we are rolling into a busy shopping season, I was thinking about the loyalty of our businesses – they are always the ones that we go to first for fundraiser donations whether it is for our kids, school extracurricular needs, or for a family in need.  They host great summer downtown main street events and we are now fast approaching their Harvest Madness event (best trick or treating around!)  … and I was wondering how we could help put out the “shop local” call with a friendly reminder.  However, KDIO and the Ortonville Independent were way ahead of me!   The really cool part of this is that our two (competing!) local media options have come together with an advertising package that gives a well-rounded approach to advertising – and the “ask” is PERFECT:  Please Check Local First.  Thank you.  Our businesses know that you may not be able to find everything on your list; however, they do all really appreciate the opportunity to be checked first.  A way cool idea, KDIO & Ortonville Independent.  …

45th Annual Scandinavian Food Fair

It is a special year at First English Lutheran Church, here in Ortonville – the 45th Annual Scandinavian Food Fair! When:  November 3rd Time:   12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Enjoy Scandinavian food and shopping It is a Scandinavian Coffee Party! Link to the official Facebook Event Page Event Flyer This event has been enjoyed by so many over the years, we thought it would be fun to share a little history – Enjoy!!           – Thank you to Ethel Swenson! 45th Annual Scandinavian Food Fair On December 1, 1973, the First English Lutheran Church Women staged their first Annual Scandinavian  Christmas Food Fair in the church basement.  The event was termed a great success and a fun project.  It was a project that was even profitable — $1,000.00 after expenses, which was earmarked for new “curtains”.  Forty-five years ago they “gladly did it” – they had a vision, a vision that started it all. Spending hours in their kitchens, the women provided some of the following for their event (as taken from their …

Leadership Book Club Invite!

I’m excited for the opportunity to work through this topic with Edie as she completes her extended education through The Humphrey School of Public Affairs (part of the University of Minnesota) in the Master of Public Affairs program!  I’m hoping others will join along for this learning experience! Edie Barrett invites you to be a part of her class project where she is hosting a book club featuring Brene’ Brown’s new book, Dare to Lead.  Listen to the KDIO news story below for details. (link below) The first meeting is this coming Sunday, October 21st from  2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Lingonberry’s Edie notes “We will circle around the following questions:  What does it mean to live in a quality rural community? What does that look like on a day-to-day basis? Who gets to decide what a quality rural community is? And what is my responsibility?” — There will be 11 free books available!  This book club will go through May 2019 and meet one time per month. Check out Edie Barret’s Facebook Invite at this …

Ortonville High School Trap Team

The Ortonville High School Trap Team is comprised of students in grades 6 – 12 that compete weekly in Trap Shooting competitions as part of the MSHSCTL (Minnesota State High School Clay Target League).  This sport is strictly sponsored by the students, families, and local community partners.  They receive no financial support from the school district, however, the school district does acknowledge the program as a varsity sport with potential to earn a letter. They had an opportunity to build a new shooting range and clubhouse just outside of Ortonville and they have been raising funds – a huge shout out to the sponsors that have already contributed so much!!  If you’d like to help with a sponsorship, please see the attachments – Fundraiser Letter & Fundraiser Ad (these were posted at the start of the fundraising efforts) Thank you to the Sponsors that have already contributed to this project!  Such awesome community support!  (On your computer?  hit the full-screen icon on the bottom right of the video!)

Cookies & Crafts – Ortonville Early Childhood Initiative

Cookies and Crafts – Halloween Style was held at Fairway View Senior Communities yesterday (Sunday, October 14th).  If you’re not following or plugged into the Ortonville Early Childhood Initiative group and you have kids, you should check out their Facebook link and “follow” that page! The Ortonville Early Childhood Initiative started in 2006  by a group of pretty dedicated residents (parents themselves) and through support and organization assistance from the Southwest Initiative Foundation.   They receive the ongoing assistance from Big Stone Area Growth as their flowthrough nonprofit entity (with thanks to Johnson & Roggenbuck, P.A.) Vision Statement:  The Ortonville Early Childhood Initiative commits to building community partnership that enhances childcare, educational opportunities and family support for children birth to age 5. When I look at the photos that Michelle Bauer took from this event, I see the focus fully on the children – and an amazing community wrapped around them in support.  Our beautiful Fairway View Communities hosted the event (you’ll even find our CEO of Ortonville Area Health Services & Fairway View Senior Communities, David …

Art in Ortonville & Big Stone County

The 2018 Meander (Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl) is coming up this weekend (October 5, 6, & 7th).  And, often times we (as economic development people – and likely City Council members) look to the numbers as verification of the impact that an art event provides to their community – for confirmation.  Like, in 2017 there was a total of $111,920 total reported Meander art sales to customers during the Meander weekend with $2,870 Average reported art sales per artist.  Then there is the breakdown of average expenditures per customer:  $124 on Meander Art, $43 on Food/Gas, $11 on shopping, other than art, and $18 on Lodging.  85 to 1,500 were the reported total number of customers at individual studios for the entire weekend.  (Big Stone County’s Red Barn stop with multiple artists always ranks high on the customer visitor chart) However, this picture – this young lady – reminds me that art not only contributes financially, it is also a vital foundation for our community’s youth and families.  So taking my eyes off the …