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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 and waiting for the trick or treaters.  I’ll start my reflections there, with OAHS, they have just under 300 employees, not including the outreach doctors and staff, they are our largest employer with healthcare our City’s largest industry.  That is how I construct an overview from an economic development perspective.  However, there is so much more – Hallmark type moments – that make OAHS thrive.  Back in 2011 when the new hospital (link to a few timeline highlights) opened, it was a $20 million dollar project with $2.2 million raised locally through the Big Stone Health Care Foundation and the local investment continues.  OAHS has been successful in bringing back many “locals” as doctors and much of the staff  (11 providers total at OAHS)  – Which also says quite a bit about our School system, but I need to stay focused here.   With a committee of community volunteers who researched and toured facilities around the state, the initial segment of Fairway View Communities a senior housing complex was built by the Ortonville EDA which has now been expanded, thanks to OAHS (circling back to OAHS!) and the commitment of our City leaders (Council) – as with the rest of our community, the senior housing complex has been constructed with care to keep that sense of community and home-style living – they even have their own Donnie’s Diner thanks to yet more local donations, this one from Donnie Stolpman.  (here is a link to the dedication video if you’re interested in this particular Hallmark moment) and for a photo of Fairway View Communities and a brief description you can check out this link to see what our community has accomplished by working together in senior housing – and as beautiful as this building is, it does not hold a candle to the amazing, caring and dedicated employees that are at the heart of this facility!  So… this is where Treat Street began on Friday.  🙂

Harvest Madness, Treat Street is hosted by the DRC which is a committee of Ortonville businesses under the umbrella of the Big Stone Lake Area Chamber.  Our businesses stay open late, dress up in costumes, decorate their buildings and hand out treats – this year it was estimated to be between 460 and 500 kids.  This quote from Diane Dwyer says it perfectly “This is such a generous & fun event for our community’s kids. Thank you so much Ortonville businesses!! You’re the best!”

As I think on this event and revisit the videos from recent activities in Ortonville (below), I’m thinking – yes… we really do compare well with a Hallmark Movie!  Thank you, Marcee, for reminding us to take a moment.  Reflect.  Smile.  #LoveWhereYouLive

Check out a few highlights from Harvest Madness in this short video:

Another recent video that is reflective of our community and dedication to youth is below.  Our Police Chief (and on the volunteer Fire Department & so much more…) has been very involved in the creation and support for the Trap Shoot Team which is associated with the Ortonville School, however, funding for this is all through student/family investments along with the many local sponsors – again, here steps in our businesses and community – and you can see by the list of sponsors on this video, we are a committed community!

And, speaking of our law enforcement, first responders ++, this is what National Night Out looks like in Ortonville!

And, below a couple more videos from community events in Ortonville from this summer…

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