Jan. 3 – Jan. 19

!  The Red Cross is facing a critical blood shortage and is issuing an emergency call for eligible blood and platelet donors of all types to give NOW and help save lives.  Blood donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in.  Commit to give and make a difference.  Use the Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to make an appointment.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:
Visit (where you can download the FREE Red Cross Blood Donor App) or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to make your appointment:       

         1/3/18            Wed.    12:00-6:00      National Guard Armory Brainerd (for Dee S!)  (838-LIFE)
Cass County Public Health is hosting some upcoming walk-in Immunization Clinics for children who are on MA/MnCare or who are un- or under-insured.  Select immunizations are available for adults who are un- or under-insured:

For more information, call 218-547-1340 ext. 246

Essentia Health is encouraging lakes area residents to get the flu shot.  There are a number of Walk-In Flu Clinics at each of Essentia Health’s Clinics (Baxter, Brainerd, Crosslake, Emily, Hackensack, Pequot Lakes, Pierz, Pillager and Pine River) OR you can do it by appointment.  Take 10 minutes for flu prevention by calling 218-828-7100 to schedule an appointment at the clinic nearest you.  For the Walk-In Flu Clinic times/locations, visit

The Second Saturdays, the Crossing Arts Alliance has art events for kids at their new location in downtown Brainerd (711 Laurel St.). The cost is $3 per child/$5 per family.  Recommended for ages 5-12, but all welcome with adult supervision.  Classes run from 10:00 a.m. til Noon. 
        Jan. 13    Charcoal Drawings
        Feb. 10    Valentine’s Arty Party
For more info., go to or call 833-0416.

**Kinship Partners is looking for mentors for a number of lakes area children who are on a waiting list.  If you would like to make the difference in the life of a child here in our community, please contact Kinship Partners.  Mentors can be individuals, couples, or families.  It doesn’t cost a lot of money, just a little of your time. Not only mentors are needed, but the Kinship Lunch Buddy program is also up and running!  Find out more about Kinship and the kids at




1/1 – 1/7

If you enjoy gospel music, don’t miss Greater Vision in concert at the Heritage Church in Baxter.  The free, fundraiser concert will be held on Fri. Jan. 5th from 6:30-8:30pm.  The concert is free, but a freewill donation will be collected.  The event is held to raise funds for the Lake Region Christian School Education Foundation. 


Don’t miss the fun on Ice Fest Weekend 2018 in Breezy Point Fri. Jan. 5th & Sat. Jan. 6th!  Enjoy 4 outdoor lighted skating rinks in Breezy Bay, Snow Golf, the Curling Rink, bon fires, food, drinks and entertainment!  On Sat. there will also be an ice slide, a pond hockey tournament, Horse-drawn sleigh rides, dog sled rides, and more!  Enjoy Wyld Ryce at Dockside Saturday from 6:00-9:00pm, followed by Tammy & The Bachelor from 10pm-2am.   For more information, look up Breezy Point Resort on Facebook!

Described as “one of the most distinctive and expressive vocalists to come around in a while,” get ready to enjoy the sounds of Davina & the Vagabonds at CLC’s Chalberg Theater in Brainerd on Sat. Jan. 6th.  Two shows will be performed that day… at 2:00 and again at 7:30pm.  The concert is part of the Cultural Arts Series and tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 218-855-8199.  Tickets are $25 for adults…$18 for those under 18. 


On Sun., Jan. 7 the Lakes Area Music Festival will kick off the new year with a concert titled “Virtuoso Baroque”. The concert is the second of a four concert Winter Series of the organization and will take place at 2 p.m. on the 7th, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Brainerd. As with all concerts presented by the organization, this concert is open to the public with no tickets required.

New rodeo stars will be born during the wild and crazy Dairyland Donkey Basketball Show” on Sun. Jan. 7th at the Pine River-Backus School.  The game starts at 2:00.  It’s basketball played on real, live donkeys and is said to be more wild than a rodeo and funnier than a circus!  The proceeds from the event will benefit Backus Cornfest 2018.  Tickets are available for $7.00 in advance (get them from any Backus Cornfest Committee member) or by calling Mindy at 218-252-1524.  Or tickets will be $10 at the door.  (1st game will pit the Backus Fire Department against the Pine River Fire Department…. 2nd game will have the Scamps vs. Backus Locker.




1/8 – 1/14


Have Concerns About Falling?  Crow Wing Energized is presenting a Falls Prevention class starting Mon. Jan. 8th.  Many older adults experience concerns about falling, and will often restrict their activities to avoid the risk. To help, Crow Wing Energized is launching another Matter of Balance course designed to manage falls and increase activity levels. 

The classes are also sponsored by  Essentia Health and the Central Minnesota Council on Aging, and are free, two-hour classes held once a week for eight weeks. The next class starts Monday, January 8 from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. and will be held weekly at Essentia Health – St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd.  Sign up online at or call Joanna at 218-454-2554. 



Time to start preparing – and raising funds for – the annual Pamda Plunge!  Recruit your family, friends and co-workers to form a team for the 2018 PAMDA Penguin Plunge that will take place on Sat. Jan. 13th during the Back To Hack weekend in Hackensack.  PAMDA (Pine Area Medical Development Association) sponsors the plunge with proceeds going to Essentia Health Medical Clinic at the Birchview Assisted Living in Hackensack.  For more info, visit

Or call Dawn at 675-6111.


Growers are invited to learn the basics to scale up their vegetable operations with Joan Olson of Prairie Drifter Farm on Tues. Jan. 16th in the Classroom at Sprout in Little Falls.  The workshop will run from 5:30-8:30pm.  An array of topics will be covered and farmers will learn the important concepts to help expand their farm and better-meet the needs of their customers.  REGISTER BY WED. JAN 10th online at and search SPROUT.  The workshop is free to attend.  (Sprout is located at 609 13th Ave NE, Door 8 in Little Falls)


1/15 – 1/21

It’s time to get your team together and join the fun at this year’s United Way Chili Cookoff at the Westgate Mall on Wed. Jan. 17th.  The theme this year is Chili Olympics…Celebrating the 2017 Community Campaign.  Enjoy up to 33 different chili recipes while supporting the United Way of Crow Wing & Southern Cass Counties.  Serving will take place from 11:00 – 1:00.  The Award Ceremony will take place at 12:45 with Olympic Gold Medalist, Phil Verchota from the “Miracle On Ice” team.   Tickets are $7.00 pre-sale…. Or $10 the day of the event.  For a list of pre-sale ticket locations, log on to


The Staples Motley Area Arts Council invites the public to come and enjoy the Iverson Family perform as part of the 2018 Concert Series.  Enjoy original songs of faith, new arrangements of old favorites.  The concert (which was postponed in Dec.) will now be held on Sun. Jan. 21st at 2:00 at the United Methodist church in Motley.  Get your tickets online at  You can also get tickets by visiting Staples World on 4th St. NE in Staples to purchase by cash or check.  For more info, call 218-894-1112.