Nov. 15 – Nov. 30

The Red Cross continues to face 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:
**TO ENCOURAGE DONATIONS around the THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY, those who donate blood at a Red Cross Blood Drive from Nov.21-24 will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-Shirt, while supplies last!! 
     Thurs.     11/15                    12:00-6:00             Light of the Cross Church in Garrison
     Mon.       11/19                    12:00-6:00             Crosslake Lutheran Church
     Mon.       11/19                    12:00-6:00             Elks Lodge in Wadena
     Tues.       11/20                    8:00-2:00               Elks Lodge in Wadena
     Tues.       11/20                    12:00-6:00             Deerwood Auditorium

  **Fri.         11/23                    12:00-6:00            Bertha-Hewitt High School in Bertha
     Tues.       11/27                    2:00-7:00               American Legion in Nisswa

     Wed.       11/28                    9:00-2:00               American Legion in Nisswa
     Wed.       11/28                    12:00-6:00             CentraCare Health in Long Prairie

     Thurs.     11/29                    9:00-3:00               CentraCare Health in Long Prairie

     Thurs.     11/29                    8:00-2:00               Verndale High School in Verndale

     Fri.                    11/30                    12:00-6:00             St. Mathias Catholic Church in Fort Ripley
     Mon.       12/3            12:00-6:00             American Legion in Ironton
     Tues.       12/4            12:00-6:00             Pequot Lakes High School in Pequot Lakes
     Thurs.     12/6            8:00-2:00               Pierz Healy High School in Pierz
     Tues.       12/11                    11:00-5:00             FitQuest Athletic Club in Baxter


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:

          Wed                        9:30-11:30             Pine River-Backus Family Center
Fri                          10:00-12:00           Northland Area Family Center

          Tues   11/20          10-12 & 1-2:30       Pillager Family Resource Center
          Tues   11/27          9:00 – 11:00           Cass Co. Health, Human & Vet. Services
For more information, call 218-547-1340 ext. 246

Free Master Gardener classes through the UMN Extension Crow Wing County Master Gardeners will take place at the Brainerd Public Library each month in 2018 from 12:00-1:00.  Monthly presentations facilitated by certified UMN Extension Crow Wing Master Gardeners will discuss subjects ranging from garden tools to gourds.    (Schedule subject to change…check their website for updates)
          Tues. Dec. 11                    “Holiday Pizzazz: Using Plants for Holiday Décor” JoAnn Weaver



**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 time.  Visit for more information.


In an effort to provide a safe environment to share stories, provide support and education to those who have lost a loved one to suicide, a Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Group invites you to its bi-weekly Monday meetings on the first and third Monday of each month.  The group meets from 7:00-8:30 at Lutheran Church of the Cross on County Road 13 in Nisswa.  This is a group for adults only.  With questions, contact Jeri Borgwarth at

Crow Wing County and Lakes Area Law Enforcement have come together to introduce The Vitals App.  Vitals is the new app that helps protect people with visible and invisible conditions and disabilities by voluntarily communicating critical information to law enforcement and first responders. Each Vitals individual is assigned a Vitals beacon that transmits a private and secure signal to authorized first responders that are within 80 feet, allowing them temporary access to critical information that can help the individual and law enforcement de-escalate what could become a dangerous or emergency situation.  To learn more, or to register for the service, visit or text VITALS to 797979.

Brainerd Lakes Area residents are encouraged to turn in your empty toner and ink jet cartridges at either of The Office Shop locations (Brainerd or Aitkin) for recycling.  By doing so, you will be helping the Zachary Johnson Kids with Cancer Fund.  The fund offers grants to surrounding area families with a dependent child (age 21 or under) who has any form of cancer.  It can be used for anything that the patient or caregiver wishes.  If you are interested in applying for a grant, contact Riverwood Foundation or stop at either Office Shop location.  Or to donate, visit or call 218-927-5158.

The City of Brainerd will use Crow Wing County Alert powered by EverBridge to make sure you know about issues that may affect your safety. This system allows the City of Brainerd to contact thousands of residents in seconds, so you can find out about an emergency right away.  Receive important messages from the City of Brainerd via email, phone, and much more!  Get up-to-the-minute information about severe weather, road closures, snow emergencies, event cancellations, and much more!  To register for the Crow Wing County Alert, visit 


It’s time for the annual Sertoma Winter Wonderland.  Everyone is invited to come drive through the Arb to see the landscape of beautiful Christmas lights.  Advance tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Cub Foods (both locations), the Brainerd Dispatch, Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union and at the Arb.  General admission at the gate will be $15/vehicle… $10/advance tickets… and $25/small busses and limos.  The hours of operation are from 5:30-8:30pm.  Run dates:
Thurs. Nov. 22-Sat. Nov. 24…… Wed. Nov. 28-Sat. Dec. 1st….Wed. Dec. 5-Sat. Dec. 8th….Wed. Dec. 12th – Sat. Dec. 15th…. And Wed. Dec. 19th – Tues. Dec. 31st.  For more information, visit

Honor a Veteran by making a donation to Wreaths for the Fallen, an organization making sure that all veterans who are at rest in the Minnesota State Veteran’s Cemeteries are honored with a wreath on their grave during the month of December.  On Sat. Dec. 8th, a remembrance ceremony will be held at 11:00 at the Little Falls and Preston, MN cemeteries.  Following the ceremony, volunteers will span out and place the wreaths on the graves.  To make a donation to the cause, please visit and click on “honor a veteran.”

Xcel Energy reminds you to watch out for scams
. If someone calls or shows up at your home or business and threatens to turn off your power if you don’t pay your bill immediately, hang up or shut your door. Xcel Energy doesn’t work that way. Call them to find out what you owe and when it’s due. If a caller says you overpaid your bill and will get a refund if you’ll give your bank account number, hang up and call Xcel. Don’t let someone steal your money or your identity. Don’t get scammed.



11/12 – 11/18


Bethany Good Samaritan Society in Brainerd will host a Thanksgiving Silent Auction from Mon. Nov. 12-Mon. Nov. 19th at the Bethany Gift Shop and all are welcome to participate.  The proceeds will benefit the Bethany Auxiliary Wish List.  Good Sam Bethany is at 804 Wright Street in Brainerd.

Bemidji State University’s Brainerd Area Alumni is hosting a Game Night at Shep’s On 6th on Thurs. Nov. 15th from 5:00-8:00pm.  Join BSU alumni and friends from the BSU Brainerd Lakes Alumni Chapter for bar bingo, trivia, prizes and socializing.  If you’d like more information, join the Facebook group: BSU Brainerd Lakes Area Chapter.  Otherwise, be at Shep’s on the 15th!

The Diabetes, Nutrition and Bariatric (DNB) department at Lakewood Health System is hosting a free ‘All Things Diabetes’ event on Thurs., Nov. 15th from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the lower level classrooms at Lakewood’s Main Campus (49725 Cty. 83, Staples).  Dr. Sarah Israelson and members of the DNB department will talk about the D5, new tools for managing diabetes, how to get the most out of your clinic visit and answer your burning questions. There will also be door prizes, refreshments and informational displays.  This event is free and open to all patients and community members. Please RSVP to Lauri at 218-894-8526. This event is funded in part by a grant from Thrivent.


Abuse, neglect, divorce, or a mentally ill, incarcerated or addicted parent are all examples of Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs.  Growing up in these types of environments damages developing brains and greatly increases the risks for many health and social problems. But ACEs do not define you.   There is hope.  Garfield Elementary and Lowell Elementary parents are invited to join Bridges of Hope on Thurs. Nov. 15th at Garfield Elementary School for a special event on how to strengthen your family, by breaking the cycle and learning how your past is connected to how you parent.  Session ONE runs from 3:00-5:00 (Parents only).  From 5:00-6:00, a FAMILY dinner will be served, then Session TWO runs from 6:00-8:00pm.  The family dinner is free to those who attend.  Free child care is available during the parent sessions.  Registration is required.  Visit and click on EVENTS to register.  With questions, call 218-297-1385.

Lights!  Camera!  Action!  Join the Brainerd Lakes Chamber and Widseth Smith Nolting for a Classic Hollywood Stars Premiere on Thurs. Nov. 15th at Cragun’s Resort on Gull Lake… for the annual Celebration of Excellence.  Walk the red carpet of fame to congratulate the newest cast of stars for the Leadership Experience Class of 2018, Business Excellence Award, Business Legacy Award and new Lakes Proud Small Business of the Year Award.  Plus you’ll learn who the winner is of the Destination Downtown 2.0 Challenge.   Tickets are $60.  For more information, visit

Tis’ the season for giving and receiving. And you can do both at the Crosslake Common Goods Christmas Boutique from 10 am – 6 pm Thurs., Nov. 15th.  Enjoy hot cider, cookies and Christmas music while you shop in a winter wonderland!  This will also be the first chance to see this year's Christmas tree ball gown design, in addition to brand new Christmas displays throughout the store.  In preparation for the Boutique, the Common Goods location in Crosslake will be closed November 14th.  Common Goods is a trendy thrift store for the community-minded shopper, owned by Bridges of Hope.  

New Pathways of Brainerd, a non-profit serving homeless families with children, is hosting a free informational breakfast event on Fri. Nov. 16th from 7:30 am – 9:00 am at Arrowwood Lodge in Baxter.   A short program will begin at 8 am, and will include a success story from a former participant, and a few words from Executive Director Pam Streed, as well as a time for questions and networking. The public is invited to attend and learn about New Pathways and ways to contribute to the success of our families and children.  Please RSVP to

There will be a dinner and bake sale from 5:00-7:00 on Fri. Nov. 16th at the Brainerd VFW on S. Sixth Street in Brainerd.  Homemade chicken dumpling soup and meatball stew will be served.  There will be a free will donation with 100% of the proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.  The event is hosted by the relay team, Relayers of the Caribbean.

Sourcewell is leading a charge to help carve out the workforce of tomorrow from the students of today.  School, agency, college, and business/industry personnel are invited to participate in the Building the 21st Century Workforce ConferenceFri., Nov. 16th at Sourcewell in Staples. The event is free and will help participants plan, build partnerships, and set regional goals in addressing workforce and student needs.  Program updates will be shared, as well as breakout sessions, planning workshops, and more. Schools are also encouraged to invite business partners and work collectively in planning sessions.  For more information, contact Bart Graves at (320) 349-0161 or visit

“A-Haunting We Will Go,”
written by Tim Kelly and produced by special arrangement with the Dramatic Publishing Co., will be performed on a Brainerd High School stage and the public is invited.  The Brainerd High School Theater Department will present the modern mystery on the Little Theatre stage at BHS. Performances are 7 p.m. on Fri. & Sat. Nov. 16th and 17th.  It will also be performed at 2 p.m. Sun. Nov. 18. Tickets are $7 for adults, and $5 for students/seniors.

“Oh, the thinks you can think" when Dr. Seuss' best-loved characters collide and cavort in an unforgettable musical caper. “Seussical the Musical” is a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza, bringing to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, and MANY.  “Seussical” is fun for the whole family!  The Pequot Lakes Community Theatre production will run at the PLHS Theater on Fri. and Sat. Nov. 16th & 17th at 7:30 and Sun. Nov. 18th at 2:00.  Tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors (60+) and $10 for 18 and under.  They are available online at

Abuse, neglect, divorce, or a mentally ill, incarcerated or addicted parent are all examples of Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs.  Growing up in these types of environments damages developing brains and greatly increases the risks for many health and social problems.  Please join Bridges of Hope for a community presentation on ACEs and how to prevent them.  The “ACEs & Resiliency” presentation will be held at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Brainerd from 9:30-12:00pm Sat. Nov. 17th.  A free meal will be served for the first 30 minutes for adults and children… and free childcare is available for the two-hour presentation after the meal.  Registration is required.  Visit and click on events.  Strong community happens when residents work together to address issues that affect their well-being.  Call 218-297-1385 for more information.

It’s a Fancy Feline Fiesta going on at the Heartland Animal Rescue Team (HART) in Baxter.  The shelter is bursting with cats and kittens who are looking for their “forever homes,” so they are running a special on cats/kittens on Sat. Nov. 17th from 11:00-4:30.  Stop by HART and find your new furry friend… Adult cats (1 yr and older) will be $20+tax….. kittens will be $40+tax.  Any cat that is not already altered will require a $50 deposit at the time of the adoption – that will be returned once the animal has been altered.  With questions, call HART or visit

Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace in Little Falls will host Corey Medina & Brothers, a blues-rock band led by Corey Medina from the Navajo Nation on Sat. Nov. 17th.   The trio says it sets out to “spread light to dark, and hope to the hopeless” with their raw, soulful, intimate music.  The Holiday Market Shopping opens at 10:00 with the music starting at 11:00, along with a pop-up Prairie Bay lunch and cash bar.  Then, enjoy over 40 vendors that are part of the market and make handmade, homegrown food, art and other products.  The event is free to attend.  Get more info and directions to Sprout at

The Nisswa American Legion will host its 14th Annual Thanksgiving Turkey/Ham Bingo on Sat. Nov. 17th from 6:30-8:30pm.  The games are open to the public, but you must be at least 18 years old to play.  Food will be available for sale during bingo.  For more information, visit 

The Lakewood Health System Foundation and the Lakewood Hospice and Palliative Care programs is inviting the community to their 23rd Annual Season of Lights lighting ceremony.  The ceremony will take place on Sun. Nov. 18th at 2:00 at Timbers Restaurant & Event Center in Staples.  The program will include music, a message and time for reflection and grieving.  The Season of Lights is a chance to sponsor an illuminated tree light to remember and celebrate special individuals and loved ones.  Lights range from $10 to $50 and the donations will be dedicated to the continuation of Lakewood’s Hospice and Palliative Care programs.  For more information, visit

11/19 – 11/25
Two of Minnesota’s top college hockey teams are set to square off in the annual U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum Women’s Face-Off Classic on Tues. Nov. 20th at the Essentia Health Sports Center in Brainerd.  At 6:00pm, Bemidji State University will take on St. Cloud State University in the annual benefit game.  Tickets are $10 for adults… and $5 for students.  Game proceeds will go to the Sharing Bread Soup Kitchen in Brainerd.  To purchase tickets, Google “Hockey Hall of Fame Women’s Face Off Classic.”    (( or… Online tickets are available at 

The 9th Annual Brainerd Turkey Run will be taking place once again on Thanksgiving morning, Thurs. Nov. 22nd. This holiday tradition includes a 5k run & 1 mile walk to benefit the Shriners Hospitals for Children. The Turkey Run is an experience for individuals and families that focuses on having fun, giving back to the less fortunate and enjoying a healthy way to start their holiday season.  Participants will start at 9:00 and finish at the Brainerd Amory but will get to run through the County Fair Grounds and through industrial Brainerd. This is a great first time 5k course or a fast course for a seasoned runner. The 1 mile walk is a quick jaunt around similar parts of South Brainerd.  Register for the Turkey Run online at  All ages are welcome to participate. 

The Brainerd American Legion, VFW, Elks and Eagles Clubs will again be sponsoring a Community Thanksgiving Dinner from 11:30-1:00 on Thanksgiving Day (Thurs. Nov. 22nd) at the Brainerd American Legion.  There is no charge for the dinner, but free-will donations will be accepted.  Dinners can also be delivered to shut-ins and to those who cannot attend.  Call the Legion to make those arrangements at 829-6393.

It’s time once again for the annual World Famous Aitkin Fish House Parade on Fri. Nov. 23rd starting at 1:00 in downtown Aitkin.  Bring the family, enjoy the spectacle that shows off some very creatively decorated fish houses and floats.  The Grand Marshal of this year’s parade is James Holst, host of In-Depth Outdoors.  For more info, visit

Nisswa’s City of Lights Celebration is set for Fri. Nov. 23rd and everyone is invited!  Nisswa welcomes the holiday season with a countdown to lighting up the town that culminates with a fireworks display.  The Nisswa City of Lights celebration will begin around 2:00 in downtown Nisswa.  Then, the downtown area lights up all at once at 5:30 p.m., with holiday lights adorning trees and fences, stores and other buildings. Festivities for the annual event begin in the afternoon with horse-drawn wagon rides, live reindeer, storytelling, food merchants, bonfires, hot cider and donut holes at the Pioneer Village and holiday carolers. After the countdown to turning on all the lights, Santa Claus makes an appearance and fireworks shoot up over town at 7:30 pm.  The event is free!


The public is invited to Tornstrom Auditorium on Mon. Nov. 26th to hear Dr. Kim Doheny (who is a colleague of Dr. Ross Green of the “Lives In Balance” program) speak about how teachers and adults in the community can help meet the social and emotional needs of their children/grandchildren/students who are showing challenging behaviors.  This is a free community gathering that will start at 5:00 and run to about 8:00.  Free child care will be available for those attending.  Those attending MUST RSVP through the link at and click on “Calendars” at the bottom of the page.

Dementia patients and their caregivers are invited to join a new choir designed specifically for them starting Mon. Nov. 26th.  Multiple studies have found that the ability to recall music and nurture singing are among the last areas of the brain to be affected by dementia.  A volunteer group is creating the group to increase self-esteem, confidence and a stronger sense of belonging to the patients and families.  The group will start meeting on the 26th at 7:00pm at Zion Lutheran Church in Brainerd.  For more information, send Diane an email at

The group Youth On Stage is hosting its monthly Open Mic Night on Mon. Nov. 26th  from 6:30 to 8:30.  The group wants to encourage young people from the age of 10 to 25 to share their talent (Music, poetry, storytelling, comedy, magic, dance, a band or small group, etc)  with a very receptive/supportive audience.  The YOS Open Open Mic Night is held at the Eagles Club in Brainerd.  NEW!--- Each performer who signs up online will get a free hamburger, fries & water served up right at the Eagles Club (unless the grill is closed) AND will have their name added for a prize drawing held at the end of the night!  For more information and to sign up, please check out our website

Want a convenient way to shop for Christmas gifts?  Stop by the Bethany Good Samaritan Book Fair on Mon. Nov. 26th in the community room from 9:00-3:00.  Books, toys, gifts and more will be for sale.  Proceeds will support Bethany residents and staff.  804 Wright Street in Brainerd.

The Self-Healing Communities Project underway in the Garfield and Lowell neighborhoods says, “Let’s Talk Solutions,” and have “A Community Conversation” on Tues. Nov. 27th at Lowell Elementary School in Brainerd.  Free child care and appetizers will be available at the event.  The project says they need everyone to come together and word toward a safer, healthier neighborhoods in the community.  For more info and to register, visit or call 218-297-1385. 

Healthy employees are key to a healthy business.  Workplace wellness can help your business increase employee satisfaction, maximize productivity, minimize absenteeism, and manage healthcare costs. Crow Wing Energized invites small and large businesses to attend a FREE Workplace Wellness Conference “Mental Fitness: 5 Ways to Increase Resiliency and Wellness in the Workplace” on Wed. Nov. 28th from 7:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Crow Wing County Land Services.  Featured speaker is Kay King, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Minnesota Community Educator.  Those attending are asked to RSVP online at and click on Events.

The public is invited to attend the Brainerd High School A’Cappella CHOIR’s presentation of their annual Madrigal Dinners to be performed at the Legacy on Fri., Sat. and Sun., Nov. 29-Dec. 1st.  The Madrigal dinner includes a full evening of entertainment put on by the 70-voice choir, beginning with a wassail social, a 4-course feast, entertainment by the court jester and actors, and a concert of Christmas music and carols.  Advance tickets are $35 and seating is reserved.  Tickets available online at

Hailing from the song-rich soil of Minneapolis, Brianna Lane, a gifted singer-songwriter who plays both guitar and banjo, will perform on Fri. Nov. 30th as part of the Grassroots Concert series in Nisswa.  The concert will take place at the Live Well Nightclub & Coffee Bar at the Journey Church in downtown Nisswa.  Admission is $10 at the door for adults…and $5 for children under 12 (with listening attention and accompanied by an adult.)  Doors open at 6:30, Show starts at 7:30.

The public is invited to a Craft & Vendor Bazaar on Sat. Dec. 1st at the Oak Street Chapel in Brainerd.  The Bazaar will be held from 9:00-2:00 and feature hand-sewn good, wool gloves, homemade wood products, crocheted items, Mary Kay products, Scentsy, “31” Bags, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, door prizes, food and more!  All are welcome, it is free to attend.

Mark your calendar for the Holiday Bake Sale & Boutique on Sat. Dec. 1st at Good Samaritan Society – Bethany in Brainerd.  The Sale & Boutique will be up and running from 9:00-1:00 and will feature craft vendors, concessions, holiday baked goods, and photos with Santa.  The event is hosted by the Bethany Auxiliary and GSS Way Committee.  To learn more, call Kelli at 829-4366.

Join the fun at the annual Holiday Sip & Shop event at Madden’s Town Hall on Sun. Dec. 2nd from 12:00-4:00.  You’ll see over 40 local vendors and enjoy wine tasting and goodies.  Tickets are $10 and available at Morey’s, the Cascade Med Spa, The Fine Line, The Hearth Room.  The tickets will be $15 at the door.  The event is sponsored by the Brainerd Service League, supporting charitable organizations in the Brainerd Lakes Area since 1938.  For more info, call 218-330-0001.

The Longville Area Community Choir invites the public to its Winter Concert, “My Lord, What a Morning” on Sun. Dec. 2nd.  The concert will take place at 4:00 at Salem Lutheran Church in Longville.  All are welcome.