In 2008, Santa held baby Stetsen, infant great-grandchild of Ted and Darlene Koropatnicki, on Christmas Eve. Also pictured are Wyatt and Ethan. (Submitted)
Santa Claus recently retired his glasses. They are over 100 years old and have served him well. They have helped Santa Claus see a lot ... see the faces of children of all ages at public appearances ... see who’s naughty and who’s nice ... and see that each child on the nice list gets the appropriate Christmas gifts for Christmas. They have rested on Santa’s nose and ears as he brought families closer, brought joy to children on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and gave hope to people when they needed it most. For the last 30 years, Santa’s glasses have been worn by Pat Gaffaney of Thief River Falls. The wire-rimmed glasses originally belonged to his grandfather, but the lenses have been updated to fit his current prescription. First-time Santa Gaffaney first portrayed Santa at Valley Home in December 1983. He never intended to don the Santa suit, but fate intervened. Jerry Jenkins, a truck driver and friend of Gaffaney, was supposed be Santa Claus at Valley Home that year. That changed when Jenkins was called out on the road. Jenkins knew that Gaffaney would fit the role to a T and convinced his friend to fill in. The rental Santa suit came from Pamida and Gaffaney said the outfit wasn’t very believable.
The Franklin Middle School and Lincoln High School orchestras will perform their annual Christmas concert on Monday, Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lincoln High School Auditorium. Admission is $6 for adults, and $4 for students and seniors. The Franklin Middle School Sixth Grade Orchestra will perform first, performing songs from their book. Holiday Special is a short medley of “Chanukah, oh Chanukah,” “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas,” and “Jingle Bells.” They will then demonstrate their knowledge of fiddling with the folk song Liza Jane. “The Ukrainian Bell Carol” is a string arrangement of the popular “Carol of the Bells.” They will end with a medley of Christmas songs labeled “Carols for Strings.”
Fighting for position, Thief River Falls’ Josh Bernier (right) and Perham’s Ben Nelson battled at 120 pounds during Friday’s double-dual high school wrestling meet hosted by the Prowlers. Bemidji was the third party in the event, which served as the Prowlers’ 2013-14 season opener.
Thief River Falls wrestlers opened the 2013-14 dual meet season with a pair of losses Friday night, falling 40-30 to Perham and 46-25 to Bemidji. The Prowlers are a unique team with a contrasting mix of experience and inexperience. On Friday, it was inexperience that led to a close loss to Section 8AA rival Perham. “We are a mix of inexperienced and experienced kids. Our juniors and seniors need to help lead by example,” said Thief River Falls coach Kenny Geiser. The Yellowjackets led 8-0 after winning the first two matches over seventh graders. Dylan Fudge won by 20-5 technical fall at 106 and Patrick Johnson topped Cade Lundeen 9-4 at 113.
The Holiday Train is scheduled to arrive Monday, Dec. 16 at 8:30 p.m. at the Thief River Falls City Hall, but the festivities will start an hour earlier. At that time, the Thief River Falls Chamber of Commerce will host a community Christmas tree-lighting ceremony at City Hall. Attendees are encouraged to bring a cash donation for the Thief River Falls Area Food Shelf. During the festivities, the Thief River Falls City Council will serve cookies, cocoa and coffee. Local churches are donating the cookies.
Mary Espeseth (left) placed a donation in a Salvation Army kettle Thursday, Dec. 5 at SuperOne Foods in Thief River Falls. Bell-ringer Brandy Nelson from the Thief River Falls Eagles Club looked on. Money raised in Thief River Falls stays in Pennington County. A Salvation Army kettle is also located at Kmart in Thief River Falls.
Thief River Falls goalie Frances Marshall controlled the puck after making a stop during Tuesday’s Section 8A girls high school hockey game against East Grand Forks. Marshall had 22 saves in the Prowlers’ 2-1 win.
Section 8A girls high school hockey heavyweights Thief River Falls and East Grand Forks ran into each other for the first time this season Tuesday at the Ralph Engelstad Arena, with Round 1 going to the host Prowlers 2-1. Both sported 7-0 records when the puck was dropped. Thief River Falls was ranked No. 3 and East Grand Forks was rated No. 5 in the latest Class A state polls. “That was a big win,” said Thief River Falls assistant coach Blair Lund, who was handling bench duties for head coach Corey Poole, sidelined for medical reasons. “We knew it would be a battle. We’re both very good teams.”
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