Billington named one
of Outdoor Life’s Top 25
Project New Hope, nonprofit organization supporting veterans and their families, announced that its founder, Bruce Billington, was selected as one of Outdoor Life magazine’s 2011 list of 25 important people in hunting, fishing, and conservation.
Project New Hope began in the fall of 2007 when Bruce Billington, an avid outdoorsman, of Crosslake, Minnesota viewed the value of weekend camps for veterans and their families. Considering the peaceful natural setting, he thought that such an experience might help veterans working to integrate back into normal family life and routines. His idea was quickly picked up and has been spreading across the United States and into Canada.
“I am humbled by this honor and I accept it on behalf of every volunteer in the Project New Hope family that has worked tirelessly over the last four years, making Project New Hope what it is today,” said Project New Hope founder, Bruce Billington in a news release. “I’m honored to be in such great company and want to thank Outdoor Life for recognizing what we do.”
This OL25 feature can be viewed in the magazine’s December ‘11/January ‘12 issue or on their website at http://www.outdoorlife.com/photos/gallery/hunting/2011/11/outdoor-life-25. As part of the online presentation, visitors can vote for their favorite of the OL25 honorees (voting began on Nov. 15).
Project New Hope exists to provide veterans retreats which include the entire family. Project New Hope describes itself as fostering family togetherness through a wilderness getaway. It is Project New Hopes goal to provide veterans (singles, couples, and families) with the education, training, and skills necessary to manage their lives after wartime service. Repair of relationships is a primary goal along with having a good time, Project New Hope reported.
Historic Butler Building to host Fish House Parade Arts and Crafts Fair
AITKIN — The annual World Famous Fish House Parade Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair is being held on the main floor of the Butler Building, 301 Minnesota Ave., in Aitkin from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 25. The Arts and Crafts Fair is part of the Fish House Parade, which takes place at 1 p.m. right in front of the Butler Building in Aitkin. Storefront windows are being painted with holiday scenes by area high school students.
Susan Ackerman, project manager, for the planned renovation of the Butler Building will be on hand with brochures that detail plans for the new project and to discuss retail opportunities. The renovation of the Butler Building will take place in three phases, the first being the Main floor shopping arcade. Floor plans will be on display during the Arts and Craft event. Individuals interested in renting space are encouraged to stop by and pick up an application from Ackerman. Anticipated opening of the Main floor Shopping Arcade is Spring 2012.
The next phase of the project will be the renovation of the Upper Level Opera House. That floor will provide Aitkin with a beautiful, historic room that offers flexible event space and a stage for performances. The final phase of the project is the Lower Level, front section will be The Grotto, rear will be known as The Rathskeller, offering two restaurants and additional performance space against a dramatic backdrop of 30” rock walls. The entire project is planned to be complete by 2014.
The owner/developer of the project is Sylvia Allen, a Minnesota native who lives in New Jersey but still has ties to the Aitkin area. Allen and Ackerman plan to restore the building to its turn-of-the-century glory.
More information on The Butler Project leasing opportunities may be obtained by calling Susan Ackerman at 232-0214 or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Investment information may be obtained by contacting Sylvia Allen at (732) 241-1144 or emailing email@example.com.
AARP Tax-Aide program looking for volunteers
The Brainerd lakes area AARP Tax-Aide program is looking for volunteers to help the elderly and low- to middle-income individuals prepare their 2011 tax returns.
Volunteers receive free tax training from the Internal Revenue Service and the state. In return, certified volunteers are asked to give at least four hours of their time each week during the 10-week period between Feb. 1 and April 15. Depending on skill level, first-year volunteers are partnered with a seasoned volunteer tax preparer to answer questions and assist in the preparation of tax returns. Individuals of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels are encouraged to volunteer.
During the 2010 tax filing season in the Brainerd area, counselors assisted individuals and families with more than 2,500 federal tax returns filed.
The classroom training class will be at Central Lakes College from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 3-5. Computer training will be at CLC Jan. 5-6. Preparation of returns at the various sites will begin Feb. 1. Call RSVP Volunteer Services at 824-1345 or Mary Birtzer at (218) 764-3245 to register. Course materials will be provided.
Benefit concert for Sharing Bread Soup Kitchen
There will be a benefit concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Tornstrom Auditorium for the Sharing Bread Soup Kitchen program of Brainerd.
Two Brainerd orchestras and the acoustic guitar ensemble will perform orchestral masterpieces from England, Germany, Austria, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and the Brainerd High School Orchestra Program will present a benefit concert on America representing Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Contemporary styles of music from nearly 400 years of composition.
The benefit concert is open to the public and a freewill donation will be accepted and given in total to the Sharing Bread Soup Kitchen Program.
Red Cross blood drive
scheduled for Nov. 29
The Whitefish Area Lions are sponsoring a Red Cross blood drive on Nov. 29 from noon until 6 p.m. at the Crosslake Lutheran Church in Crosslake. A free meal will be available after donation and door prizes will be given away. For information or to make an appointment, call Susan at 692-4646 prior to the date, or on the day of the drive call 692-3682.
Jailbirds raise money for Minnesota babies at
Brainerd Jail and Bail
BAXTER — Convicted of kindness, dozens of people raised money for Minnesota babies last week at a March of Dimes jail in Baxter. The jailbirds served their time behind bars Wednesday at the Pizza Ranch in Baxter.
The only way for jailbirds to get out of the big house was to raise a big bail. The money raised benefits the March of Dimes mission to help every baby have a healthy start.
The jailbirds raised nearly $12,000! That total includes money raised online to date and money pledged to jailbirds from friends, family and co-workers. The top jailbirds, who raised more than $500 each, includes:
• Sharon Clough, Just for Kix.
• Joni Ebert, Weizenegger Engel Insurance.
• Chris Foy, Ernie’s on Gull.
Each week in Minnesota, 139 babies are born premature. Babies born just a few weeks too soon can face serious health challenges and are at risk of lifelong disabilities. The money jailbirds raise and invest in March of Dimes is used to fund important research and programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and babies begin healthy lives. Funds are used to bring comfort and information to families whose baby was born too soon, or sick.
Airport panel’s Personnel Committee to conduct
a closed meeting Monday
The Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Commission’s personnel committee will meet in a closed session at 4 p.m. Monday in the county administrator’s conference room at the Crow Wing County Historic Courthouse.
The topic of the meeting will be the airport manager’s performance evaluation.
Special Crosslake Council
meeting set Monday
CROSSLAKE — The Crosslake City Council will meet in a special session at 11:30 a.m. Monday to review a city policy regarding donated leave time.