Bridges of Hope is looking for gardens for its third annual Summer Garden Tour, which showcases some of the finest gardens in the Brainerd lakes area.
The tour this year is set July 9 with proceeds benefiting Bridges of Hope's work to help families in need. Those interested in featuring their garden on the tour, should send Bridges of Hope a short story about their garden, which may include how their garden came to be, its design/layout, if it has a name and any special aspects of the garden.
People should submit their garden summary by mail at P.O. Box 742, Brainerd, MN 56401 or e-mail it to Tami Lueck at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is March 31.
Home Buyers workshop set
A Home Stretch workshop will be March 17, 19 and 24 at the Bemidji Bi-County Community Action Program office.
The class will teach participants what they need to know to be a more confident home buyer. The workshop also will provide information on current loans and assistance programs available.
The workshop is $25 per household. Applications are available at the front desk of the Bi-CAP office. For more information contact Teri Morrison at Bi-CAP at (218) 333-9867 or (800) 332-7161 ext. 143. Application deadline is March 16.
MMBA general membership meeting set March 17
The Mid-Minnesota Building Association general membership meeting will be March 17 at Radco Truck Accessory Center, 410 Highway 25, Brainerd.
Social hour begins at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m. with program running from 7-8:30 p.m.
Guest speaker will be Rick Storlie who will discuss secrets to maximizing your sales in any market.
Sign up for the meeting by calling Michelle Stoehr of MMBA at 829-4982 or e-mail her at email@example.com.
Edina Realty joins FoodShare campaign
Edina Realty in Baxter is helping raise awareness for hunger issues and collecting food and other donations for the state's food shelves by participating in Minnesota's March FoodShare Campaign, the largest food drive in the state.
Throughout March, Edina Realty offices will be drop sites for the annual food drive. Items in need include non-perishable canned or packaged foods; baby items including diapers, formula and cereal; and various household basics such as toilet paper, shampoo, laundry and dish soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes.
Holden received Medallion Award
NISSWA - Cindy Holden, a full-time real estate agent with Prime NORTH GMAC Real Estate in Nisswa, recently was honored GMAC's Ruby Medallion Award.
The GMAC Real Estate Medallion Club recognizes top performing sales associates and rewards their dedication to providing exceptional service and their knowledge of the residential real estate industry.
Holden is one of the select group of GMAC real estate sales professionals throughout North America being recognized for superior performance in real estate sales. Holden has been in real estate for four years and was named "Realtor of the Year" for two consecutive years. Holden is a member of the Greater Lakes Association of Realtors, Minneapolis NorthStar Multiple Listing Service and the National and Minnesota Association of Realtors.
RREAL launches its 2009 Solar Alliance project
The Rural Renewable Energy Alliance is launching its 2009 Solar Assistance installation season. The goal of the project is to bring 150 solar-powered heating systems to low-income households who qualify for energy assistance by 2010. In 2008, RREAL installed 25 systems throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota. In 2009 the organization's goal is to install 50 systems. Households in Brainerd and Pine River are on the list of future projects.
RREAL is a nonprofit organization striving to make solar power accessible to people of all income levels. RREAL's supplemental heating systems offset families' heating loads by the typical amount covered by energy assistance, thereby reducing or eliminating the need for government aid.
RREAL is partnering with a wide variety of agencies and organizations to make this year's installation season a success. Partners include Community Action agencies, Habitat for Humanity and Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and is supported by the Bush Foundation, Initiative Foundation, Patagonia and private donors.
If you would like to sponsor a low-income family for the 2009 season, check out the RREAL Web site at www.rreal.org or call (218) 587-4753.
'Point-In-Time Count' results in on homelessness
The results of a Central Minnesota Central Continuum of Care "Point-In-Time Count" survey that involved 642 homeless individuals recently were announced.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires all COC regions to coordinate a count to find "unsheltered" homeless individuals. HUD wants to see a snap-shot of what homelessness looks like on one single night in Minnesota. The Office of Economic Opportunity conducts the sheltered survey. In 2007, there were only 389 homeless individuals who were surveyed.
Out of the 642 homeless individuals surveyed in 2008, 361 were children under the age of 18 and 108 of the individuals were classified as "unsheltered." Being "unsheltered" means the person is living in a place that is uninhabitable.
Of the 108 individuals who are "unsheltered:"
• 30 individuals reported living in a vehicle or camper.
• Five individuals reported living in a storage unit or garage.
• 10 individuals reported they were living outside.
• Three individuals reported they live in a fish house.
• 36 individuals reported they were living in a place that doesn't have heat or electricity.
A central Minnesota 10-year plan to end homelessness was completed in 2008. As of last week, all 14 counties served by the Central COC have signed a resolution in support of the plan, including Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties. The plan will be used to examine and determine the needs and issues of rural homelessness and will be used as a tool to increase awareness and support from both local and state officials. The plan's five goals are to prevent homelessness, provide coordinated outreach, develop housing opportunities, improve service delivery and build capacity for self-support. The plan can be found at www.cmhp.net. For more information call Hanna Klimmek, Central Minnesota COC coordinator, at (320) 259-0393 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wells Fargo invests in Greater Minnesota Housing Fund
Wells Fargo announced a $750,000 equity-equivalent investment in the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund to support its Greater Minnesota Foreclosure Recovery Initiative.
According to a recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank, several of greater Minnesota's micropolitan areas have higher subprime loan delinquency rates than the Twin Cities metropolitan area, which is projected to cause a higher rate of foreclosures in these communities in 2010 and 2011. Through the Greater Minnesota Foreclosure Recovery Initiative, GMHF will make loans directly to greater Minnesota nonprofits and government agencies involved in single-family foreclosure efforts, effectively addressing the foreclosure problems in greater Minnesota.
Since 1996, when the GMHF was established by the McKnight and Blandin foundations, it has addressed the need for safe, decent and affordably priced housing for low- and moderate-income families in rural Minnesota. The GMHF also provides financing to individual home buyers, offers technical support to local communities and businesses and uses research and program development to identify new and innovative ways of increasing affordable housing.
Edina Realty Realtors receive special recognition
Edina Realty real estate agents from the Brainerd/Baxter and Crosslake offices were named members of Edina Realty's Chairman's, Master's, President's or Leadership Circles. Members of Edina Realty's Circles are those who reached an outstanding level of sales performance and customer service in 2008.
Earning a Master's Circle were: Bill and Joan Grunewald and Judy Hansen of Crosslake with Up North Properties Marketing Team; and Albie and Dustin Kuschel, Brainerd/Baxter, Kuschel Marketing Team.
President's Circle: Sue Coulter, Crosslake, Betsy Hollister and Marc and Linda Kuhnley, Brainerd/Baxter.
Leadership Circle: Loni Hiles, Bob Hamilton, Darla Jensen and Kevin Kruchten, all of Crosslake; Judy Altrichter, Dan and Tina Ellithorpe, Pat and Nick Heinen, Roland and Kay Hill and Preston Peters, Brainerd/Baxter.
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