I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Brainerd lakes community, particularly those individuals who organized the community homecoming event. It was so enjoyable to attend the community-wide pep fest to such a large crowd of screaming Warrior fans, both past and present. It was especially exciting to see the alumni from 1937 still cheering on the Brainerd Warriors. I have never in my life experienced such a sense of community pride and school spirit, which continued on to the homecoming parade and football game. As many of you know, Brainerd is not my hometown; I was born and raised in the small town of Watertown, Minnesota. However, I've never felt more accepted by a group of people than I do when I come home to Brainerd. The amount of community pride and school spirit that encompasses this growing area never ceases to amaze me. Every time I drive home from college, I immediately am overwhelmed with a sense of belonging and pride that I have become a part of such a remarkable and beautiful area of our state. I still often visit my hometown of Watertown, but have yet to feel the rush I feel when I enter the city limits of Brainerd. I may not have been born here or even gone to school here, but from now on my veins will always bleed blue and white with Warrior pride and I will always make homecoming a tradition. These two days of events have given me a sense a great sense of pride. As I embark on my senior year of college and look forward to the next chapter of my life, I know that wherever my road may take me, it will always lead me back to my newly adopted home of Brainerd, Minnesota.
Elizabeth A. Neaton
Miss Brainerd Lakes 2007
Ron Johnson benefit is Oct. 21
It's wonderful to have a man like Ron Johnson be a part of our community. He's well known for all the kind things he does for people in this area, and he's known for racing at NCMS. It was a sad day to learn that Ron lost a part of his leg on Sept. 9, due to complications of diabetes. Nice guys like him just don't deserve that kind of bad luck!
A group of people have gotten together, to do a Benefit for Ron at the St. Mathias Pavillion on Sunday, Oct. 21st from 3-7 pm. What really impresses me, is the number of people doing an excellent job to put together what looks to be a very successful benefit. The spirit of this community, from private individuals to the many businesses who have donated to the benefit is something for all of us to be very proud of. I am so impressed with the generosity of this community, and it makes me very proud to live here!
After all the favors that Ron has done for so many, it is a good thing to see people volunteering to pay Ron back for his good deeds. What goes around comes around, and I want to thank the Brainerd lakes area for making such a huge effort to send something Ron's way!
Be a Kinship mentor
Innumerable studies confirm that mentoring young people saves communities thousands of dollars. Kinship Partners matches over 125 adults with kids to the benefit of our communities, the kids, and most rewarding - the adult mentor. Our communities include: Brainerd/Baxter, Crosby, Ironton, Deerwood, Emily, Pillager, Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Crosslake, Pine River, Backus, Garrison and Fort Ripley.
However, we have a waiting list of too many kids. Kinship Partners is desperately trying to find 100 adult mentors in 100 days. On day 40 we have 30 new mentors, 20 women and 10 men. Our boys on the waiting list average over a year before they are matched; and we have twice as many boys as girls on our waiting list!
It doesn't cost money to mentor, only time. And it is shared time. Just include a young person that needs an adult influence into your activities for a couple of hours a week, you won't regret it.
Contact Kinship at (218) 829-4606, or online at www.kinshippartners.org.
Kinship board member
Overhaul cost-cutting strategies
The proposed school tax referendum is an extremely important issue for the Brainerd community. Like many, I have spoken to numerous concerned citizens and I have also been fortunate to attend meetings held by supporters of both the 'Yes' vote and the 'No' vote. It is encouraging to recognize that these different groups share at least two standpoints. Both parties are committed to the well being of our area's children and both are genuinely and passionately concerned about the present and future standard of education here in the Brainerd area.
If you take the emotionally charged issue of child welfare out of the discussion, the school tax argument boils down to the question: do you believe the Brainerd School Board has pursued every possible option to reduce the need for the proposed school tax? Does the school board have the most effective financial management?
It should be noted that if the referendum does not pass, our education system would not immediately disintegrate, as some alarmists would have us believe. A 'No' vote will not result in a mass of unsupervised kids instantly turning to crime, nor an economic meltdown due to an uneducated work force. Experience and common sense tells us that, even with setbacks, there will be time and opportunity to improve the area's schools. Surely we, as a community, and the school board strive for this everyday.
If the referendum does not pass, I believe the school board should embrace the result. The school board could and should view a 'No' vote as a mandate from the public to overhaul its cost cutting strategies and financial management. If a school tax is needed, then our children, our community, our economic prosperity and our school district will all be best served by having that tax as low as possible.
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