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Critically-acclaimed pianist Charlie Albright will perform Friday, Nov. 16, in Alexandria. (Contributed)

Soup dinner focuses on hunger, homelessness

A nonprofit poverty-fighting agency will host a soup dinner to raise funds and awareness of hunger and homelessness.

West Central MN Communities Action has planned the dinner for 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, at Alexandria Senior Center, 414 Hawthorne St., in Alexandria. It will take place during Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Donations will go toward the agency's family and community services.

Hoffman veteran to receive new tractor

A Hoffman farmer is one of five U.S. veterans who will receive a new tractor from Kubota Tractor Corporation as part of its 2018 "Geared to Give" program in partnership with the Farmer Veteran Coalition.

David McArdle, a U.S. Navy veteran who served in Iraq and medically retired in 2006, owns McArdle's McArket Garden. Now in his second year, McArdle operates a three-acre market garden and micro orchard, growing fruit, trees, flowers, berries and vegetables, as well as laying hens. He plans to add another two acres and expand his fruit and vegetable production, and will use the new tractor for chores such as adding compost to beds, and to ultimately install and remove posts to prepare for more beds.

Each of the five veterans will receive the keys to their new Kubota L Series compact tractor in their respective hometowns in a special ceremony. McArdle will receive his at 2 p.m. Monday at Alex Power Equipment in Alexandria.

The 2018 program received hundreds of applications from worthy veterans, the company said.

Critically-acclaimed pianist to perform

Pianist Charlie Albright will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 420 Irving St., in Alexandria.

Hailed as "among the most gifted musicians of his generation" by the Washington Post, the American pianist/composer/improviser has been praised for his "jaw-dropping technique and virtuosity meshed with a distinctive musicality" by The New York Times.

It will be the second concert of the 2018-2019 season of the Central Lakes Concert Association. Concert goers must belong to the Central Lakes Concert Association to attend.

For more information, call Kathi Haug at 320-815-8979.

Project Bookshelf

A local group is collecting new books for children from the ages preschool to high school to distribute with the Jingle Bells Foundation's annual Christmas baskets.

The American Association of University Women and Garden Bar on Sixth will host a kickoff event at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15. Guests bringing at least one new book for any age, child to adult, will receive a free glass of wine. They will also accept monetary contributions.

Dubbed Project Bookshelf, the effort will continue to collect books through Tuesday, Dec. 4. Drop-off points are: the Community Education office at Woodland Elementary School; Alexandria Technical and Community College; Douglas County Library; and Cherry Street Books.

Books are matched by age and grade level to families on the Jingle Bells list.

For more information, contact Georgia Wahlberg at 320-834-2792.

Habitat seeking families

Habitat for Humanity of Douglas County is seeking families to apply for a home to be built in 2019. Each year, the nonprofit brings together volunteers to build area homes.

Families contribute sweat equity to the project and repay the mortgage. They are chosen based on their need for housing and their ability to repay the loan. Habitat looks for families whose income falls between 30-80 percent of the county's median income. For a four-person household, that would be between $21,500 and $57,300.

For more information, contact 320-762-4255 or, or visit the Habitat office at 1211 N. Nokomis St. NE in Alexandria.