Thumbs Up/Down - December 21, 2012Christmas spirit Thumbs Up: Here’s a short but sweet submission from Jane Pflugradt of Garfield: “Thanks to Cullen’s Home Center and all the other merchants who keep Christ in Christmas.”
Vigilance at school
Thumbs Up: The terrible shooting in Newtown, Connecticut has made people more aware of those who protect us, day in and day out. A Facebook post from Michelle Wencl was sent to Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels on Monday: “I saw you, Mr. Alexandria Police Officer. I saw you patrolling in front of the elementary school this morning when I dropped my child off. Maybe you’re there every day. Maybe I just didn’t notice you before. Today, I saw you. Thank you for your vigilance.” The words lifted the chief’s spirits and he shared it with his whole staff.
Magic of books
Thumbs Up: Even with a change in how it was televised, Jingle Bells was once again a big success, raising more than $115,000. And once again, more than 500 new books were collected and given to Jingle Bells through Project Bookshelf. The Alexandria Area Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Community Education District 206 thanks everyone who donated books or money to the effort. Sixth Avenue Wine and Ale was a key contributor by hosting the Project Bookshelf kick-off event. Students in the child development program at the Alexandria Technical and Community College helped sort the books by age level. “Once again, the magic of books has been shared with the young people in the area,” noted a local AAUW member.
Body shop kindness
Thumbs Up: Jane Ahlin of Fargo gives three cheers to Randy Wheeler at Alexandria Motors’ body shop. After she had a mishap in a local parking lot, he made the bumper of her car safe for driving on to a celebration in the Twin Cities that she did not want to miss. “When I asked what I owed, he said, ‘Nothing.’ If Randy Wheeler is an example,” Ahlin said, “Alexandria must be a very nice place to live.”
Thumbs Down: Are you shoveling away the snow and ice that clogs sidewalks and curb cuts? Not everyone is doing their part. The Minnesota State Council on Disability reminds people that sidewalks and walkways are the lifeline for many people with disabilities and the senior community. “When they are not cleared off, this can present difficulties with trying to get to work, the gocery store, or medical appointments,” the council noted. “Basic health and safety issues can be affected as well.” Don’t wait for the snow to melt. Do the right thing and shovel your sidewalk as soon as possible.
Stranger to the rescue
Thumbs Up: Chris Dalton of Alexandria came across some kindness at the pumps when his debit card was declined. The station clerk called the police, which is its policy. As Dalton was explaining his situation to an officer, a stranger passed between them and said he had paid the $22.01 bill. “I was shocked, thankful and close to tears,” Dalton said. “I don’t even remember thanking him…I’ve only been in Minnesota one year from Michigan, and I keep meeting more and more wonderful, caring people. The Land of 10,000 Lakes should be renamed the Land of 10,000 Angels.”
Thumbs Up: Ashley Steen of Villard was impressed with the Alexandria boys hockey team. Her son is part of the Alexandria Area Hockey Association’s Gopher Mites and they scrimmaged during an intermission at the varsity game. “The high school team took a knee along both blue lines to cheer on these boys during their game,” she said. “After the game was over, the high school boys made a human tunnel and made sure to give each Mite a knuckle as they were leaving the ice. We should be proud of these young men for being such good role models and mentors to our future athletes.”
Thumbs Up: Here’s a short but sweet submission from Jane Pflugradt of Garfield: “Thanks to Cullen’s Home Center and all the other merchants who keep Christ in Christmas.”
Ending child abuse
Thumbs Up: KIKV-FM and COOL 94.3’s Radiothon to End Child Abuse raised more than $33,000 this year. Dave Vagle, general manager of the radio stations, said it wouldn’t have been possible without support from volunteers and donators from Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stevens and Todd counties. Pete’s County Market also contributed by allowing the stations to hold the event at the grocery store. All State Wireless, Century Link and American Solutions for Business were key contributors, along with Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center, which provided incentives to callers for pledging. “Your generosity helps in the education of parents, teachers and anyone who comes in contact with children,” Vagle noted. “Through education, we hope to put an end to child abuse and neglect.”
Gift of life
Thumbs Up: Sylvia Klimek gives a thumbs up to the Alexandria area for giving the gift of life at December blood drives at the Alexandria Technical and Community College, Alexandria Clinic, Douglas Machine, Alexandria Armory and Viking Plaza. Another blood drive is set at Calvary Lutheran Church, December 26-27 from noon to 6 p.m.