Snowball Dance to raise money for travel

The Alexandria Area High School jazz students will hold their annual Snowball Dance from 7-10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, in the AAHS Commons, to offset travel costs to festivals and competitions.

Music will feature the AAHS Jazz Ensembles, AAHS Carolers, and the Doc's All-Star Big Band.

Entrance to the dance costs $2 for students, $3 for a student couple and $10 for adults. Tickets will be available at the door or the high school office.

Jingle Bells to hold 70th telethon

The Jingle Bells Telethon will go on the air for the 70th year in a row on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 5-10 p.m. at the Lake Geneva Christian Center, 605 Birch Ave., in Alexandria.

The telethon raises money for food and gifts for low-income families throughout the area. Throughout the night, local performers provide live music and entertainment and volunteers answer phones for donations.

Jingle Bells will air on Selective TV Channel 21.4, Charter Cable Channel 181, Gardonville TV Channel 4, Arvig Channel 14, Park Region Channel 1 and Runestone Telecom Channel 6. It will also stream live at

Its donation line for the telethon will be 320-762-0505. Donations can also be made online.

Jingle Bells is also looking for volunteers to box food and deliver meals and gifts from H. Boyd Nelson on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 9 a.m.

For more information, call 320-335-2488.

Workshop focuses on mental illness

A nonprofit organization that helps those with mental illness will hold a free workshop from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Douglas County Drop In Center, 1106 Broadway, in Alexandria.

NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) says the workshop will provide families and individuals with information on mental illnesses, practical coping strategies, and hope for recovery.

For information or to register, call 651-645-2948 or see "classes" at

Lakes group to discuss salt

Road salt makes winter travel safer, but it's not so great for lake water quality. The Douglas County Lakes Association is inviting the public to its monthly meeting at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, to discuss the use of salt.

Road salt as well as water softener salt can harm fish and plant life at high concentrations, says the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Just one teaspoon of road salt can permanently pollute five gallons of water, the agency says, and there is no easy way to remove it once it is in the water.

The meeting will take place at the Douglas County Public Works Building. The organization said several officials will attend: Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, Rep. Mary Franson and County Commissioner Jerry Rapp.

Reducing chloride in area lakes is one of the lake group's goals.