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Operation Round Up sets record

In December, the Runestone Electric Association delivered 46 grants to local organizations, which it called a record for the utility's Operation Round Up.

Customers fund Operation Round Up by allowing the utility to round their bills up to the nearest dollar. Several times a year, Runestone distributions those funds, which amounted to more than $50,000 in 2017.

The deadline for the next round of funding is Feb. 12. Application forms are available by calling Runestone Electric at 800-473-1722 or at

In December, the 46 area organizations shared $23,400.

In Douglas County, organizations receiving $1,000 included Garfield First Responders, Birthright of Alexandria, the Alexandria Area Uncompensated Care Plan, Central Minnesota Elder Network, the Jingle Bells Foundation and the Alexandria Area YMCA. Someplace Safe received $950.

Groups getting $750 each included Garfield Fire & Rescue, the Alexandria Fire Department, Love INC of Douglas County and Habitat for Humanity of Douglas County.

The fund gave $500 apiece to the Marine Corps League-Runestone Detachment 1409, the Douglas County Sheriff's Posse, the Red Willow Arts Coalition, Lakes Area Gymnastics, Knute Nelson Foundation, Alexandria Senior Center, and Santa for Seniors.

Brandon History Center received $400, while $300 went to St. Lukes Cemetery Association and Ecumen Bethany Community.

Those receiving $250 were the Evansville Community Club, Junior Achievement of Alexandria, and Butterfly Hill Nature Preschool/Evergreen Community School.

Post-proms in Osakis and Brandon-Evansville received $200 each, as did the Central Lakes Symphony Orchestra, the Brandon-Evansville Trap Team and the Alexandria High School Senior Party.

Alexandria's Outreach Food Shelf received $175.

Runestone Electric Association serves more than 14,000 members in the rural areas of Douglas, Pope, Grant, Stevens, Ottertail, Stearns and Todd counties.

Art Guild forming

A pair of local painters want to form a community for visual artists, beginning with a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24, at the Douglas County Public Library.

Linda Gaugert and Naomi Bjorklund say they are starting an Art Guild in Alexandria that could serve its members by creating an artist directory and sale calendar.

"This is envisioned as a loose, but inclusive, collective of visual artists of all abilities, media and styles with a desire to build rapport and network together," Gaugert said. "The goal is to present area artists as a unified and comprehensive group to the public - especially visitors to our town, looking to view, purchase or engage with the visual arts."

For more information, contact Linda Gaugert at or Naomi Bjorklund at

Still booth space at job fair

Organizers of the 2018 Alexandria Area Job Fair scheduled for February say they still have booth space available.

More than 45 employers will take part, representing the healthcare industry as well as manufacturing, retail, service, transportation, and more, the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission said in a news release.

The job fair will run 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the Alexandria Technical & Community College Law Enforcement Gymnasium.

To reserve booth space, contact Abby Strom, the commission's community and workforce development coordinator, at 320-763-4545, or visit

This event is free for job seekers. Job seekers can get help preparing for the event at that website or by contacting the Alexandria WorkForce Center at 320-762-7800.