Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down, Aug. 26

Views by the Echo Press Editorial Board. Topics: Rotary jubilee, breakfast for teachers, fake 911 calls, fair board, fair fun, aviation scholarships, DQ customer service.

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A long line formed outside the Alexandria Fire Station for the Rotary Club's 57th annual Pork Chop and Corn Jubilee on Aug. 17, 2022.
Contributed photo

Rotary jubilee draws big crowds

Thumbs Up: The Alexandria Rotary Club’s Pork Chop and Corn Jubilee was another big hit this year, drawing big crowds who came from all over the area and beyond. The event, the 57th annual on Aug. 17, drew this email from Sue Perry of Eagan: “We come every year to this worthy fundraiser,” she said. “George Abrass from St. Paul would not miss out even though the wait was almost one hour and 30 minutes. The best meal ever!” Proceeds from the feed help pay for Rotary projects that benefit the whole community, such as the music playground and public dock at Big Ole Central Park and the new playground at Curt Felt Memorial Park.

Free breakfast for teachers

Thumbs Up: All teachers in the area are invited to enjoy a free breakfast at the McDonalds in north Alexandria on Tuesday, Aug. 30 from 6 to 8:30 a.m. Teachers are asked to bring their school ID to receive the complimentary breakfast and enter drawings for prizes and classroom award certificates. The effort hearkens back to a long ago McDonalds’ advertising campaign: “You deserve a break today.” And teachers certainly fall into that category.

Prank 911 calls

Thumbs Down: There were a couple of very stupid, prank 911 calls last weekend. Someone apparently thought it would be “funny” to call 911 to report a murder, and later, a semitruck fire. After the fake murder call, the caller called 911 again and said it was a joke. It’s no joke if the time and resources law enforcement spends responding to these fake emergencies takes them from actual emergencies and real crimes where lives are at risk. If you hear someone laughing about the “trick” they played with 911, don’t let them get away with it. Contact law enforcement.

Fair board’s behind-the-scenes work

Thumbs Up: The Douglas County Fair Board does a lot of behind-the-scenes work that helps make the fair such a success. A reader who stopped by the Echo Press fair booth dropped off a note about it: “Does anybody know what all the fair board does?” he asked. “They’re here every day at about 7 a.m. or earlier, hauling garbage cans around, later driving the tractor and trailer around in the parking lot, giving people rides, helping out selling tickets and on and on. And they work all year on the fair!” He also wondered how much support the Douglas County Board gives the fair. We looked into it and found out that last year, the fair board requested an appropriation of $2.50 for each resident or about $95,000. The commissioners gave them $20,000. The fair board has not yet made a request for next year’s fair.

Fair was fun but line was long

Thumbs Up/Down: And speaking of the fair, a reader sent an email saying how much she and her family enjoyed another fun-filled Douglas County Fair. “The weather was perfect, the food was delicious and the entertainment was great,” she said. “The only negative was the extremely long lines to get ride tickets and there was only one line.”


Helping young people's dreams

Thumbs Up: Giving young people scholarships to help them as they pursue their career goals is always worthy of a thumbs up. According to the Alexandria Airport Commission, a new annual scholarship is being offered by local West Central Chapter #235 Vietnam Veterans of America in memory of longtime aviator and Vietnam veteran Newton Earl. It’s for students who live within a 25-mile radius of Alexandria and are actively pursuing a career in aviation. The scholarship will be awarded annually in the second quarter of each year. Candidates should contact Jim Conn (320) 304-2050 or for details.

Top-notch customer service

Thumbs Up: A reader said that a Dairy Queen South staffer should be commended for her attention to the customer. “I had paid for frozen treats through the drive-through and had 20 miles to drive home,” the reader said in an email. “A pickup with numerous orders was ahead of me waiting for their food. The staffer saw this right away and said she would move the cones so I could drive around the pickup. The staffer did not know I had 20 miles to drive on a summer day. Thumbs up to her quality customer service.”

If you have a suggestion for a Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down, email it to or mail it to Echo Press, P.O. Box 549, Alexandria, MN 56308.

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