Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down, April 22

Views by the Echo Press Editorial Board. Topics: Broadway flowers, Points of Pride, Red Cross volunteers.

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Flowers along Broadway add a welcoming touch to Alexandria's downtown area.
Alexandria Echo Press file photo

Beautiful pops of color

Thumbs Up: Alexandria is fortunate to have bright and cheery pops of color along Broadway, thanks to the Downtown Merchcants Association’s flower basket effort. The baskets will be delivered and hung from the downtown lamp posts in early May. The association has been fortunate over the last few years to have dedicated sponsors who value the welcoming appeal the flowers bring to the community. You can support this effort by sponsoring a flower basket for $100 each. Sponsorship is being done on a first come, first serve basis. Forms must be received before May 1. The goal is to get enough sponsors to grow the placements of the flower baskets into the side streets. To be a sponsor, go to and scroll down to Downtown Flower Baskets.

Points of Pride

Thumbs Up: At Monday’s Alexandria School Board meeting, Superintendent Rick Sansted shared the district’s “206 Points of Pride.” It’s something the board does every month and should open some eyes about the good things that District 206 students and staff are doing. Those recognized this month were: Alicia Erickson was selected as an Aspirations in Computing Award Honoree in the Rising Star category. This honor is given to students who have attained some technology skills and demonstrated a commitment to continue to strengthen their skills and exploration of the field. Seventh-grader Carlee Schliepsiek won the Cherry Street Books Earth Day Poetry Contest for her poem celebrating the beauty of winter, which will be featured at Saturday’s Earth Day celebration. Thirteen students were selected to represent Alexandria in the 2022 All Conference Choir, including Brittany Lanus, Anna Melby, Olivia Brault, Kassidy Huwe, Jeryn Drewes, Ella Risnes, Isaac Baldry, Joel Brault, Ramsey Copeland, Isaac Loeffler, Anthony Hoyt, Matt Wieberdink and Noah Hubbard. Eight students were nominated for the CLC All-Conference Band, including Ilana Jensen, Madisen Melby, Heidi Carstenson, Colton Robertson, Grace Hedstrom, Mackenzie Goodwin, Evan Strand and Gabe Schneider. Tom Miller was voted Boy’s Basketball Assistant Coach of the Year for the 2021-22 season. Eleven students received the Northern Minnesota Robotics Conference All Academic Team honors, including Ramsey Copeland, Sarah Fuchs, Cody Hunt, Ilana Jensen, Alicia Erickson, Jacob Fleming, Machahila Hinnenkamp, Owen Jensen, Levi Johnson, Kyle Tvrdik and Owen Corle. This honor is given to robotics students who have a 3.5 or higher GPA and meet varsity level lettering requirements. Ellie Rauk, Hailie Kent, Sarah Kelley and Ailynn Fettig received Academic All Section honors for gymnastics. In Girl’s Basketball, Academic All-State honors were awarded to Tessa McGrane and Carlie Wolf, with Hadley Thul receiving honorable mention. Ian Johnson, Ashton Schlosser and Nicolas Witt competed at the State Archery Tournament and qualified for the National Archery Tournament in Louisville, KY.

Red Cross volunteers

Thumbs Up: Volunteers are the lifeblood for the American Red Cross. An astounding 90% of its workforce are volunteers. This month, they take a well-deserved turn in the spotlight. April is National Volunteer Month – a time to recognize the compassionate people who selflessly dedicate their time to helping others. Red Cross leaders are collecting signatures from Red Cross communities for a “thank you” e-card for the hard-working volunteers. Red Cross volunteers respond to an average of more than 60,000 disasters every year; train more than 4.6 million people in lifesaving skills; provide nearly 550,000 services to military members, veterans and their families; collect blood and platelet donations at more than 500 blood drives and donation centers across the country each day. To sign the e-card, go to .

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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