By Teri Knight, News Director
FiftyNorth is busting at the seams. Since the senior organization began in 1972, it has morphed into much more than a place to dine and get help with transportation. When it moved into the city-owned Northfield Community Resource Center (NCRC) in 2000, its membership was 600. Today there are nearly 2000 FiftyNorth members, with 350-400 people visitingthe center daily. Along with a pool and several fitness programs, the organization offers a number of social opportunities as well as dining at the Sunshine Cafe. Director Lynne Pederson told the Northfield City Council this week that they’ve formed a committee to explore what options they may have for expansion and to also explore gaps in programming. City Administrator Ben Martig said there are some options for build-out at the current location. Additionally, with the new Greenvale Elementary being built this year, some of the community education programs may be moving out, possibly allowing space in the NCRC to open up. But, that option isn’t confirmed yet. Martig said staff at FiftyNorth will also be reaching out to architects for space design work. The idea is to have a report ready early this fall to present to their board and the council. Martig said they know there’s a desire for more gathering spaces and a larger lobby for socializing, adding, “So they’ve got quite a long list and they’ll have to also kind of narrow it down to what can we do, what’s feasible.” He added that, “The city actually helps participate in the cost of the fitness/wellness area, so the pool and the workout areas, we as a community, help pay for that at half the cost of the operation.” The Northfield City Council also discussed whether other tenants in the building may want more space. In June, city staff will come back to the council with some direction.
Stanton CAP has lots of milestones to celebrate – Churchill and Rezac honored
The Stanton Composite Squadron (CAP), our local Civil Air Patrol, is celebrating several historic ‘firsts,’ beginning with their one-year anniversary! They will be holding an open house on Tuesday, May, 21 at 7 p.m. Additionally, two cadets have achieved some significant milestones and awards. Cadet Second Lieutenant Will Churchill came up through the ranks and recently earned the Billy Mitchell Award, a level that only about 15% of all cadets nationwide ever attain. A cadet must excel in generals, leadership, aerospace and fitness. Churchill commented on his favorite part, saying, “I really like the leadership aspect of it, getting to lead, learn about leadership, teaching other cadets about the things that I’ve experienced in the Civil Air Patrol.” Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Laura Rezac was honored at the Minnesota Civil Air Patrol Annual Wing Conference with two awards: Cadet of the Year for Group IV of the Minnesota CAP and Cadet Public Affairs Officer of the Year for the entire Minnesota Wing. Rezac was given a position at the Summer Encampment at Camp Ripley, a week-long intense training camp for new cadets. As the public affairs officer, she describes her position as, “Basically walking around taking pictures of what’s going on. I also pull out cadets, both staff and people who are there for learning, I’ll give them short interviews to write profiles on them and we put it on the Wing Facebook page for their families to see what they’re doing.” Additionally, Rezac, along with her father First Lieutenant Jeffrey Rezac and her mother Stephanie, were named ‘Family of the Year’ for their dedication to the CAP program. The public is invited to the open house at the Stanton airfield. Young people from ages 12 to 17 are encouraged to come and learn more about the CAP program. Churchill will be presented with his Billy Mitchell Award at that time.
Empty Bowls today at Carleton
Carleton is hosting its 15th annual Empty Bowls community meal today, now till 1:15 p.m. on the campus Bald Spot. With a suggested donation of $20, all community members are invited to choose one of 600 student-made bowls and enjoy a simple meal of soup, bread and fruit together. All donations from this event support the Northfield Community Action Center (CAC) food shelf. Since its inception in 2005 at Carleton, the project has raised $79,951 for the CAC food shelf.