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Driver improvement program offered

■ Grad Blast Coupon

Book Fundraiser

AITKIN — Aitkin High School 2013 seniors and their parents are selling Herberger’s Community Day booklets to support Grad Blast, an annual lock-in held the night of graduation as a fun, safe send-off for graduating seniors. The coupon type booklets cost $5 with the organization keeping 100 percent of the booklet price. In turn, the customer receives up to $400 in special shopping offers at Herberger’s and other stores listed in the booklet.

Community Days is a two-day shopping event at Brainerd Herberger’s that will be conducted on March 1 and March 2. The company has created this event to enable nonprofit groups and schools to raise money to support their mission.

“This is an excellent fundraiser and is not hard but you need people to help,” explained 2012 chairman Lou Paulson. “This was all profit for us.” Shari Tetrick, 2013 chairman, is hoping that this year’s sales are as successful as previous ones, “whether the booklets are just thought of as a $5 donation or purchased by those cashing in on a good deal, all the profits go directly to Grad Blast.”

Booklets are available for purchase from AHS seniors and their parents from Jan. 15 through Feb. 28. Community Day booklets are also available from Sheryl Wold at Brandl CB- GMC, Tawyna Skaj at Security State Bank (Paulbeck Branch), Kelly Simons at Aitkin Quilts & Fabric and Kelly Tetrick at Auto Value Parts Store.

The Grad Blast Committee thanks contributors in advance for their support. For additional booklets, contact Janice Collins, 927-6478. Booklets are also available for purchase online at no extra cost, for further ordering information contact Shari Tetrick, 927-2291.Those who are interested in supporting Grad Blast 2013 with a cash or prize donation and who would appreciate to be personally contacted may contact Tetrick or Peggy Jones at 927-5686.

■ March for Life planned Jan. 22

Jan. 22 marks the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion in the United States. The Crow Wing County Chapter of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) is sponsoring a March for Life to commemorate this decision. Participants are asked to meet at the corner of Sixth and Oak streets in Brainerd at 11:30 a.m. and march to the Crow Wing County Courthouse. There will be a short program at the courthouse, which will begin at approximately 11:45 a.m.

Organizers said the annual March for Life is an opportunity to gather and grieve the loss of the over 55 million of unborn children who have been killed by abortion in the country and 500,000 in the state of Minnesota. It is also a forum for people to call on the Legislature to enact laws that protect the lives of unborn babies, their mothers, elderly persons and other vulnerable citizens. Presence at this march, organizers said, will send a clear message to state lawmakers that a majority of Minnesotans believe in a founding principle of this country — the “Right to Life.”

This year’s featured speaker is Father Mike Arms, retired Catholic priest from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Archdiocese who lives in Crosslake.

Individuals, families, students, church members, activists, public officials and others come together for this annual pro-life rally, according to the Crow Wing County Chapter of the MCCL.

■ 55+ driver improvement program offered

The Minnesota Highway Safety Center will offer a 55+ Driver Improvement Course on the following days: eight-hour first time course from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Pine River State Bank, 103 Mill St. S., Pine River; eight-hour first time, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Jan. 23, Walker Area Community Center, 105 Tower Ave., Walker; four-hour refresher from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 28, Lutheran Church of the Cross, 5064 CR 13, Nisswa; four-hour refresher from 5-9 p.m. Jan. 28, Pequot Lakes School, 30805 Olson St., Pequot Lakes; four-hour first time from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 29, Pequot Lakes Baptist Church-Community E., 20028 CR 112, Pequot Lakes; four-hour refresher from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Feb. 7, Lord of Life Lutheran Church, 6190 Fairview Road W., Baxter; four-hour refresher from 12:30-4:30 p.m. Feb. 7, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 300 1st St. N., Hackensack; and four-hour refresher from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Feb. 11, Crosby-Ironton Senior High, 711 Poplar St., Crosby.

The Driver Improvement course is open to the public; pre-registration is required. A Minnesota Highway Safety and Research Center certified instructor teaches this class. By using the most up-to-date research in the field, participants will be provided the latest information in regard to driver safety, new laws, and vehicle technology. The fee for the four hour refresher course is $20 and the eight hour course is $24. For more information or to register, visit our website at or call 888-234-1294.

Persons age 55 and older who complete the course qualify for a 10 percent discount on their auto insurance premiums for three years, according to Minnesota law. First time participants must complete the initial eight hours of training and a four hour refresher class every three years to maintain the 10 percent discount.

■ The Persuasions

concert postponed

Out of respect for the recent passing of Central Lakes College (CLC) Theatre instructor Dennis Lamberson, the Persuasions’ concert originally scheduled for Saturday has been postponed.

Cultural Arts Series producer Patrick Spradlin made the decision following Lamberson’s death. Lamberson died Jan. 8.

“There is a memorial service being held in Dennis’ memory on Friday the 18th,” said Spradlin. “I just felt that the timing for this concert wasn’t right. The group, Persuasions, agreed, and so we’re looking at alternate dates for the concert.”

Ticket holders will have the option of exchanging their tickets for another Cultural Arts Series event this season, or taking a voucher for a ticket for the rescheduled Persuasions concert. Season ticket holders will be given tickets for a newly added event on March 1.

Questions and concerns may be addressed to the CLC Theatre Box Office at 855-8199 or The box office staff will begin processing exchanges beginning Thursday.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889