TIDBITS October 2022


The YMCA of the North, a leading nonprofit dedicated to youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, and Penny and Bill George and the George Family Foundation, which works to foster wholeness in mind, body, spirit and community and support transformative programs serving the common good, celebrate the launch of George Wellbeing at the Y on Oct. 4 at the St. Paul Midway Y. This groundbreaking initiative to evolve the Y from “swim and gym” to a powerful, equity-focused community leader in whole-person health and wellbeing is rooted in the belief that wellbeing should and can be accessible to all in the community.

Hamline Midway Coalition welcomes Gary Laskowski to the board. Laskowski applied for the board because, “I like being involved in things that make a difference.” Born and raised in Steven’s point, Wis., joined the Air Force and was an aircraft maintenance specialist. In 1991, he moved to Minnesota after retiring from the paper mill. He currently resides at Hamline Hi-Rise In addition to serving as a board member of the Hamline Midway Coalition, he also serves as a board member at the Hamline Midway Elders.

The Minnesota Retailers Association is pleased to recognize Kendall’s Ace Hardware with its Customer Experience award as part of the 2022 Minnesota’s Retail Champions program. “Kendall’s Ace Hardware has fulfilled and continues to fulfill its mission to be the friendliest store in town,” said Bruce Nustad, Minnesota Retailers Association president. “All it takes is about a minute in the store, a few looks up at the unique artwork, a few looks down at the dog and cat, and a second to be helped by a Kendall’s associate, and you know you have come to the right place to have your hardware and houseware problems solved. It’s an honor to recognize and congratulate Ashley, Matt and the entire team at Kendall’s with our Customer Experience award.” Kendall’s Ace Hardware is one of the recipients of the Minnesota’s Retail Champions Customer Experience award. Ten other organizations are being recognized in other categories such as Retail Manager of the Year, Social Responsibility, Best Place To Work, Advocate of the Year, Building Community Through Retail, Partner of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, Special Achievement and Retailer of the Year. Kendall’s is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Spot, a Twin Cities creative marketing agency, has moved into their newly built custom office space on the third floor of Vandalia Tower in St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood. The agency, founded by local businesswoman and career advertising executive Patty Voje, relocated to accommodate its growing workforce and expanded services. Since 2018, Spot’s revenue has more than doubled, allowing the agency to create new roles, attract more talent to its team, and build new departments to better serve clients’ marketing needs. This growth drove the decision to relocate from its previous office in Lowertown St. Paul to the new space in St. Paul’s Creative Corridor where the available space has more than doubled to 7,600 square feet. “In business, your only option is to adapt and grow if you want to become relevant and stay relevant,” says Voje. “Anyone can start a business, but sustaining it as the world around us constantly changes requires you to be humble and accept that what was true yesterday may not be true today, so how can you respond in a way that best serves your customers?”

Old National Bank celebrated its first Better Together Volunteer Days on Sept. 28 and 29. The two-day event provided team members across Old National’s seven-state footprint the opportunity to volunteer together in the communities where they live and work. During the event, 1,572 ONB team members served 110 organizations by volunteering more than 5,300 hours. There were also virtual volunteer opportunities for those who could not participate in person. Locations in the Minnesota Market partnered with Meals from the Heart, based in Stillwater, to pack meals for local food shelves. The 130,000 meals Old National packed over the course of three days went to 20 local organizations: 360 Communities in Burnsville, Backpack Program in Minneapolis, Basic Needs of South Washington County in Cottage Grove, Big Lake Food Shelf, Bring it Home in Montevideo, Buffalo Food Shelf, CAPI USA in Brooklyn Center, Chippewa County Food Shelf in Montevideo, Cross Services in Rogers, ECHO Food Shelf in Mankato, Gather and Grow in Waconia, Hope Bridge Food Shelf in New Hope, Keystone Community Services in St. Paul, First Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Friends in Need in St. Paul Park, Lac Qui Parle County Food Shelf/Madison Food Shelf, Open Hands Midway in St. Paul, Prairie Five Community Action in Montevideo, Ruby’s Pantry (various locations) and VEAP in Bloomington.

The proposed Summit Avenue Regional Trail has sparked lively and divisive debate. An analysis of posts on the city’s official website for citizen input, Engage Saint Paul (www.engagestpaul.org) demonstrates strong opposition to the proposal. The page for the regional trail includes a “Share Your Idea” section, where people can post their “ideas,” suggestions and comments. From an analysis of information from the “Share Your Idea” section, Save Our Streets concludes that the majority of citizens oppose the Summit Regional Trail as proposed, according to Marilyn Bach. Moreover, opposing ‘likes’ are approximately 20 times more than the supporting ‘likes’.
• Opposing trail proposal: 69 comments, 435 total likes
• Supporting trail proposal: 9 comments, 21 total likes
• N/A, off-topic or unclear: 42 comments, 109 total likes
Save Our Street is a citizen group that seeks to educate and advocate for the preservation of the historic streetscape of Summit Avenue as a treasured St. Paul destination and a safe, tree-lined, multimodal corridor for generations to come. More at https://www.savesummitavenue.org/.


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