Kidz Kraze is planning a free family event from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31 at Harvest Church. Lots of candy, prizes, games, and food are included. Everyone is welcome. Call 763-444-8883 for more information or to volunteer.
Christmas caring tree
Any parent in need of help purchasing gifts for their children can pick up an application for assistance at the Rush City Food Shelf – open every Tuesday from 2 to 4:45 p.m. The applications are also available from Rush City churches. This offer is limited to children ages infant through 18 and living in and attending school in the Rush City School District. Rush City Cares and Rush City Lions sponsor this event. In addition, a winter clothing exchange will be held Nov. 19 in the Rush City Foods Mall. People can donate gently used coats, mittens, hats or scarves. Those in need of these items can pick them up at the mall.
Lights of honor
To mark Ecumen’s 150-year history of nonprofit service, Ecumen Parmly LifePointes is hosting a “Lights of Honor” celebration. On Nov. 1, dozens of paper lanterns will be lighted in honor of the special people in our lives and our memory of heroes and loved ones. Residents, friends, families and the greater North Branch community are invited to join the celebration. The Honor Lanterns are available for purchase ($25 each), and proceeds will be used for something special for the community. There will be a special ceremony called Lights of Honor. For more information, contact Miriam Aaland at 651-829-0958 or Miriamaaland@ecumen.org.
Join talk on aquatic invasive species
The Friends of the Sunrise River group is excited to present an informative talk on “Common Carp Biology, Control and Lessons for Aquatic Invasive Species,” by Professor Peter Sorensen of the University of Minnesota. The public is invited to Sorensen’s talk at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1 at the Royal Wilcox Community Center in Sunrise. At the U of M, the Sorensen Lab focuses on understanding fish behavior and its ramifications to the ecology and well-being of fishes, as well as control of invasive species.
Author visit, book signing
Coffee Talk, 479 Bench St., in Taylors Falls is hosting a book signing event featuring author Angela K. Bennett on Nov. 3 from 1-3 p.m. Bennett, a resident of Center City, will be available to sign copies of her novel, “Losing Grip.” Samantha, a diminutive, shy outsider, has a terrible secret, something worse than anything the meanest bully in school could do to her. When evil messages for Samantha surface at her home and school, her dark past begins taking over her life. Will someone be able to help her face her past? Or will she have to depend on her inner strength to overcome her worst enemy? Find out in this coming-of-age novel.
Jumping into the story
Pine City Public Library is pleased to offer the writer’s workshop, First Pages: Jumping Into the Story, on Nov. 3 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants will discuss the components of an effective first page, view examples of current works and end with practical advice to help implement these details in their own work. Bring a page of your memoir or novels for critique. This workshop is suitable for all genres. Angela Foster is a poet and memoirist who lives in Pine City. In 2004 and 2006, she received the Carol Bly Award in Creative Nonfiction from Bemidji State University. Class size is limited. Pre-register at the Pine City Public Library or call 320-629-6403. This program is open ages 16-plus.
Learn how to write with calligraphy pens during a one-night class through We R Able on Nov. 5, 6:30 p.m. at the St. Croix River Education (SCRED) building, 425 S. Dana Ave., in downtown Rush City. Instructor Valorie Arrowsmith will teach, at the beginning level, how to write in the italic style and how to make an easy book to serve as a container for the fancy handwriting. Pre-registration is needed, and there is a modest feel to attend. For more information or to pre-register call 320-358-1220.
Change of location for Historical Society
On Nov. 6, the North Chisago Historical Society will have its 7 p.m. meeting at the North Branch Library. The guest speaker will be Marilyn McGriff, a well-known author of Isanti books. She will entertain attendees with her portrayal of a United States W.A.C. in World War II. McGriff will come in costume and talk about her experiences as a female participant in the service of the U.S. Army in the 1940s.
Free ‘Today’s Health Topics’ program Nov. 7 at Fairview
Each year in the United States, adverse drug events — injuries resulting from the use of medication — result in over 700,000 emergency room visits. At 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, in Conference Room B at Fairview Lakes Medical Center, Kaitlin Yost, Pharm D, will provide information on how to safely use medications and the pros and cons of taking dietary supplements. She also will talk briefly about the Fairview Medication Therapy Management program. No advance registration is necessary for this free Today’s Health Topics program, presented by Fairview Lakes Community Health Outreach in conjunction with the Chisago Lakes, North Branch and Forest Lake community education programs. For information, contact Carla Norelius, 651-257-8806.
Cards and social time
Almelund seniors will meet at the Amador town hall on Friday, Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy cards and social time.
Mental health first aid course in Forest Lake
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Minnesota will hold a free mental health first aid training course in Forest Lake designed to teach the basic first aid skills needed to help a person who is experiencing a mental health problem or crisis. This two-day, 12-hour course is aimed at improving mental health literacy. It will be held on Nov. 12 and 13, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Hosanna Lutheran Church, 9300 Scandia Trail North, in Forest Lake. Participants should bring a lunch, and they will receive a course manual and certificate for completing the course. To register (required) or get more detailed information, contact NAMI Minnesota 651-645-2948.
Diabetes night out
The St. Croix Regional Medical Center in St. Croix Falls, Wis., is sponsoring a free Diabetes Night Out on Nov. 14 for those with diabetes and their family members or caregivers. New this year is a “hands on” health fair. SCRMC provider and staff will be available in display areas to answer questions and share information important to managing the disease. In addition, there will be light refreshments and giveaways.
Discuss ‘A Walk in the Woods’
Join Giese Memorial Library in Wyoming for a discussion on its November Book Club selection, “A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail,” on Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. Author Bill Bryson introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and some of the folks along the way. The book discussion will be held in the community room at the library, 26855 Forest Blvd. Copies of the books and discussion questions are available at the front desk. For more information, call 651-462-9001.
Learn the basics of Medicare. Find out how Medica’s Prime Solution Cost Plans can work for you at this Chisago County Senior Center class. No RSVP required. For questions call 651-200-8641. Classes are held at 1 p.m. Nov. 15 and the same time Dec. 8.
Visual arts show
Guests at an art showing opening at the North Branch library Nov. 17 will have the opportunity to view paintings and create dance moves inspired by them. The artwork was completed through a We R Able painting class this spring. The dance interpretations will begin at 11:30 and will be lead by Cheryl Braddock of the Dance Studio in Braham. She will help participants look at the paintings and express how they feel about them through movement. A reception begins at 11 a.m. when viewers can enjoy refreshments and also vote for people’s choice. Paintings will be on display through Dec. 14. For more information call 320-358-1220.
Defensive driving course
Save 10 percent on your automobile insurance. The Chisago County Senior Center will be holding a 4-hour refresher driving class Nov. 27, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $16 per person. Cash or check is accepted. Participants must preregister: 651-674-8658.
Winter bookmaking class
We R Able is offering a chance to learn to make some easy books using paper folding, cutting and gluing just in time for last minute gifts or cards for the holiday season. Valorie Arrowsmith is the instructor and teaches from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 3 at the St. Croix River Education (SCRED) building at 425 S. Dana Avenue in Rush City. For more information, or to pre-register call 320-358-1220.
Fiddler on the Roof
Play Inc. Community Theatre, along with Cambridge Center for the Arts, has announced this season’s full community production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” Play Inc. is looking for performers of all ages, with the majority of the cast to be adults (high school graduates and above). A small number of school-aged students will be accepted to fill out the cast as needed. Play Inc will be hosting auditions for the February 2013 performances on a “drop in” basis on Nov. 29, from 6:30-9 p.m., and Dec. 1, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Cambridge Center for the Arts, 122 2nd Ave. SE, Cambridge. No appointments are needed.
People also are wanted to help with lighting, sound, set construction, backstage and musicians to play in the pit orchestra. Contact Play Inc, or stop in during the audition times listed above. Call 763-691-8096 or visit www.playinconline.org and click on “Fiddler on the Roof.”
Change of meeting time
On Dec. 4, the North Chisago Historical Society will have its annual ethnic potluck meeting at 6 p.m. at the Rushseba Town Hall. Participants are asked to bring their favorite dishes for the smorgasbord.
Social respite for caregivers and seniors
Family Pathways Senior Services is hosting free events for seniors, 60-plus who are living independently, and senior caregivers. These events are called “The Gatherings” and offer quality, structured, one-on-one experiences for seniors. They are held two times per month at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lindstrom on the first and third Monday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 651-257-7905 for more information.
Free classes for child carers
Are you a family, friend or neighbor who regularly cares for someone else’s children while they are working or job searching? If so, you are invited to attend free CPR/First Aid classes and SIDS/Shaken Baby classes in October or November. Classes will be held in Pine City, Mora, Milaca, North Branch and Cambridge. Call Erinn at 320-629-5141 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to register and get dates.
Ruby’s Pantry food distribution is held the second Saturday of the month at 39404 Grand Ave. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. and distribution starts at 10 a.m., ending around 11:30 a.m. A $15 donation is requested.
Overeaters Anonymous meetings are held every Friday at 10 a.m. at the United Methodist Church fellowship hall, 5459 E. Viking Blvd., Wyoming. No dues, fees or weigh-ins. Call Anne at 651-674-1729.
Peer Support Group Offered in East Bethel
A NAMI Connection peer support group for adults recovering from a mental illness meets weekly in East Bethel. The free group is sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Minnesota. Trained facilitators who are also in recovery lead NAMI Connection groups. The group meets on the first and third Thursdays, 7 p.m., at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 19001 Jackson St. NE, in Pastor Maria’s office.
For more information, contact Laura at 763-639-8785. Find more about NAMI’s free classes and support groups at 651-645-2948.
Peer Support and Family Support Offered in Cambridge
A NAMI Connection peer support group for adults recovering from mental illness meets weekly in Cambridge. The free group is sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Minnesota. Trained facilitators who are also in recovery lead NAMI Connection groups. The group meets Thursdays, 6:30 p.m., at Cambridge Medical Center, 701 S. Dellwood Street, in the administrative conference room. For more information, contact NAMI at 651-645-2948. A family support group also meets at the same time and location to help families develop better coping skills and find strength through sharing their experiences. For information, call Sarah at 320-396-0443.