Mental illness speakers
In Our Own Voice (IOOV), a free public education program featuring two speakers sharing their compelling personal stories of living with a mental illness and achieving recovery, will be offered May 9, 2 to 3 p.m., at the North Branch Area Library, 6355 379th St., (in meeting room on left). The program includes a short video and a question and answer period. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Minnesota offers IOOV presentations around the state to improve public awareness of mental illnesses. For more information, call Brian at 1-888-NAMI-Helps ext. 116.
Regional Minnesota book award
Celebrate 25 years of the Minnesota Book Awards as East Central Regional Library presents an evening with four acclaimed and award-winning Minnesota authors at the North Branch Area Library May 9, 7 p.m. The event is one of six mini-galas being held across the state following the big gala in St. Paul. The ECRL event will feature readings, discussion and book signings by Catherine Friend, William Kent Krueger, Kevin Kling, and Julie Klassen. A reception with refreshments will follow the program provided by the Friends of the North Branch Area Library, the Chisago Lakes Friends of the Library, the Friends of the Wyoming Area – Giese Memorial Library, the Friends of the Cambridge Public Library and the Rush City Friends of the Library.
Almelund seniors meeting
Almelund seniors will meet at Amador Town Hall May 10 for a potluck meal at noon. David Johnson will be there to entertain. Cards will be enjoyed by all in the afternoon. Everyone is welcome.
WEI EcoSpa event
The Women’s Environment Institute will have a “EcoSpa: Mother of All Indulgences” day May 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost to attend this event at the Amador Hill Farm and Orchard is $65. On a full day at the WEI farm, learn about how to keep your body happy and healthy as well as the world around you. Indulge in a plethora of physical activities from Tai Chi, Yoga to aerobics; move on and relax in the massage and meditation kiosks; learn how to make healing and beautifying mixtures from herbs; watch demonstrations on cooking and teas; get hands-on time through our farm campus; wander through our woods and prairies; learn of the wonders of edible and healing plants that grow naturally in the area; and so much more.
Driver improvement course
A four-hour 55-plus driver improvement course is offered May 11, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Fairview Lakes Medical Center, 11725 Stinson Ave., Chisago City. 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 utilizing the most up-to-date research in the field, participants will be provided the latest information in regards to driver safety, new laws, and vehicle technology. The fee for the refresher course is $20. For more information or to register, visit www.mnsafetycenter.org or call 1-(888)-234-1294.
Kaboom! Thwack! Sharpen your pencils, layout your plots, and hone your cartoonist skills at this “Minnesota Comic Workshop” at the Pine City Public Library May 11, 1 to 3 p.m. Participants will learn about Minnesota cartoonists and apply techniques from a professional cartoonist to their own mini-comics. Class size is limited. Pre-registration is required. This workshop is for teens and pre-teens. Please pre-register at the Pine City Public Library 320-629-6403.
Annual bird walk
The public is invited to the Fifth Annual Bird Walk at Anderson County Park in Isanti County May 11, 8 to 11:30 a.m. Come explore the park for spring migrant and returning resident birds with expert birders Tom Anderson and Joe Sausen from the local Wild River Audubon Chapter. The park is located in the southeast corner of Isanti County on County Road 18, a quarter mile north of County Road 9 and two miles south of County Road 5. The event is free. Experienced bird-watching children are welcome. Call 651-462-2015 for reservations or with questions. A bring-your-own picnic lunch will follow at the picnic shelter.
The East Central Minnesota Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays will meet Sunday, May 12, 4:30 p.m., at Common Ground, the Cambridge United Methodist Church, 404 North Cypress, Cambridge. Please use the SW entrance. PFLAG welcomes attendance by and input from members of the LGBT community at its meetings. Those who have questions concerning PFLAG can call 320-396-3128 or 763-464-0079.
North Branch Auxiliary meeting
Next meeting of the North Branch Post 85 Ladies’ Auxiliary is May 14, 7:30 p.m. at the Legion. Topics of discussion for the meeting: Poppy Day, Red Bull Day, Midsummer Days and new officers. If anyone has questions, they can contact Roberta Elmstrand at 651 674-7210.
The Chisago County Senior Center fundraiser chicken dinner is back. Come to the center for some mouth-watering broasted chicken from the Brass Rail May 14, 4:30 to 7 p.m. There’s a choice of light or dark chicken, which will be accompanied by a side dish of potatoes and coleslaw made by volunteers. Cost: $10 in advance, $12 at the doors.
Brooke Roalson will be at the Chisago County Senior Center May 15, 11 a.m., to give a short informational presentation on the basics of Medicare; come educate yourself. Those with questions can meet with Roalson later that afternoon. Roalson can be contacted at 651-200-8641.
Audubon bird walks at Wild River
Experts from the Wild River Audubon Chapter will lead two bird walks at Wild River State Park this spring. The first walk begins at 7:30 a.m., May 18. The second walk begins at 8 a.m., June 8, during the Park’s Seegwan celebration day. Meet at the boat landing for each walk. All levels of birders are welcome to join in the fun and adventure.
Youth ATV safety training class
A youth ATV safety class is scheduled May 25. Registration is 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Chisago County Fairgrounds in Rush City. The fee for the course is $15, collected during registration that day. The test starts at 9 a.m., followed by the written and driving test. Make checks payable to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Participants must supply their own, 90 cc-plus ATV. Participants must complete a safety CD before the course. The CD is available free of charge by calling the DNR Information Center at (888) 646-6367 or (651) 296-6157, or the Safety Training Office at (800) 366-8917.
North Chisago Historical Society meetings
On June 4, 7 p.m., the society will meet at Rushseba Town Hall; the mayors of Rush City, Harris and North Branch will be guests at this meeting. The informal discussion is open to the public and NCHS members. The discussion will center on the sharing of a common interest in Old Highway 61 as it relates to heritage tourism. On July 2, 7 p.m., at Rushseba Town Hall, the society will have its potluck supper. Joel Karlsson from Sweden will provide the entertainment. The public is invited. Refreshments will be served.
Chisago County Senior Center fundraising raffle
The Chisago County Senior Center will have a fundraising raffle the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month now until Aug. 28. Tickets are $5 each. Winners receive $50 and their names stay in the raffle pool for all 12 drawings, regardless of how many times they win. Those who enter need not be present to win. Stop by the senior center, 38790 6th Ave., North Branch, to purchase tickets.
Volunteers are need at North Branch Food Shelf for three-hour shifts Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and/or Fridays. Contact Bobbie Eckel, coordinator for North Branch Food Shelf: 651-674-8313
Senior Surf Days
EC Regional Libraries are hosting “Senior Surf Days,” where seniors will learn how to surf the Internet. These classes are geared toward those who have little or no experience with computers. Call 1-800-333-2433 x83030 to find out when a class will be offered at your local East Central branch. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.