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Woodbury Community Expo draws big crowd, raffle winners announced

Officers Jeff Gottstein and Stacey Krech dive a K9 demonstration at the Woodbury Community Expo Saturday. (Riham Feshir/Woodbury Bulletin)

From churches to banks, government to nonprofits, schools and health care organizations, the Second Annual Woodbury Community Expo was filled with information and activities for all ages.

The event, held at the Bielenberg Sports Center, kicked off Saturday morning with people strolling into the field house curious to see what's inside.

In addition to interacting with numerous community organizations, visitors got to watch performances by the St. Croix Squadron Civil air Patrol, Tropical Ballroom, Caught in the Act - Juggling duo, Woodbury Public Safety K9 Unit and the Summer Time Quartet and others.

One of the most popular entertainment and educational items on the schedule was the K9 demonstration by officer Jeff Gottstein and his dog Levi.

It drew a crowd of kids, teens and adults who watched attentively as Levi captured a pretend suspect on stage.

Gottstein explained that K9 dogs only apprehend suspects if they're told, if someone is attacking an officer or if a suspect is firing a gun.

"Their job is very, very important to our police department," he added.

Following the demonstration, expo attendees got the chance to interact with Levi in a friendly manner. Some kids posed for pictures with him, others gathered around to pet him.

Each booth at the expo offered something different, but many businesses were seeking exposure and interaction with a variety of residents from Woodbury and the surrounding areas.

Core Power Yoga and Spa of Woodbury is a fairly new business to the community that wasn't able to participate in the last year's expo. This year, the management team displayed a booth and answered various questions about different yoga styles and spa offerings.

Jennifer Robinson and Jessie Syfko are both yoga instructors and part of the management team who said one of the new yoga styles people were inquiring about is the heated class.

"It's a good way to round out your physical practice and your physical routine," Syfko said, adding that they joined the expo "to have exposure to more people and different demographics."

Diane Quinn worked an Anchor Bank booth and said many of the inquiries centered around commercial and business loans and mortgages, as well as personal checking and savings accounts.

"We really enjoy seeing all the people in the community, many of whom we see outside of this," Quinn said.

Many people were also interested in hearing soldier stories from those involved in the Yellow Ribbon Network, said Dale Johnson, vice commander of the American Legion clubs.

This year, the American Legion, VFW, Woodbury Veterans Memorial and the Yellow Ribbon Network worked together to display one booth as opposed to four different ones like they did last year.

Johnson said veterans of WWII, Korean War, Vietnam and the Gulf War were present to tell their stories and answer questions.

This year's snowy weather brought more people out to the annual event, said Kim Snyder, chamber membership director and one of the organizers.

"I think the weather cooperated to push people inside with the snow that morning," she added. "We had a nice variety of entertainment this year. I got positive comments on all of that."

Some of those who attended got lucky with grand prizes that included a Disney vacation, Vegas and Jamaica trips.

"We're looking forward to next year. We hope to have more participants and more visitors," Snyder said.

The following were this year's grand prize winners:

Paul Corrigan, Woodbury, Disney seven-day resort stay.

Wendy Lee, Cottage Grove, Las Vegas seven-day resort stay.

Heather Heim, Eagan, Red Belt Martial Arts program.

Charlotte Jensen, Woodbury, four-day, three-night stay in Jamaica.

Jolaine Swanson, Apple iPad.

James Haugen, Woodbury, $300 Visa gift card.

Toni Volkmeier, Woodbury, three-day/two-night getaway in Wisconsin Dells.

Neil West, Eagan, Char-broil Gas Grill.

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.