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The Queen Esther chapter of Eastern Star has been quietly active in south Washington County for 100 years. Known for its huge holiday cookie sales and salad luncheon fundraisers, the chapter also supports academic scholarships, donations to the Friends in Need Food Shelf and cancer research, and holds annual blood drives.
Visitors and participants at the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life of South Washington County will find a new feature at the 2016 event. Seven food trucks, on site from 6-9 p.m., will offer dishes ranging from the all-time favorite mac and cheese to Kowalski's special salmon burger and Indi-tacos from Hot Indian Foods.
It's not exercise, it's not yoga, it's Feldenkrais — gentle movement that can help relieve pain, improve posture or cure a golf slice. "Feldenkrais--Awareness Through Movement" is one of the new classes offered by District 833 Community Education and taught by Maggie Vogel-Martin. Vogel-Martin, a research scientist at 3M and a Forest Lake resident, found the Feldenkrais method while looking for relief from three bulged discs and one ruptured disc which led to no feeling from the knee down on one leg. Doctors recommended surgery.
Longtime Woodbury Bulletin reporter and columnist Judy Spooner is undergoing therapy and around-the-clock care after suffering a major stroke. The stroke in June was her third during the past couple years, but its effects have prevented her from returning to her Cottage Grove home. She is being cared for at Regina Senior Living, the Regina Medical Center’s nursing home in Hastings. “The stroke took away Judy’s ability to use her right side and the ability to speak,” her husband Gary Spooner said.
Visitors to the 2010 South Washington County Garden Tour -- 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 27 -- will see 10 special gardens from around the community. At many of the gardens, artists will display their work, musicians will perform and refreshments will be served. At each site, visitors will have an opportunity to quiz gardeners on design, planting and maintenance techniques. Gardeners with bad backs will want to talk with Jan Purcell about developing a new garden without using a shovel. She calls it the lasagna method. Purcell, who lives at 9499 79th St.
More than 100 people met for worship and lunch at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in St. Paul Park on June 8. Most of them were or had been married for 50 years or more. Ed and Mary Fleege of St. Paul Park have been married almost 52 years. "The second 50 are more peaceful," Ed Fleege said. "You appreciate your spouse more." Mary Fleege said, "You stick to it because you made a commitment. You stay through the hard times and finally learn you must take people for who they are." On Sunday, June 13, Jim and Glenna Lence of St. Paul Park were married 61 years.
When cancer strikes a young child, it's devastating. "You do a lot of crying the first week," said Anne Pedersen. "Then you get busy." And, if you're lucky, you find a support group that understands what it means to have a young child with cancer. Five-year-old Paige Pedersen of Cottage Grove was diagnosed with "ALL", or acute lymphoblastic leukemia, in fall of 2008. A year earlier, 4-year-old Ella Anderson of Woodbury was diagnosed with the same form of cancer. Then 2-year-old Nash Hutton of Oakdale and finally 3-year-old Jacie Strander of Burnsville, were diagnosed with the disease.
Birthdays are special for the Nippoldt and Bothe families. Victor Nippoldt and Roger Bothe farmed across the road from each other for more than 60 years and were always ready to lend a hand when needed and that included celebrating birthdays together. This month Victor turns 90 and Roger and Ruth Ann Bothe and friends from Woodbury/Peaceful Grove United Methodist Church have planned a huge celebration. "The two families have been together forever; they were family," Ruth Ann said on a recent visit to see Victor. "He was a surrogate grandfather to our son Brian.
Joyce and Don Piper and Lynne Thornsjo make hillside gardening look easy -- after the work is done. Both gardens are part of this year's 13th annual South Washington County Garden Tour, which is scheduled rain or shine from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 28. The gardens of all three, located near the Newport-Woodbury border, are mostly vertical. "My husband didn't want to mow the hill," Joyce Piper said. "So, he suggested I plant it with flowers and hostas instead. We put in a sidewalk up the hill and the garden evolved around that. "Gardening is a process," Piper said.