Readers’ Views

Arc grateful for grant

To the Editor:

The Arc in Fairmont now has a computer on hand with the equipment needed for long-distance communicating, thanks to the Martin County Area Foundation.

This system will be helpful as The Arc Southwest merges with six other Arcs in Minnesota to form one statewide organization. We will be doing much more communicating and a lot less duplicating when it comes to official business. The Arc anticipates more time to deliver services to more people with disabilities and their families.

Thanks so much to the Martin County Area Foundation for its grant and to the continued support from our community members.

Lee Ann Erickson

The Arc MN Southwest

Fairmont

Support appreciated

To the Editor:

Whoever said “It takes a village” was probably talking about the Elf Shop at Fairmont Elementary School. When you have about 200 students choosing about 500 gifts for family members in a six-hour period, and then wrapping all of those gifts, you need community support for that to happen. So many unnamed (but not unappreciated) folks dropped off great new and gently used items so kids in grades kindergarten through second could shop and choose gifts for family members. Others donated great tissue paper, ribbons, and shipping boxes in bulk, while others handmade gift bags for us which is awesome. And HyVee donated 200 brown bags so our shoppers could more easily carry their treasures home. Others, like some of the Beta groups in town, donated cash. Because of the sheer volume and anonymity of the process, I want to thank those who did so since I can’t name all of you.

We also had a surprise donation from one company in town whose employees pool their funds each year to give a monetary gift to the owners. And each year, those owners choose a non-profit in town to receive that gift. This year, the Elf Shop was chosen. We were so honored and humbled. I’m not sure they want to be named but they make pizza at a shop that rhymes with “bakes.” Thank you, Jeff and Kim Ehlert.

I also want to thank the many volunteers who helped out with the Elf Shop. Leading up to the event, Nikki Hector, Laura Dunker, Char Kahler, Cheryl Loughmiller, Dani Morris, Tom Seifert and Kurt Isenberg, along with the sixth-grade student council members, helped us get the room set-up and the items in place. During the Elf Shop, we had Nicole Green as head elf, helping get the students to and from the classrooms. We then had Fairmont cheerleaders and Martin County Substance Abuse Prevention and Youth Coalition members helping the students shop and wrap gifts, in addition to our adult volunteers Patti Kasper, Sarah Totzke, Deb Heinrich, Steph Johnson, Cindy Huset, Carol Cress, and Char, Dani and Laura again. Several of these volunteers, along with Maurene Cordova and Amy Becker, also provided food for all of these volunteers and helped with tear down on Tuesday afternoon (along with Dan Wheeler, who willingly helped on Tuesday too.)

If I inadvertently left your name out, I apologize, because without you and the many other folks involved, there is no way we could put on the Elf Shop, so a huge thank you to our community for investing in these little ones and helping them participate in the giving of the season.

Liz Wheeler,

2017 Elf Shop coordinator

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