Mother Theresa said it best: "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love."
I guess that is what I like about small town living: the people. What they do may never make headlines in big time news, but it should. There is so much creativity and vitality in the residents who give their best to make this a community in which we choose to live. I am inspired with those who achieve great things with love. Things don't just happen; they happen because someone had the ability to make it happen. It takes courage, hard work and creativity.
Sometimes it started small and grew to something unbelievable. There is always someone who says, "It can't be done," but there are those who do it. For most, their only reward is that good feeling they get from what they had done to make someone happy or stronger or make their lives more meaningful. The recent Ellendale Days is just one example, but it is a good one.
The people who plan and participate in the parade don't go out of town to sponsor big money units. They do it themselves and the parade is just as thrilling, or more so, to see the people you know form a parade with pride. It is interesting to see how the educational activities take a prominent place with the middle school and high school bands, who are winners and highly respected.
The PTO, parent teacher organization, is always working to enrich the lives of children and tries to make everyone aware of how education, and in particular early and special education, can give all kids an equal start and purpose in life. The administration and teachers are qualified to award students with whatever is possible to make school not only essential but fun as they learn to live with the times.
The 5K Fun Run was so beneficial for the Spanish class plus a great deal of fun for everyone who participated. It was unbelievable to see all the happy faces and running feet. The Turtle races also were interesting to watch and profited the school children besides. Our honorable athletes and honor societies are so outstanding, people know what NRHEG stands for and where it is. They’re winners because of their loyalty and their outstanding sportsmanship and participation.
Did you see the "totem pole" sign that announced the various activities planned for the weekend? You really couldn't miss the colorful display. But did you know it was created by recycling Brian Wayne’s seed corn signs? That is resourceful to say the least.
The firemen are always active doing errands of mercy for fires, accidents, illness and emergency assistance, but they also take time to provide fun and games too like dodge ball, the pedal pull event and teen dance, as well as help provide food, including the breakfast burritos and the pork chop supper.
The Lions Club members are always lending a helping hand, and provided games for the kids too, along with the car show, and had made plans to provide the tractor pull too, which had to be delayed until later in July due to our crazy Minnesota weather.
The karaoke contest was a winner. Not everyone can win first place but many should. It brought out everybody's talent, if you were five years old or 80, and they wowed the audience. The character of the contestants and the pleasure they extended to those attending was phenomenal. Our own Terri Engel not only displayed great musical talent, she provided reason for laughter as the "Queen of the House" and we all know laughter is good for you. Several other local talents, Edna Hontti, Parke Paulson and Rod Goette, provided some great musical enjoyment. How could we know that talent was there if they didn't share it with us?
Little Aubrey sang "Here I Stand" from the movie "Frozen" but she did more. She danced to the music and on her own impulse, presented flowers to the first competitor and later on went on to win a trophy in the kids’ pedal pull. What a personality. Let's not forget Virginia Miller, the 80-year-old lady who wasn't too old to sing.
The Rogers - Shaunce and Swearingen - did a momentous deed when they opened the Veterans Museum with a multitude of priceless artifacts and stories honoring those who honored us by serving our country. And we can't forget those who drive our local veterans during events in Francis Misgen’s jeep. It’s something Francis started and his spirit still lives.
The Red Hatters are an educated, happy group of women who make life interesting as they get together, take trips, help others and have fun.
The Ellendale Area Heritage Society, though small in numbers, has achieved much in preserving facts from the past. Barbara Mrotz's weekly feature in the Star Eagle is a welcome reminder of things the young wouldn't know and others might have forgotten. The older we get, the more we realize how important things are because of the past.
LeRoy Sommers is a familiar face as he and others from his family have fried thousands of pancakes for community events.
He did it! Russ Goette did “what couldn't be done.” He did it to give memory to our now consolidated school. He built a stage in the category of "if you build it they will come" to Saturday nights in the park in downtown Ellendale. The stage has given talented individuals a place to entertain, and entertain they have.
Russ set out to honor people who were memorable for their work with education but also recognizes people who hade a difference in the community.
Mayor Swearingen continues to work to make Ellendale an even better place, encouraging residents to take up the cause. His congeniality and purpose is real and progressive and makes the adrenalin flow.
I can't say enough about our churches who unite for common causes and benefits. They provide a place to go to worship, but also for events like the food shelf, scouts, education, care for the needy, and shelter in emergencies. They also help provide activities for the kids and elderly.
It’s impossible to name all of the young people who have taken up the task to help others who are no longer able. There are others too, I just didn't name them all, but I hope they know they are appreciated.
One little boy wore a T-shirt that caught my eye, as it had a great saying on the back. "Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress and working together is success." How true!
The Ellendale Days parade ended appropriately with a pack of beavers who didn't care if they got wet - because they were "eager beavers" like those who "make the better best - who never let it rest till the good is better and the better is best." (Emily Light). That is our people. That is what it is all about. It is the people who make it all happen and that is why we choose to live here!
Some of our Star Eagle readers have commented they like to read about events such as family and school reunions, birthdays and anniversaries, and birth and wedding announcements. In order to read about these important things we need our faithful readers to pass along the information to us. Also if you have an idea for a story that you think would be of interest to our readers, please contact me.
Birthdays and anniversaries:
• Thursday, July 10th: Kalene Larson, Ethan Green, Brett Dunlap, Sally Hanson Sadden, Suzanne Skroch Larkin, Carley Ray Talamantes, Holly Swearingen, Anna Uetcsh, Todd Borchert, Kym Cameron, Paulette Nelson, Ryan & Amy Crabtree their 8th, Dustin & Jenna Quimby
• Friday, July 11th: Zoie Marie Jensen, Shirley Wallace Tennant, Nicholas Lee Shultz, Helen Scripture Schubert, Kelly Sauke, Nataniel Lizarazo, Michele Degan Reistad, Rochelle Thompson, Lisa Goodnature Noble, Christopher Olson, Jessica Mangskau, Elaine Peterson, Naomi Hemingway, Randy Borchert, Scott Knutson, Celina & Richard Drecher, David & Bonnie Jensen, Carrie (Thompson) & Danny Wichmann
• Saturday, July 12th: Daniel Christensen, Kimberly Peterson, Rick Pelzl, Daryl Waltz, Herb & Lori Moon
• Sunday, July 13th: Megan Elizabeth Nowariak, Audrey Lillian Peterson, Marayah Mae Mortenson, Kolette Lageson Stevenson, Brenda Misgen, Sandra Cerney Collins, Joseph Adrian Parks, Ed Nelson, Cynthia Fuerniss, Dick Larson, Amber Anderson, Jean Johnson, Corey & Danielle Wangsness, Jason & Shannon Peterson
• Monday, July 14th: Budach Martin Perry, was born in 2013, Kallen Reed Rasmussen, Gavin Cole Halverson, Sharon Richards Lucas, Annette Hove, Madison Larkin, Dana Simonson, Jeff Kitzer, Jerry Langlie, Lee Cummins, Shane Davis, Peter Kasper, Roger Swearingen, Bethany & Ashley Ashton
• Tuesday, July 15th: Nathan Daniel Wayne, Nathan Joseph Bauers, Levi Peterson, McCoy LaVerne Schwierjohann, Thad Aaseth, Judd Aaseth, Stacy Seath Tempel, Lacinda Jensen, Vicki Utpadel Knudson, David & Kim Killian
• Wednesday, July 16th: Sue Stieglbauer, Hudson Mrotz, Kyle Ladlie, Jeff Helmers, Nancy Wilder, Kenny & Sarah Price, Dave & Deb Oeltjenbruns
• Thursday, July 17th: Kaylee Christine Hanson, Merton Nelson, Ralph Diaz, Sandi Vangen, Victor Christenson, Larry Molenaar, Leslie Schwartz, Lisa & Bob Wayne, Kristine (Simon) & David Freitas
• Friday, July 18th: Anika Christine McDonald, Nancy Anderson, Matthew DeShanne, Katie Dobberstein, Michael Graif, Luke Rye, Roger & Betty Davies, Mark & Mandy Boehme
Wishing that each day is happier than the one before!