Mar. 15 – Apr. 1

This is an AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD DONATION ALERT!  The Red Cross is facing a critical blood shortage and is issuing an emergency call for eligible blood and platelet donors of all types to give NOW and help save lives.  Blood donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in.  Commit to give and make a difference.  Use the Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to make an appointment.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:
Visit (where you can download the FREE Red Cross Blood Donor App) or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to make your appointment:    

     3/15        Thurs. 8:00-2:00                Camp Ripley Armory

     3/15       Thurs. 12:00-6:00               Community Center in Staples
     3/23       Fri.     11:00-5:00              Bertha-Hewitt High School in Bertha

     3/27       Tues.  1:00-7:00                St. Francis Center in Little Falls
3/28       Wed.   12:00-6:00              St. Francis Center in Little Falls
3/29       Thurs. 8:30-2?30               St. Francis Center in Little Falls
3/29         Thurs. 8:00-2:00                Royalton High School in Royalton
        Thurs. 12:00-6:00              Maslowski Wellness Ctr. In Wadena

Cass County Public Health
is hosting some upcoming walk-in Immunization Clinics for children who are on MA/MnCare or who are un- or under-insured.  Select immunizations are available for adults who are un- or under-insured:

    3/9          Fri.     10:00-12:00            Northland Area Family Center in Remer

    3/20        Tues.  10-12 & 1-2:30         Pillager Family Resource Center in PIllater

    3/27        Tues.  9:00-11:00              Cass Co. Health, Human & Vet. Serv. In Walker

For more information, call 218-547-1340 ext. 246

The Second Saturdays, the Crossing Arts Alliance has art events for kids at their new location in downtown Brainerd (711 Laurel St.). The cost is $3 per child/$5 per family.  Recommended for ages 5-12, but all welcome with adult supervision.  Classes run from 10:00 a.m. til Noon. 
3/10  Stained Glass for kids. Kids make a sun-catcher that looks like stained glass. 
For more info., go to or call 833-0416.

**Kinship Partners is looking for mentors for a number of lakes area children who are on a waiting list.  If you would like to make the difference in the life of a child here in our community, please contact Kinship Partners.  Mentors can be individuals, couples, or families.  It doesn’t cost a lot of money, just a little of your time. Not only mentors are needed, but the Kinship Lunch Buddy program is also up and running!  Find out more about Kinship and the kids at



Minnesota law requires children to have an early childhood screening prior to entering kindergarten.  This is a FREE appointment that checks how your child is learning and growing. Kindergarten enrollment will also be completed at this time. The Brainerd School District is offering extra and extended days in January, and can schedule appointments through May. These appointments will fill quickly, so please call 218-454-5430 to schedule.


Brainerd Blast Youth Soccer invites kids ages 6 through 12 to participate in the Free Indoor Soccer games every Sunday through April at Forestview Middle School in Baxter.  The games are played from 1:00-2:00pm and are free to attend.  For more information, visit


Blueprint 181, the comprehensive long-range proposal to address the facility needs of Brainerd Public Schools, will be presented to voters as three ballot questions on a special election scheduled for Tuesday, April 10th, with early voting beginning on February 23rd.  As part of the District’s effort to inform residents of the three question proposal, the district is hosting a number of public information sessions that are open to all.  At these gatherings, the Blueprint 181 plan details will be presented and there will be time for questions and answers.
          Wed. Mar. 21            6:30pm         Oak Lawn Town Hall

Thurs. Mar 22           6:30pm         St. Mathias Community Center

Mon. Mar. 26 6:30pm         Crow Wing Town Hall

Tues. Mar. 27           6:30pm         Lake Edward Town Hall
For additional information on the proposal and the meetings, visit

Free Master Gardener classes through the UMN Extension Crow Wing County Master Gardeners will take place at the Brainerd Public Library each month in 2018 from 12:00-1:00.  Monthly presentations facilitated by certified UMN Extension Crow Wing Master Gardeners will discuss subjects ranging from garden tools to gourds. 
(Schedule subject to change…check their website for updates)
     Tues. May 8                  “Growing Hardy Roses Up North” – Jackie Burkey

     Tues. June 12                 “Hostas: From Minis to Giants” – Jennifer Knutson

     Tues. July 10                  “The Moon Garden” – Jennifer Knutson

     Tues. Aug. 14                 “Outwitting Peter Rabbit and Bambi” – JoAnn Weaver

     Tues. Sept. 11                “Trees:  Choose Wisely and Plant Properly” – Jackie Burkey
     Tues. Oct. 9                    “Spring Blooming Bulbs for North. Gardens” – Jennifer Knutson

     Tues. Nov. 13                 “Worm Composting (Vermicomposting)” – Jackie Burkey

     Tues. Dec. 11                 “Holiday Pizzazz: Using Plants for Holiday Décor” JoAnn Weaver


The Crow Wing County All Veterans Memorial in Brainerd is holding a Donor Brick Program Fundraiser to present a visual experience showing respect and thankfulness to those who have and are defending our freedoms.  To honor a veteran in your life, you can purchase an engraved brick with his or her name on it to use on the walkway to the memorial.  To order a brick, log onto and click on the Bricks link.



As a follow-up to the River to Rails community meeting on Feb. 26th, the community is being asked to participate in a survey that will be used later in March when the River to Rail Alliance of about 20 community organizations will review all input and work together to set short-term and long-term priorities.  All Brainerd area residents are being asked to take an online survey.  Your input is important.  The survey can be found at

Tickets are on sale NOW for the 11th Annual Purses for Partners Luncheon coming up on Sat. Apr. 21st at the Grand View Lodge in Nisswa.  This luncheon and purse auction is for women and girls of ALL ages and will take place on the 21st starting at 11:15.  There will be a silent and live auction of purses and other fun accessories.  Come and support Kinship Partners with the ladies in your life.  Tickets are $40 for adults…. $20 for kids.  Register now online at 

The Crossing Arts Alliance will feature “A Riot of Color” for the rest of March at their new facility in downtown Brainerd.  The exhibition is freer and the public is invited to stop by Tues.-Fri from 10:00-5:00 or Saturdays from 10:00-2:00.  For more information, visit

It’s time for a “ScriptFrenzy” play-writing workshop for kids!  Mary Aarlgaard, Play Off the Page, and Central Lakes Community Performing Arts are offering the writing workshop for students in grades 5-8.  They will be held Thursdays from March 22-May 3 from 6:00-7:30pm in the Multi-Purpose Room at CLC.  Registration fee is $55 per student.  Some scholarships are available. To register, call Jean at 218-855-8253.  Registration is DUE BY MAR. 20th! 

The Crossing Arts Alliance in Brainerd offers workshops in a variety of mediums as part of its mission to provide arts education to the community. (For more info, visit…..Upcoming classes include:
Mar. 17          10am            Beginning Sewing – felt bunny – with Lisa Jordan
          Mar. 24        10am            Needle-Felted Nest with Lisa Jordan
          Apr. 7          10am            Macrame wall Hanging with Marty Gegner
          Apr. 14         10am            Needle-Felting with Kit Lane
          Apr. 28         10am            Fabric is Paint with Pam Collins

The Brainerd Family YMCA will host its 22nd Annual Charity Ball on Fri. Apr. 6th at the Gull Lake Center of Grand View Lodge in Nisswa.  Enjoy a live and silent auction, fabulous food and drink and music from Wyld Ryce!  Tickets are on sale now at the YMCA and are $65 per person ($30 is tax deductible).  Help support the Y and its programs for children and families.  Get your tickets by calling 218-829-4767.




3/12 – 3/18
Get your tickets now for the 8th Annual Pine Grove Zoo’s GONE WILDComing Out of Hibernation Party which will take place on Fri. Mar. 16th at the Falls Ballroom in Little Falls.  The event will start at 7:00 with a Social Hour with hors d’oeuvres.  Then at 8:00 Deuces Wild Dueling Piano Show will take to the stage. Money raised at this event will go to help the zoo with its upcoming, new River Otter Exhibit.  You must be 18 or older with and ID to attend.  Tickets are $48 per person and can be reserved by calling 320-616-5595.

Jonathan Byrd & The Pickup Cowboys will perform as part of the Grassroots Concert Series at the Live Well Night Club and Coffee Bar in Nisswa at 7:30pm on Fri. Mar. 16th.  Byrd is a preacher’s son, a Gulf War veteran, and an award-winning songwriter from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, who is known for literary, outsider songs that have become campfire favorites. 

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day at the 18th Annual Downtown Brainerd St. Patrick's Day Celebration on Sat. Mar. 17th.  The day starts with a Kid's Costume Contest inside at the Brainerd VFW...registration at 11:30, contest starts at 12:00.  Kids could win a bicycle and other prizes!  Then, be ready for the big parade that starts at 1:00 in downtown Brainerd!  To enter a float, contact Brainerd Community Action at 829-5278.

"Share your Charm" at the 44th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade & Celebration in Crosslake on Sat. Mar. 17th.  The fun actually starts on Thurs. Mar. 15th as the search for the Medallion begins!  Then, register for the 5th Annual Clover Dash 5K that will happen Saturday morning at 9:30.  Purchase a $5 raffle ticket and get a free blinky button good for awesome deals all around town!  The Crosslake Firefighters Pancake Breakfast will run Saturday morning from 8:00-11:30 at Crosslake Lutheran Church.  Have fun all over town, and be ready for the Parade that starts at 2:00.  For more info,

March is Food Share Month and the Pine River Legion Post 613 will host a Spaghetti Feed fundraiser on Sun. March 18th from 11:00-2:00.  $8 for adults...$5 for children ages 5-12...under 5 is free.  Max for a family is $25.  Proceeds from the feed will help to stock the food shelf with healthy food for the hungry in the community.  


The Lakeshore Conservation Club is hosting its 7th Annual Wild Game Dinner & Fundraiser on Sun. Mar. 18th at the Grandview Lodge Gull Lake Center in Nisswa.  Social hour with games, raffles, and a silent auction starts at 3:00.  Dinner will be served at 5:00.  The Grandview chefs prepare an outstanding feast of wild game dishes.  Tickets are $55 each, or a table of 10 is $500.  Seating is limited.  To check for availability, send an email to  The event proceeds will pay for clay birds for the Brainerd, Pillager, Pequot Lakes, and Staples High School clay bird teams.

3/19 – 3/25

Brainerd Public Schools
has received a letter providing a positive review and comment on Blueprint 181, the district’s long-range facilities plan, from Commissioner Breda Cassellius of the Minnesota Dept. of Education.  Now, the Board of Education will host a public meeting on Mon. Mar. 19th at 6:00 at the Washington Educational Services Building to discuss the review and comment documents.  The facilities plan was to address the safety, security, accessibility and educational adequacy needs in all of the district’s schools.  Blueprint 181 also addresses a need for additional space as enrollment continues to grow by a projected 7-percent by the year 2025. For more info, visit

The Minnesota Department of Transportation invites the public to attend an informational open house for the Business Highway 371/South Sixth Street Reconstruction Project that begins this April between Highway 210/Washington Street and Joseph’s Street in Brainerd.  The Open House will be held on Tues. Mar. 20th from 5:00-7:00 in the fellowship hall at Trinity Lutheran Church in Brainerd.  A short presentation will start at 5:45.  Attendees will have the chance to learn about the project’s work details, planned traffic changes and detour routes, view large layouts and speak with project staff.  For more information about this project or to sign up for project email updates, visit

Area growers are invited to learn about using digital marketing and social media to sell their farm’s products on Tues. Mar. 20th from 7:30-9:00pm at Sprout in Little Falls.  The session will teach small, busy farms how to use a little bit of strategy and some digital marketing and social media skills to increase sales.  The workshop will be presented by Lisa Baker, owner of Baker’s Acres, a 15-acre certified organic family farm in Avon, Minnesota.  Register online at 

The Brainerd Public Schools will be hosting Kindergarten Round-Up on Tues. Mar. 20th  from 5:00-6:30 at each of the elementary schools.  Parents and soon-to-be Kindergarteners are invited to this informative evening as the kids prepare for Fall 2018.  For more info, visit 

A Forum for Republican Candidates for Governor will be held on Tues. Mar. 20th,

6:30 p.m. at the Timbers Event Center in Staples.  Phillip Parrish, Mary Giuliani Stephens, and Jeff Johnson will be participating.  Each Candidate will be invited to speak for 15 minutes, followed by questions from the audience.  Reservations would be appreciated.  RSVPs may be directed to Diane Carlson at 218.296.1348.  The event is sponsored by Crossroads Conservatives.

The visiting poet program of Central Lakes College, Verse Like Water, will present Syrian storyteller and essayist Osama Alomar at 12:00pm on Wed. Mar. 21st in the Chalberg Theater, Brainerd campus.  Osama has a delightful way of mingling poetry, fables and political allegory.  After the poetry reading, Alomar will host a book signing.  The event is free and open to the public.

A course hosted by Wellness In The Woods will focus on mental health first aid.  The 8-hour course will take place on Thurs. Mar. 22nd at Essentia Health – St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd.  The course, which will run from 8am to 4:30pm, will teach participants how to help someone developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.  Lunch will be provided free of charge to those attending the course.  To register, or for more information, call 218-296-2067.

The 11th Annual Teen Driver Seminar will be held at 5:00pm on Thurs. Mar. 22nd at the Brenny Funeral Chapel Community Room in Baxter.  The free seminar is open to teens and the loved ones and will provide practical tips and information about key Minnesota legislation affecting teen drivers.  It will also address other teen driving issues like aggressive and distracted driving or the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Registration runs from 5:00-5:30…pizza and beverages will be provided.  Then the seminar will run from 5:30-7:30.  Door prizes will be given away including two grand prizes – “2 sets of 2” tickets for this year’s Lakes Jam.  RSVPs are required.  Call 218-454-2960 to reserve your spot.

It’s time for the 2018 Wadena Job Fair on Thurs. Mar. 22nd at the Minnesota State Community & Technical College.  The job fair will run from 3:00-6:00pm.  Bring your resume and come dressed to impress!  Job openings in the building and construction trades, computer programming, heavy machinery operations, general laborers, bakery positions, customer service, accounting, outside sales, personal care assistance, nursing, culinary arts and many, many others! 

Is your business seeking student employees for this summer’s vacation season?  If so, you are encouraged to participate in the Pequot Lakes High School’s Summer Job Fair on Thurs. Mar. 22nd.  The event, which is coordinated by the Pequot Lakes Chamber, Pequot Lakes High School and Bridges Career Academies & Workplace Connection, will run on the 22nd from 2:30-5:30.  During that time, students from Pequot Lakes and Pine River high schools will be ready to meet with you and learn about summer employment at your business.  If you are interested, please contact Chris Monroe at 218-568-8911 or via email at 

The Brainerd Lakes Chamber will host a 2018 Eggs & Issues event on Fri. Mar. 23rd at Maddens Resort in the Wilson Bay Dining Room from 7:30-9:30am.  The breakfast and interactive panel discussion will feature Senators Paul Gazelka and Carrie Ruud, along with Representatives John Poston, Josh Heintzeman and Dale Lueck.  Tickets are $25 for an individual seat.  Business Champion Sponsorships are available for $100.  For more information, contact the Brainerd Lakes Chamber or visit

The Fabulous Armadillos are bringing their “Love Songs” show to Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd on Fri. Mar. 23rd.  Showtime if 7:30 and tickets are on sale now!  $25 for adults, $18 for kids under 18.  Get them online at or call 855-8199.

Don’t miss the 37th Annual Home & Outdoor Show at the Essentia Health Sports Center Fri.-Sun. Mar. 23-25th.  Friday 12:00-7:00….Saturday 9:00-5:00…..Sunday 10:00-3:00.  Admission is $5.00.  15 and under Free.  There will be a Kids Build on Sat. at 10:30 sponsored by Menards.  Please bring a non-perishable food item or 2 for the Food Shelf. 

The 16th Annual Ready, Set, Grow Garden Expo 2018 will be held on Sat. Mar. 24th at Central Lakes College in Brainerd (time not available).  The event will include a total of 19 different classes on a variety of topics such as: Great Grasses and Companion Perennials, Miniature Gardens, and Build a Stable and Healthy Shoreline that is Elegant and Resilient.  For more information, visit or call 218-454-4769.

Join the fun at the 15th Annual Warehouse Fundraiser in Pine River.  The fundraiser consists of an indoor flea market, crafts, garage sale and silent auction and will be held from 8:00-2:00 on Sat. Mar. 24th at the Warehouse in Pine River.  Enjoy vendors, garage and bake sale items, rolls, pie and coffee.  Lunch will also be available.  All proceeds will support the Warehouse After School Program and Community Center.

The Pine River-Backus Boy Scout Troop #73 will host its annual Pancake Breakfast on Palm Sun. Mar. 25th at the Pine River American Legion.  The breakfast will be served from 8:00am-1:00pm and includes plates of pancakes and sausage, coffee, milk or juice.  Plus you’ll have time to chat with the local scouts who will be serving the tables.  The fundraising event will help offset the cost of the individual scouts for attending summer camp.  $8 for adults…. $5 for kids ages 4 to 10….Infants 0 to 3 are free. 

The Knights of Columbus from Immaculate Heart Catholic Church in Crosslake is hosting a Ham Bingo on Palm Sunday, Mar. 25th.  There will be 24 games with the winners receiving hams.  The first number will be called at 1:00 and will conclude around 4:00.  The cost is 50 cents per game.  Hot dogs, chips, pop and water will be available for purchase.  All are welcome!

3/26 – 4/1
Longville’s Spring Blood Drive, sponsored by the Longville Lions, is scheduled for Mon. Mar. 26th  at St. Edward’s Catholic Church.  The drive will be held from 1:30-5:30 and appointments are required.  Please text or call Pat Boen at 218-838-4202 or visit 

The Brainerd Lakes Area Women of Today and ECFE invite you to an Easter Party on Sat. Mar. 31st from 10:00-12:00.  The party will be held at the District 181 Learning Center (the old NE Super One in Brainerd) in the Big Gym.  Kids will enjoy crafts, Easter cookies and games, plus have their photo taken with the Easter Bunny!  Bring your own camera.  The cost is $3.00 per child.  Adults are free with a non-perishable food item for the food shelf.  Money raised will be donated to the ECFE Scholarship Fund.  More info can be found online at

Join the City of Brainerd Parks & Rec Department for their annual Kids Easter Egg Hunt on Sat. Mar. 31st at Gregory Park in Brainerd.  The egg hunt will begin at 10:00 sharp.  This is for kids ages 2 to 9.  Dress for the weather and please bring a bag or basket to collect the eggs.  All kids will get a bag of goodies, as well.

The Crosslake Ideal Lions will host the annual Easter Egg Hunt on Sat., Mar. 31st at the US Army Corp of Engineers Recreation Area in Crosslake.  The hunt begins at 10 a.m. until all the eggs are found (usually done by 11:00). This event is for ages 10 and under and all kids get an Easter goodie bag from the Easter Bunny.  (In case of rain or snow, the Easter Bunny will be at Whitefish Lodge & Suites.)

The Nisswa American Legion will host its annual Children’s Easter Egg Hunt on Sat. Mar. 31st starting at 10AM.  The event is free and open to kids 11 and under.  Food will also be available.

Community members are invited to a free Community Egg Hunt at 1:00 on Sat. Mar. 31st at Central Lakes College’s Staples Campus.  Kids 10 years and younger are invited to participate.  Each age group will have a designated location to search for eggs and many golden eggs are sure to be found!  Free pictures will the bunny will be provided.  The hunt begins promptly at 1:00.  Late participants will not be guaranteed eggs.  With questions, send an email to

Join the Brainerd Sports Boosters for the 2018 Alumni Basketball Tournament on Sat. Mar. 31st.  Put a team together from your graduating class and be ready to join the fun.  Visit for more information or send an email to Mike at