November is upon us and many activities and services continue here at Shepherd’s Center. Our 7th annual Health Fair was a huge success, with close to 400 people attending and over 235 free flu shots given! We also had a record number of vendors take part this year…to the 34 vendors and the hundreds of residents who attended our health fair, we say THANK YOU!
I am very excited about this month’s “Adventures in Learning” program, to be held at St. Ansgars Church in Cannon Falls on
Friday, November 11th at 9:30 a.m. This day is of course Veteran’s Day, and Shepherd’s Center is planning a special salute to our veterans. Our featured speakers are both veterans and have amazing stories to share. SSG John Kriesel of Cottage Grove lost his legs and two buddies in a roadside bomb explosion near Fallujah, Iraq on December 2, 2006. Hear his amazing story of not only survival, but a story of an ordinary young man who overcame extraordinary challenges with the help of friends, family and total strangers to emerge stronger, and more in love with his country, his wife, his children and ultimately his own life. Kriesel has also authored a book, “Still Standing” which he will sign after his presentation. Another speaker is local World War II veteran, Arnie Hjermstad. Arnie will relay some very interesting stories and observations about his time spent serving in the military during World War II. Also appearing will be an honor guard comprised of members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4452 and American Legion Post 142. In addition, Pam Collins will provide musical entertainment, including a special song she wrote for her son who is currently serving in the military. The public is invited to attend this very special, “Salute to Veterans – Adventures in Learning” on Friday, November 11th from 9:30 till noon. Admission is only $6 and includes lunch and refreshments. Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP by calling Shepherd’s Center at 507-263-2136.
A group of 24 local residents enjoyed a day at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum last month. Although they experienced a little bit of rain, they were able to enjoy the tour while riding the tram. A special thanks to bus driver Sharon Prestegard, tour guide Lou Schulz and all of those who took in our day trip. I’m looking forward to our trip to Nashville later this month. We have a wonderful group of 42 people that will depart from Cannon Falls to spend almost a week in Music City USA!
A special thank you to those who have donated to Shepherd’s Center this past month. We received memorials in honor of Alonza Raway and Royal Featherstone along with other donations from individuals, businesses, and churches. We are still collecting receipts from EconoFoods and appreciate those who have dropped off receipts. 100% of our entire budget comes from our community and is spent in the community. Funds are used to administer the various programs we offer to support the seniors in the Cannon Valley area.
Thanks to a $300 donation from Goodhue County Coop Electric and an anonymous donation of $200, Shepherd’s Center will soon have a big screen TV along with a Wii game system. Once installed, folks are more than welcome to come in and use the system free of charge…and who knows, we might even start some Wii bowling or golf leagues!
Shepherd’s Center continues to look for volunteers to help out in the various programs that we offer. One of our goals here at Shepherd’s Center is to feature Senior Adults who volunteer their life experience and skills to benefit the community! Please feel free to stop in at our office anytime for a cup of coffee and to just visit. We are open Monday thru Friday from ten a.m. till three p.m. I close this month with a quote from President Ronald Reagan, "Let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived... and died." May God bless the United States of America.
Rod Johnson is the director of the Cannon Valley Senior Center.