Everything else in Northfield

Catalyst Foundation wins matching grant challenge

Editor's note: Yesterday I shared this letter from Northfield residents Scott Parker & Caroline Ticarro-Parker about their experience racing to meet a 24-hour fundraising matching grant challenge. I am happy to share an update from them about their success.


On behalf of the children we serve in Vietnam....thank you so very very very much for your generosity. It is really amazing...a little more than 24 hours ago a generous person challenged us to do something we did not think was possible. Yet we remained hopeful that it could be done...and it has!

We have raised $7200 from individuals all around the world - we had calls from Norway, France, China and Vietnam. We had young and old participate. A classroom of 3rd graders collected some change and sent us $20! Martin Luther King said, "Everything that is done in the world is done by HOPE.

Thank you for believing in our cause and truly listening to the hopes of these children. Every dollar that is donated makes a major difference in the lives of the children and families we are committed to help. Including the matching grant of $5000, we will send $12,200 to Vietnam today to be used towards the construction of the school in Kien Giang and to purchase rice and school supplies for 200 deserving young girls.

But the work does not end...there is always so much more to do. We have ambitious plans for 2007 including the new school, an additional 100 girls to benefit from the Scholarship Program and even a new Photography Vocational Project in Kien Giang Province for children living in a garbage dump. Without your support, none of our goals would be successful.

We are so thankful you have chosen Catalyst Foundation. We look forward to your continued support.

You are the catalyst for positive change for the children of Vietnam.

With much appreciation,
Scott Parker & Caroline Ticarro-Parker
Co-Founders, Catalyst Foundation

Catalyst Foundation races to meet donation challenge match

Ok, you're really going to have to hurry to help with this, but I just found out about a really cool project by the Catalyst Foundation, a non-profit organization led by Northfield resident Caroline Ticarro-Parker, that works to improve the lives of orphaned, abandoned, and homeless children in Vietnam.  

Here's the info from Caroline:

We currently have projects serving 200 children and 100 families in the southern provinces of Vietnam in Dong Thap, Kien Giang and Saigon.  Catalyst Foundation also works to build cultural awareness and enrich the lives of children adopted from Vietnam through the Vietnam Culture Camps, held annually at St. Olaf College.

2007 is off to an exciting start for Catalyst Foundation. An anonymous donor has challenged us to raise $5,000 in 24 hours. If we are successful, the donor will generously match that amount, making the contributions go twice as far!

Contributions will help keep vulnerable children from being sexually trafficked, feed children who are hungry, build a school for a needy community, build a safe shelter for families, and so much more.

Can you think of a better way to start the new year?

You can help us to reach this goal. The challenge begins January 3 and will close Thursday, January 4. To contribute to this great effort, you can call us at 507.664.9558 or visit us online www.catalystfoundation.org.

Every dollar donated will be doubled – no amount is too small! You can help spread the word - let your friends, family and colleagues know about the plight of these children. You will be the catalyst for positive change for the children of Vietnam!

Happy New Year!
Scott Parker & Caroline Ticarro-Parker
Co-Founders, Catalyst Foundation

It's beginning to look a lot like...winter!

After a brown Christmas and day after day of clouds, fog and rain(!), it was wonderful to wake up to sunshine and snow on the first morning of 2007.

Since it's such a glorious day to get outside with your sleds and cameras, we've decided to extend our Christmas photo contest by another 24 hours.

You have until 11:59 p.m. tonight to send your favorite holiday shots to pictures@northfield.org.

Happy New Year from your friends and neighbors at Northfield.org!

Is the Dog Park Right for My Dog?

C.A.P. (Canines At Play) is partnering with Northfield Public Schools Community Services Division to host an informational evening this Tuesday for dog owners to discuss the newly established Dog Park.

The event will be held in the Northfield High School Auditorium on Tuesday, January 2, from 6:30 - 8:30 pm. A question and answer session will follow the presentation. All potential park users are encouraged to attend and learn how to join in the fun the park can offer. Refreshments will be served!

Mark Etzell is on the staff of the Community Services Division. 

Northfield Public School Closing Early Today

StopThe Northfield Public Schools will be closing at 12:45pm today. There will be no afterschool practices or events this evening.

The Northfield Montessori will be closing at 2:30 p.m. today

In general, this also affects local daycares and preschools, so if you have a child in one of those you should contact them ASAP to get more information. We will post more closings as we learn of them.

Middle School roof to be repaired

In the weeks immediately following the devastating hail storm that struck Northfield this past August, many roofs and windows at Carleton College were temporarily repaired while the damage was completely assessed.

Permanent replacement work has now been scheduled and the roofs of several college-owned campus area houses soon will be replaced. The shingled roof on the old Northfield Middle School, now owned by the college, also will be replaced.

Questions regarding this project can be directed to Carleton maintenance supervisor Greg McCracken at 507-646-4135.

Kildahl Park Pointe groundbreaking held Wednesday

In spite of the rainy weather, construction was started Wednesday, at Kildahl Park Pointe. They are taking advantage of the mild winter weather, so that they can complete their project by this time in 2007. Click on the image to see more photos.

Kildahl Park Pointe is a senior (55+) co-op housing project located on the edge of the Northfield Retirement Community campus.  Although there are many senior co-ops in Minnesota, this will be the first built in Northfield.

Members will have access to all of the life-long learning amenities of Northfield.  These oportunities include Cannon Valley Elder Collegium (www.cvec.org), St Olaf's Lifelong Learning Program (www.stolaf.edu) and the many other benefits offered by our two local colleges for the citizens of Northfield.

Cute kid alert!

So, John Walters has taken up our challenge to send in holiday photos -- including shots of adorable grandkids. 

Meet Marlee Ann, John's adorable entry, at left. And John, she is a cutie, no doubt about it. John's photo is the second entry in our holiday photo contest. Our own Adam Gurno kicked off the contest with a hilarious photo of some of our own board members and volunteers getting into the Christmas spirit. I've added my own grandson, Isaac, the little Santa at right.

Look, I know you're busy, but let's see some of those little angels and shepherds from the church pageants, some of those cats using the tree  as a giant pet toy, those little dogs playing in the wrapping paper -- and let's not forget those houses lighting up the night sky with their cool decorations.

Get out those cameras and let's have some fun. Just e-mail photos to pictures@northfield.org, and include your name. We'll do the rest.

Wal-Mart forum examines regional effect of Big-Box retailers

Wal-Mart ForumThey exist in most cities in the U.S.; they are charged with both fostering and destroying fledgling small-town economies; they are loved and hated by millions of Americans alike. What are they?  What have become known as Big Box retailers, i.e. Wal-Mart, Target and Kmart, have been dotting our countryside and spreading like a case of the chicken pox since the 1970’s.  Chances are every person that reads this article has made a purchase, if not many purchases, from these types of stores at one point or another.  While they undeniably offer low prices to American consumers, many are beginning to examine these stores and the impact of their low prices.

Last Thursday, December 11, St. Olaf students, Northfield residents and members from various other Minnesota communities filled St. Olaf’s Black and Gold Ballroom for the public forum entitled “Land of 10,000 Wal-Marts.”  The forum was a culminating event for students taking “Wal-Mart America,” a class that examines many aspects of American consumerist culture from an historical perspective.  Students studied the development of the American consumer psyche, seeing how our nation developed from purchasing from general stores, then Sears and Roebuck catalogues, and now large discount chain stores.  They also examined how factors such as World War II and the Cold War contributed to the development of a “consumers’ republic.”

2006 Jingle Bell Run/Walk This Saturday

Jingle Bell Run The fifth annual Jingle Bell Run/Walk will be held this Saturday. It's a charity event, with all registration fees going to the Northfield Area Family YMCA.

Saturday is going to be a great day to be outside, with the weather forecast of sunny skies and the temperature in the 30's. Enjoy live music, a horse drawn wagon, free jingle bells, holiday treats and a free 2006 Jingle Bell Run t-shirt. Also free holiday stockings will be given to all family run/walk participants with stocking stuffers handed out along the route. Registration starts at 8 a.m. in the Northfield Armory (519 Division Street) with the race starting at 9 a.m. More details can be found at the Jingle Bell Run/Walk website. The event is sponsored by Carlson Capital Management and Fifth Bridge.

St. Olaf Chapel Choir carols through local neighborhood

Carolers70 St. Olaf students from the Chapel Choir made their way around the Pepper Ridge Valley neighborhood Tuesday night, even if there is no "White Christmas" yet.

Click here to read the entire story, plus see video of the carolers in action. 

Thanks to the sponsors who keep us online

Northfield.org would like to take a moment to thank our generous sponsors, who have agreed to match the contributions of our new members.  Please take a good look at the list, and remember the names when you're doing business here in town.

Their generosity continues to help Northfield and Northfield.org become a better community.

Lifelong Learning Classes in Northfield

Enrollment for Cannon Valley Elder Collegium's winter semester classes is rapidly filling. However there are still a few opportunities for exciting learning experiences. At this point, enrollment will be accepted from anyone in the community who has a genuine interest in learning. There are several classes that still have openings.

Two classes will be particularly interesting. Melinda Russell, a member of the Carleton Music faculty, is presenting a class that emphasizes non-western music styles and their links to culture. Judy Cederberg, a retired St Olaf Mathematics teacher, is presenting a fascinating examination of patterns that appear in quilts, tile floors, Islamic art, architecture and many other areas of our society. "How are these patterns linked together?" and "What do they mean to our societies?" will be discussed. 

Openings also exist in courses on biblical archeology, economics, and senior health. These classes emphasize learning and discussion, and do not include testing or grades. If you would like to experience an interesting alternative for winter month activities, look at www.cvec.org for additional information, or contact Bill Carlson at 507-645-9642 or Lori Stanley at 507-645-9790.

Come celebrate another year of Northfield.org

Tis the season for fun—and for the Northfield Citizens Online annual meeting. We will be gathering at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13, at Carlson Capital Management to share a toast to another great year, another as we elect and install our new board members, another as we honor and thank our outgoing board members...you get the idea. Let's just say it won't be a boring business meeting.

Rushing through the holidays? We'll help you get it done

Jon Manners, here. Connie and I have decided to keep Custom Framing Studio open longer during this busy time. Not round-the-clock, mind you, but:  Monday through Saturday, 10 am until 5 pm. We're going to drop the weird hours we've been keeping on Thursday and make it like any other day--there will be no siesta! And yes, you read that right, we will be open on Mondays.
    How long will we keep this up? Bring in your framing right up to, (maybe even through), December 19th and we will have it ready for The Big Day. For that matter, if you are truly a last minute gambler, I might be able to squeak something through on the 20th. Talk about last minute! 
    And even after the 20th, I'll take whatever jobs I can using moulding I have in stock.  I can work with your pre-existing frame, as is, or cut and resize to fit new projects.   Matting - no problemo.  Is there anything else I can do for you? I'll sure try!

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