For many families, the holiday season brings with it a mix of cherished traditions and joyful surprises, from decorating the tree while re-watching It’s a Wonderful Life to seeing the wonder in a child’s eyes when they clamber on to Santa’s lap for the first time. While there are many classic Christmas movies, stories and songs, few are as beloved as The Nutcracker, the enchanting story of young Marie and her magical journey to the land of sweets with the nutcracker prince.
Brooklyn Vetter had every intention of leaving the Midwest. Born and raised in South Dakota, she studied sociology and women’s studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and was itching for a change. Some travel? Maybe. A change of scenery? Definitely. That is, until, she found herself at a resource fair, intrigued by the St. Joseph Worker Program right here in Saint Paul. So much for a change of scenery. Instead, she experienced a surprisingly life-changing year.
Pat Yentzer, Plymouth resident and amateur photographer, remembers last August when he snapped a photo of more than a dozen turkeys in his backyard. “We were sitting on our deck and one lone turkey landed in our backyard, and then another and another, and before long we had over a dozen turkeys in our backyard, walking gracefully in a family parade across our lawn,” he says.
A rich harmony of voices leads Colonial Church in Edina through its traditional Sunday morning worship. But for the 80-plus members of the Colonial Chorale, the harmony of generations of singers making music together is even sweeter.
This spring, a new class of college graduates will enter the professional world. Edina residents Sandra Davis, founder of MDA Leadership Consulting, and Fritz Corrigan, former CEO and president of Mosaic Company, have committed to help these graduates become leaders. Each member of the class of 2014 at Dartmouth, Corrigan’s alma mater, will receive Pearls of Leadership Wisdom: Lessons for Everyday Leaders, by Davis, which outlines 30 “pearls” of advice about becoming a knowledgeable and high-impact leader.
Anthony Harmon has become a local fixture on the corner of Valley View and Antrim Roads in Edina. There, he faithfully mans his post, directing traffic and guiding Valley View Middle School and Edina High School students safely across the street during the busiest times of the day.
“I enjoy doing my job. I give 110 percent to what I do,” says Harmon, a former bodyguard and father of three. “I try to help out as much as I can.”
In January 2013, Jerry’s Food in Edina learned that members of the community wanted to display balloons in the streets and from mailboxes to honor a local 8-year-old boy who had died. The staff at Jerry’s Foods liked the idea and began selling balloons in order to make this idea a reality. In honor of the boy’s Irish heritage, green balloons were chosen. Paula Larson, who manages Jerry’s floral department, remembers that getting equipped to sell 1,500 green helium balloons within a day and a half was no small undertaking.
Finding a babysitter at the last minute just got a whole lot easier. Neighborhoods throughout Edina are tapping into Nextdoor, an online resource that helps neighbors connect with each other. Nextdoor works much like Facebook: You register with your email address, and it provides the tools to communicate easily with people down the street from you.