Top Three Vibrant Communities | August 1 – 5
August 5, 2016 by Blandin Foundation
1.) Grand Rapids: As communities across the country grapple with how to address issues of mental health, Grand Rapids moves forward in its own quest. The Kiesler Wellness Center broke ground this week—right on schedule. The $4.4 million project will be an educational support center for community members and families seeking ways to access mental health wellness and addiction recovery resources. At 16,500 square feet, this expanded and centralized space will allow the Kiesler message to reach out and offer more hope to more people. Staff members at Kiesler advocate a message of going beyond the traditional round of meds, therapy and treatment—finding mental wellness is about providing services where life happens. The proposed grand opening of Kiesler Wellness Center is set for May 1, 2017. The construction project has 95% of funding covered but there still exists a small gap. If you would like to support the Kiesler Wellness Center click here.
“This is a symbol of the work that Northland Counseling Center and the community have started as far as mental health – we’re already one step ahead of the game.”
—Amanda Okech, Kiesler Wellness Center Director
Learn more about Kiesler here
2.) Worthington: The Children’s Theater Camp is a week-long program which aspires to teach kids a lesson about being happy with who they are. This year’s production, The Superhero Show, will use capes and superpowers to bring this moral into view. The Friends of the Auditorium and ISD 518 Community Education have brought the Dakota Players into town to assist with the production. For those shy-types who don’t want to be on stage there are positions such as stage manager and light and music operators. For the kids, the camp is about putting on a show, making friends and learning about themselves.
“I think that art experiences probably are one of the most important things that we can give to our children. It’s what helps them think out of the box and to truly experience life in a different way.”
—Tammy Makram, managing director at Memorial Auditorium
3.) Morgan: On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week, the small town of Morgan hosted the 35th annual Farmfest at the Gilfillan Estate. The event featured over 500 exhibitors with special events and political discussions. The usually rural town of Morgan, population 870, saw more than 30,000 folks from all over the Midwest flock to join in on the gathering. A hot topic this year was the issue of water quality and what innovations could provide eco-friendly solutions. Governor Mark Dayton addressed the masses and regional politicians held listening sessions as well. A fan favorite was the “Science of Agriculture Challenge” which matched up 4-H teams demonstrating their agricultural product or idea. To cool attendees down after all the sunshine and political banter, there was Sweet Corn flavored ice cream available. The gathering was a great example of rural Minnesota coming together to share ideas, innovations and ice cream.
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