photo by Dennis Dalman
Major David Peterson chats with Snuffy Putnam, a member of the American Legion of Sartell, at Sartell Middle School's "Salute to Veterans" events on Veterans Day. Peterson, a member of the Sartell City Council, is a 16-year member of the Minnesota Army National Guard who served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also an attorney and human-resources supervisor for the St. Cloud VA Medical Center.

Veteran urges students to do the best they can

by Dennis Dalman

Years ago when he was in law school, it never once crossed David Peterson’s mind he would someday be using his legal expertise in a faraway country in the midst of war.

But that, in fact, is what happened. Not once. But twice.

Monday, at a Veterans Day ceremony sponsored by Sartell Middle School, Peterson shared some of his experiences as a veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Peterson worked as an attorney for many years with the Dan Eller Law Office in Waite Park, but more recently he took a job as human-resources specialist for the Veterans Administration Medical Center in St. Cloud. As a 16-year member of the Minnesota Army National Guard, Major Peterson still does some legal work for the military. He’s also a member of the Sartell City Council.

For a year, starting in 2009 and ending in 2010, he served in Iraq as a legal advisor for “rule-of-law” issues. Then, a year later, he served for six months in Afghanistan helping police, judges and courts in a counter-corruption program.

In two talks for two ceremonies in the Sartell Middle School gymnasium, Peterson addressed jam-packed audiences of students in the bleachers. He shared projected slides of his experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, but before that, Peterson opened his presentation with a pep talk to the students.

He told the students to do their very best at whatever they pursue – whether extracurricular activities or studies.

“Practice hard,” he advised, “and learn from your mistakes.

If people apply themselves, good things will happen, especially if they keep forging ahead even under trying times when people find it hard to believe in themselves, Peterson told the students.

Being called to active duty in two warring countries, he said, was a “curve ball” Peterson did not expect, but life, he noted, is full of “curve balls.” That’s why students must work hard, apply themselves, do their best and forge ahead. If they do, they are certain to succeed, Peterson promised.

Peterson’s slide-show consisted of snapshot glimpses of him and his colleagues in a rather alien terrain of desert-like dusty and rocky landscapes. His jobs there required many long hours of travel, sometimes to remote villages where he would meet with police, judges, attorneys in police centers and in courtrooms. Peterson showed several photos of his transportation – helicopters and armored vehicles. He had to be prepared and ready for anything because his travels could take him in no time at all from sweltering places of 120 degrees to frigid temperatures in the snowy, higher elevations of mountains.

Peterson also showed slides of city streets, vendors’ shops, a typical child asking soldiers for treats and a glimpse of the occasional relaxation and fun he and his colleagues enjoyed – softball games that were perfect for breaking up any monotony.

Petersons said he feels honored to have served with so many dedicated, hard-working people from different branches of the military. But he reserved his highest praise for ones who also “served” back home. There are, of course, dangers in war-torn lands, he said, but what’s truly terrifying, he added, is when loved ones back home don’t receive a phone call they expected from a soldier. Just one missed call can provoke terrible anxieties and dreadful uncertainties in the minds of folks back home.

“They are the unsung heroes,” Peterson said, singling out his wife, Kristina, whom he asked to stand and be recognized as the audience applauded. The Petersons have two children, Lauren and Devon, who are both students at Sartell Middle School.

Peterson encouraged everyone to help out the families of the men and women serving far from home. Even simple activities like raking and shoveling can be a huge help and a comfort, he noted. It will show them people do care and that they, too, are greatly appreciated, along with their loved ones serving their country.

Other activities

The Veterans Day ceremony at the middle school began with the presenting of the colors by a contingent of the American Legion Post 277 of Sartell.

After the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance, led by State Rep. Tim O’Driscoll of Sartell, the student band and choir performed a series of patriotic songs, such as “America,” “Of Thee I Sing” and “God Bless America.”

The show was emceed by Sartell Middle School Student Council co-president Courtney Halvorson and the council’s secretary-treasurer Thomas Connolly. Also present were many teachers, staff, Sartell Middle School Principal Julie Tripp and Sartell-St. Stephen School District Interim Superintendent Mike Spanier.

Sartell Mayor Joe Perske gave a welcome speech and then explained the origins of Veterans Day. It began in 1918, at the end of World War I, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month – the exact time and date when the armistice was signed by the warring parties in Europe. For years, the celebration on Nov. 11 was known as Armistice Day to commemorate the end of the big war that was to be – in the hopeful minds of many – the war to end all wars. In 1954, Perske noted, Armistice Day was re-named Veterans Day.

photo by Dennis Dalman
Major David Peterson chats with Snuffy Putnam, a member of the American Legion of Sartell, at Sartell Middle School’s “Salute to Veterans” events on Veterans Day. Peterson, a member of the Sartell City Council, is a 16-year member of the Minnesota Army National Guard who served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also an attorney and human-resources supervisor for the St. Cloud VA Medical Center.


photo by Cori Hilsgen
American Legion of St. Joseph member Al Torborg helps set up flags at the home of Darol and Ellie Studer.

Studer flies flags in honor of veterans

by Cori Hilsgen

Motorists driving on CR 51 Sunday may have seen many flags flying on the front lawn of Darol and Ellie Studer’s home.

Both are longtime residents of St. Joseph.  Darol has been flying the flags for many years, and this November was no different.

On Sunday, Nov. 10, four members of the American Legion of St. Joseph gathered to set up flags in front of the home Studer built 50 years ago.

Studer was flying the flags in honor of the 238th birthday of the United States Marine Corps, Nov. 10, and Veterans’ Day, Nov. 11.

Studer himself is a Korean War Marine Corps veteran.

“I enlisted, honorably served and was honorably discharged,” Studer said.

He flies the flags to honor all veterans. Studer started with one flag on each holiday, but 10 years ago he started flying at least 21 different flags on 15-16 different holidays. The holidays include all the national holidays; the different holidays for the armed forces, including the United States Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy; Armed Forces Day; Veterans’ Day; and others.

Ellie said he often re-arranges them once they are out on the lawn.

Studer said he does so because he wants to put different flags in the front, depending on what holiday it is.

Studer’s collection of flags is extensive. It includes flags such as the United States Marine Corps flag, flags of  the 13 colonies that unified to form the United States,  the “Star Spangled Banner” 15-star flag, the Betsy Ross 13- star flag,  20-, 21-, 30-, 32-, 37-, 38-, 48- and 49-star flags, a POW/MIA flag and others.

His knowledge of the flags is as extensive as his collection, as he recalls dates that stars were added and patterns were changed.

Legion members Al Torborg, Gilbert (Gib) Stock, Fran Court and Chuck Kern helped Studer set up the flags Nov. 10.

Once the flags were flying, the Legion members gathered around the Studers’ dining room table for cookies, bars and coffee. Discussion turned to projects that Legion members have helped fund, such as the downtown Minnesota Street improvement, including the lights and flags.

Commander Kern said he doesn’t think people from the St. Joseph area realize how much the members of the American Legion of St. Joseph have contributed and how the economy will benefit from the building of the new armory.

“We welcome and encourage any veteran who is not a member to become a member,” he said.

Kern said he is one of the younger Legion members, having been a member for 20 years. Torborg has been a member for 60 years, Stock for 57 years, Court for 33 years and Studer for 39 years.

“Service means a lot to veterans,” Kern said.

He added for many veterans it probably was the greatest and the best time they ever had in their lives. If many were physically able, they would go back in to serve if they were asked to do so again.

Kern also talked about how the Legion’s Memorial Rifle Squad honors their fellow veterans with a final farewell on the third Monday of every month. He said families are always very appreciative of what they do and how they honor the service their family member gave.

As the conversation ended and the Legion members drove away, Studer’s 21 flags were waving in the morning breeze.

photo by Cori Hilsgen
American Legion of St. Joseph member Al Torborg helps set up flags at the home of Darol and Ellie Studer.

photo by Cori Hilsgen
American Legion of St. Joseph members (left to right) Al Torborg, Gib Stock, Fran Court and Chuck Kern set up flags at the home of Darol and Ellie Studer in honor of the 238th birthday of the United States Marine Corps and Veterans’ Day.

photo by Cori Hilsgen
Legion members (clockwise, left to right) Al Torborg, Gib Stock, Chuck Kern and Fran Court visit over coffee, cookies and bars around the Studer dining room table.

photo by Cori Hilsgen
Darol Studer’s extensive collection of flags has grown throughout the years.

photo by Cori Hilsgen
On Nov. 10, Darol Studer’s flags were waving in the morning breeze in honor of the United States Marine Corps birthday and Veterans’ Day.

photo by Dennis Dalman
Holly Cofer of Sartell, a U.S. Army National Guard member, stands in the Sartell Middle School lunch line with her brother, Kovey, who is an eighth-grader at the school.

Veterans, students enjoy lunch together

by Dennis Dalman

A good time – and a good lunch – was had by all when Sartell Middle School sponsored its annual “Lunch with a Veteran” last Monday, Veterans Day.

At some of the tables in the large lunch room, veterans sat with students. The veterans were related to one or more students as parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins or siblings.

At both lunch shifts, the American Legion Honor Guard of Sartell welcomed guests as they arrived. The food staff decorated the kitchen, serving areas and tables for the event.

At one table veteran Steve Kelly sat with his daughter, Kaitlyn, 13, a seventh-grader. Kelly served in the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. Yosemite in 1989. His wife, Jennifer, is a student supervisor at Oak Ridge Elementary and so could not attend the luncheon with her husband and daughter.

“I think this ‘Lunch with a Veteran’ idea is fantastic,” said Steve, as his daughter nodded in agreement. “It helps keeps veterans in the front of everyone’s minds. And the younger generation can learn about the sacrifices made by so many men and women who served their country.”

After the lunches were all served and eaten, everyone gathered in the middle school’s gymnasium for two back-to-back ceremonies to honor veterans. (For more details, see story and editorial about the middle-school events in this paper).

photo by Dennis Dalman
U.S. Navy veteran Steve Kelley and his daugher, Kaitlyn, enjoy lunch together at the Sartell Middle School’s annual Veterans Day “Lunch with a Veteran” program.

photo by Dennis Dalman
Holly Cofer of Sartell, a U.S. Army National Guard member, stands in the Sartell Middle School lunch line with her brother, Kovey, who is an eighth-grader at the school.

photo by Dennis Dalman
Members of the American Legion Post 277 of Sartell await visitors to Sartell Middle School. From left to right, they are Virgil Heron, U.S. Army veteran; Dick Clemens, a U.S. Army veteran who served during the Korean War; Chuck Haselkamp, who served in the U.S. Navy during the war in Iraq; and Flip Mastey, the Legion commander and U.S. Army veteran who served in South Korea during the Korean War.

photo by Dennis Dalman
Food server Jodi Hennemann prepares to serve lunch to Sartell Middle School students Gabby Terres and Clay Fenlason.

photo by Dennis Dalman
Three students in the Sartell Middle School cafeteria said they were happy to have veterans visit their school on Veterans Day. From left to right are Austin Haus, Marie Anderson and Alexis Koltes.


Twin sisters chosen to greet new bishop

by Cori Hilsgen

Amber and Allie Hilsgen, both 8, were chosen to be door greeters at the solemn vespers service for the installation of the ninth bishop of the Diocese of St. Cloud, Bishop Donald Kettler.

Amber and Allie are the twin daughters of Mark and Lisa Hilsgen of St. Joseph.

Lisa Hilsgen said they were initially surprised and unsure what the event would be like.

The Hilsgens  handed out programs at a door close to the church elevator and had a chance to greet former bishop John Kinney and many others. Both said they were glad they were chosen to greet.

“It was a special opportunity and it was fun meeting these nice people,” Amber said.

“I really enjoyed it and am thankful that I got picked,” Allie said.

Attendance for the event was much larger than organizers had anticipated, and so the new bishop was welcomed by an overflowing crowd.

contributed photo
Amber and Allie Hilsgen, 8, stand in front of a sign welcoming the new Bishop Donald Kettler to St. Mary’s Cathedral the evening of solemn vespers. Both were chosen to be door greeters for the evening prayer.

contributed photo
Allie (left) and Amber Hilsgen, 8, served as door greeters for the solemn vespers welcoming the next bishop of the Diocese of St. Cloud. Bishop Donald Kettler will be the ninth bishop to oversee the 131 Catholic diocese parishes.


Local groups work to de-stigmatize mental illness

by Dennis Dalman

Mike Stringer knows all too well the tragedies that can happen when mental illness goes untreated. One of his grandfathers, an uncle and a cousin all committed suicide.

More than 90 percent of those who take their own lives suffer from untreated mental illnesses, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

The suicides in the Stringer family were the impetus for Stringer to take a 12-week course entitled “Family-to-Family,” taught by Steve and Wendy Hennes of Sartell at Unity Spiritual Center, also in Sartell.

After taking that course, Stringer helped form the St. Cloud Family Support Group, which is for family members, friends and caregivers who live or deal with people who have mental-health issues. The group is not religiously affiliated. Anyone from anyplace is welcome to attend the group. Some come from as far away as Little Falls. The group meets from 7-8:30 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month at Calvary Community Church, 1200 Roosevelt Road, St. Cloud.

There was also a family support group at the Unity Spiritual Center, but that recently relocated to Albany.

Those are just two support groups sponsored by NAMI throughout the nation and in the greater St. Cloud area by way of NAMI, St. Cloud. NAMI’s “Connections” groups, as they’re called, can be specialized to meet specific needs. For example, there is one just for the parents of children suffering from mental illness. Another group is meant for social workers and school personnel to help them identify and get help for school students who may be experiencing some form of mental-health disorder.

The purpose of NAMI nationally, statewide and locally is to improve the lives of children and adults with mental illnesses, along with their families. A big part of that effort is to raise awareness and educate the general public so the stigmas often associated with mental illness can be laid at the wayside, making it more likely people and their families will seek help when it is needed.

That is the reason Stringer became involved. He is not only a support-group coordinator, but he also serves on the NAMI St. Cloud Board.

“Mental illness can be an isolating experience,” Stringer said. “For many caregivers, the NAMI Family Support Group is their first opportunity to learn there are other caregivers who are experiencing similar challenges and frustrations. Our groups provide a social-support network that is a vital part of recovery for families and their loved ones.”

The group, Stringer noted, offers support, education, advocacy and information so people can learn how to best cope with ways to help loved ones and friends suffering from mental-health problems.

The need to de-stigmatize the topic of mental illness is also what inspired the Henneses of Sartell to become involved in NAMI. Steve Hennes’s father committed suicide many years ago after suffering from a lifetime of untreated mental-health issues, including severe depression. The Henneses decided to teach the Family-to-Family course in Sartell, a way to train facilitators who can then go on to teach the course themselves and/or to coordinate various kinds of support groups. Recently, Steve and Wendy Hennes hosted a brainstorming session at their home. They invited legislators, who participated in a discussion on things the legislature might do to help in the fight against mental illness. Stringer is one who attended that meeting, along with Sen. Michelle Fischbach, Reps. Tim O’Driscoll and Jeff Howe; and Stearns County Commissioner Mark Bromenschenkel. Sartell Police Chief Jim Hughes discussed the challenges law enforcement faces when dealing with people suffering from mental-health issues and how to best get them the help they may need. Other participants included some Sartell residents who talked about the challenges of family members who have mental illnesses.

Matt Burdick of NAMI Minnesota facilitated the discussion at the Hennes home.

“That evening we let a light shine on a subject that affects each of us,” Wendy Hennes later wrote in a letter to editor (see Opinion page today). “We helped the light break through the clouds of stigma that surround mental health/mental illness. We took a step to let the light shine on treatment, housing, employment and making lives better for those who live with mental illness.”

Stringer and those involved with the NAMI groups are determined to spread the good word – that mental illness is treatable, that help is widely available and that there is a slow but gradual decrease in the stigmas associated with mental illness.

Every month or so, Stringer and others distribute small folded cards to hospitals, clinics, law-enforcement centers and counseling services centers. The cards contain resource and information numbers to call, including crisis-hotline numbers.

Those key numbers are these:

To reach a four-county (Benton, Sherburne, Stearns, Wright) crisis-response team, call 1-800-635-8008 or 320-253-5555.

To reach NAMI St. Cloud, call 320-654-1259 or visit its website:

A good website for learning how to help de-stigmatize mental illness is

For the national Suicide Prevention Hotline, call 1-800-273-1259.

The NAMI information card also gives 14 tips for de-escalating situations in which loved ones or even strangers are dealing with people undergoing mental-illness crises. Here are the tips:

1. Start low-key.

2. Put assertive tendencies aside at the beginning.

3. Do not disagree with psychotic thinking. Instead, offer your support.

4. Don’t try to reason with a person in psychosis.

5. Speak and act slowly and clearly, using simple sentences.

6. Avoid quick movements.

7. Keep the stimulation level low.

8. Ask casual observers to leave.

9. Give the person space; avoid touching.

10. Do not shout.

11. Avoid continuous eye contact.

12. Sit to the side of a person who is paranoid.

13. If handcuffing is policy, explain the policy.

14. If suicide is a concern, ask!


Heidi: ‘Learn to speak up for the mentally ill’

(Editor’s note: The following is a personal-testimony story on a website called, a site dedicated to efforts to de-stigmatize mental illness. The true story was written by a woman whose first name is Heidi.)

Some days, a girl can beg for peace of mind and wish to be saved from a day of total despair and depression.

I grew up in a family with my two sisters and my brother. I loved playing softball and basketball and hanging out with the neighbor kids. When I was 9, my Grandma came to live with us. My Grandma was my comfort, my safety blanket. I just think my parents had a lot going on that they needed to figure out, so Grandma took care of us.

When I was 14 my Grandma died. She had been the glue keeping our family together. She made our home feel safe and secure. Suddenly she was gone! A year later, my Dad left us. It was out of the blue. And that is when I feel my symptoms of mental illness really started for me.

In addition to all of the changes at home, I had also changed schools. High school was pretty much one big episode of depression. I didn’t even know I was depressed. I just figured I was a kid who’d experienced some big life changes that caused me to think about freeing myself. I wanted to hurt myself, to commit suicide, to be out of the pain I was feeling . . .

After graduation, I went to technical school and graduated with a degree in computer and voice networking. That led to moving away from the Twin Cities for some great work opportunities and building new relationships. Those relationships eventually led to break-ups and more depression. Sometimes my behavior was truly out of control.

See, here’s the thing: I know the state of depression really well. But I still don’t always recognize when I am in a manic state. That’s because mania, at the beginning, seems like so much fun! Why would I want to take my medication and stay stable when I can run around so high that I’m sure I will be the next president of the United States. But then there are the consequences: shopping out of control, buying a motorcycle without knowing how to drive it, drinking way too much, eating way too much and not using enough discretion before delving into relationships.

But a good thing came out of those bad relationships: I finally realized I needed help and called the Employee Assistance Program at work. The EAP referred me to a psychiatrist. I was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder and put on medications. I didn’t know anything about mental illness or medications and I didn’t think I really needed them. I thought I’d be “cured” within six months.

Three months went by and my depression got worse. I thought about overdosing on medication while no one was around. My family and friends didn’t know about the racing thoughts, the nightmares, the almost constant thoughts of suicide – thoughts I couldn’t stop even with meds and therapy. I didn’t really talk about it. I didn’t think my family would understand and I wasn’t sure they would believe it. I thought I was the only one with those feelings. And I was embarrassed.

In 2005, I decided to move back to Minnesota. I got a good job in my field as a manager of network operations. But I was still really depressed and thinking about suicide a lot. I didn’t realize my meds weren’t working right and I ended up being taken to the hospital by ambulance. Eventually, I found help again and I also found a community support program run by Guild Inc. Everyone who works there is extremely supportive, loving and caring. I’m not judged there.

Today, I work in my desired field, and I’m also working to break the stigma of mental illness. I speak for the National Alliance for Mental Illness locally and spoke at its national conference in June of this year. I’m no longer quiet about my illness.

People ask me, “What could someone have said/done to make it OK when I was going through all that depression and trauma?”

This is what I tell them: “Education is important. Take the time to learn what people with mental illnesses go through each day. If you have a family member or friend and hear rude comments, speak up for your loved one. Hearing someone speak up for me so I’m not feeling ashamed is extremely validating and loving.”

photo by Cori Hilsgen
Colleen Hollinger Petters stands in the dining room of the shared-care cottages at the Mill Stream Village. Residents in both the assisted living cottages and private homes can use the dining room.

Mill Stream Village is open

by Cori Hilsgen

If you are interested in living in the heart of a thriving and vibrant college town, than Mill Stream Village might be a good option for you. The Village is a place for both working and retired adults.

So far, three private homes and eight shared-care cottages have been built. One of the private homes is available to rent or own.

Just recently opened, the shared-cared cottages are available for an assisted-living experience. The cottages are clustered together and include an on-site, “Home Instead Senior Care” in-home care provider. The cottages are available for lease and include all utilities except phone and high-speed internet. Detached garages are also available for an additional fee.

All cottages have individual front porches for private entry but also center around a community dining room where residents can gather for meals. Residents can plant flowers, hang bird feeders and otherwise decorate their front entries. Most pets are allowed, with a few exceptions. A damage deposit for cleaning is required for pet owners.

The care provider is based in a centrally located office connected to the cottages. Each household receives a minimum of seven hours of personal-care assistance each week. Additional services can be added as needed or desired.

The cottages are one-bedroom or one-bedroom-plus-den designs. Each has a full kitchen, in-floor heat, washer and dryer and many features to make retirement living easier. Each offers enough space for one or two individuals.

The Village is owned by Jon Petters, Colleen Hollinger Petters, Peter Gillitzer and TJ Properties. Hollinger Petters, vice president of marketing and sales, said baby boomers have changed the game and really raised the bar of expectations for what 65-plus living should look like. Many don’t want it to be retirement, but want to remain actively working. Adult children of parents who are in their mid-80s and 90s are also wanting and expecting more for their parents in assisted living.

She said college towns offer a variety of reasons why they are a good place to retire. Living in a vibrant community is not just desirable but also really important.

“We have taken our research, experience and – most importantly – listening to people right here to develop high-quality yet not-so-big homes in a location very close to downtown St. Joseph,” Hollinger Petters said. “This includes the assisted-living cottages that each have their own private entrance, along with a main entrance, yet are part of this community.”

Hollinger Petters said many local residents who do not want to relocate to St. Cloud for their retirement might want to consider the Village. It’s located very close to downtown St. Joseph, offering pharmacies, a health clinic, groceries, church, restaurants and a coffee shop, a library, shopping and other options.  The area includes many walkable streets with sidewalks leading to the downtown area or the college campus.

“We want residents at Mill Stream Village to get involved in the community if they are interested and physically able to do that,” Hollinger Petters said. “We want them to be so familiar at the local coffee shop, food coop, or on their walking or biking route that they become a regular.”

Hollinger Petters said they know that for some people in assisted living,  that familiarity might be as close as their immediate neighbors in the cottage next door.

She added they don’t want to malign the residents and developers of larger retirement community apartment buildings and feel those buildings offer unique components such as organized activities, craft rooms and other options for people who want them.

The Village differs from other retirement areas because it’s located close to town, so transportation is not as difficult. Being closer to town also helps strengthen involvement options for volunteering in town or on the College of St. Benedict campus.

There are options to participate in activities and other things at the college.

“Being part of a town and community means you are involved in the lives, activities and events of people of all different ages,” Hollinger Petters said. “This is just a more natural and interesting lifestyle for most of us.”

Hollinger Petters said this has become the trend in many areas of the United States instead of socializing within an age-homogenous, isolated, large retirement-apartment building.

“Many boomers are part of the group named the Greatest Generation,” Hollinger Petters said. “A lot of them want to continue to volunteer and be part of their community and the location of Mill Stream Village is key to accessibility by the residents to this college town, what it needs from our residents and what the town has to offer back to them.”

People within the assisted-living community  have told the Village owners they want to retain their privacy and sense of normalcy, even when a spouse or partner needs home care. This is what led to the concept of the shared-care cottages – one individual of a couple needing help and the other not needing it.

A single person might enjoy the security of others being near, having some household help but yet continuing with their usual lifestyles.

“Being able to sit outside on your own front porch in the morning with a cup of coffee, watching kids leave for school and neighbors walk their dogs is a pleasure and something you might normally do at home,” Hollinger Petters said. “This is much harder to do in a larger building, away from a community.”

All meals are catered by Kay’s Kitchen. Evening dinners can be ordered from the menu. Residents can eat their meals privately in their own cottage or can eat in the community-dining room.  Other local restaurants will also deliver to the Village. Private home residents are also able to participate in the catering services.

St. Joseph resident Gary Osberg was the first person to have a house built in the Village. He moved there in March seeking a more peaceful and quiet setting and something close to his work.  He said he has found it.

Osberg, 70, works for Minnesota Public Radio. He said he loves his job and doesn’t plan to retire for a long time. It’s only about six miles to work for him.

“I love it,” Osberg said. “It is very quiet and comfortable.”

With 22 years experience in office-furniture design, he helped contact sound specialist experts that helped design the shared wall of his home. Osberg enjoys the high ceilings, in-floor heat and other features of his new home.

He said even when there have been large campus activities, his home has been quiet.

Located on Callaway Street and College Avenue South, the Village is a 55-plus community but younger people can live there too. At least one household member must be 35 years of age to reside there.

Home prices start at $189,000. The homes offer Hardie plank siding, Andersen Windows, in-floor heat and other options. The grounds for the village are association-managed.

Rent for one-bedroom cottages is currently $2,325 per month, and a two-bedroom is $2,495. On-site  care services for each cottage are $1,500 each month.  For more information, contact 320-363-7656.

photo by Cori Hilsgen
Colleen Hollinger Petters stands in the dining room of the shared-care cottages at the Mill Stream Village. Residents in both the assisted living cottages and private homes can use the dining room.

photo by Cori Hilsgen
A kitchen area of one of the shared-care cottages of the Mill Stream Village shows what is available to residents.

photo by Cori Hilsgen
Gary Osberg is the first person who built a private home in the Mill Stream Village. The home next to Osberg’s home is available to rent or own.

contributed photo
Each of the shared-care cottages in the Mill Stream Village has a private porch entry.

contributed photo
In their brand-new high-kick uniforms, some of the Sartell Sabre Dance Team members practice for the 12th annual dance show this Saturday. From left to right are (barely visible at left) Amanda Yackley, Sarah Erickson, Taylor Pasell, Avalon Schlect, Hannah Carey, Amanda Burge, Jenna Klein and Lauren Lauermann.

Sabres to host big dance show Nov. 16

by Dennis Dalman

The Sartell Sabre Dance Team will host its 12th annual gala fundraising show in two performances at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16 at Sartell High School.

Tickets for the show are $5 for students K-12, $7 for adults and free for children 4 and under.

“It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year,” said Dawn Scott-Yackley of St. Stephen, a member of the Sabre Dancers’ Booster Club. The show is also important because it’s the first time all area high schools will perform, in one place, the competitive routines they will perfect throughout the upcoming competitive season, which starts next week.

There are 500 dancers in the show, including 31 on the Sabre competitive team. Head coach Kelly McCarney has coached the Sabre team for 12 years. She started coaching it when she was 19 years old.

The show will showcase the talents of dancers from several schools and dance studios. They include the St. Cloud Tech Tigerettes, the St. Cloud Apollo Astronettes, the St. Cloud Cathedral Crusaderettes, the Sauk Rapids-Rice Storm, the Cold Spring Rocori Rockettes, the University of Minnesota Dance Team (Rochester), Just for Kix, Ms. Melinda’s Dance Team, St. Cloud Northcrest Dance and the St. Cloud School of Dance and Gymnastics and – last but certainly not least – the Sabre Dance Team. The show will also present, once again, the perennially popular guy-gal dance.

There will be concessions, T-shirts and flowers to purchase during the show, which typically draws a standing-room-only audience.

Scott-Yackley said that without volunteer help from parents, the annual dance shows would not be possible. All of the behind-the-scenes work is done by volunteers, as well as the support work during the show and the take-downs after the show.

The booster club is also a big help, she added.

“The club helps with anything that needs to be done,” Scott-Yackley said. “The members help organize, publicize, help the coaches, get parent volunteers together. They sell tickets, do decorations, work at concessions. Parents take part in all of that. That’s true of all the schools that have dance programs.

Scott-Yackley and her husband, John, have two daughters on the Sabre Dance Team – Amanda, a senior; and Hannah, a sophomore.

“The dance team helps girls grow into young ladies,” she said. “It helps them become much better people, and they learn how to become good students and to juggle (the demands of) life. They work as a team and they bond and make friendships. It’s just incredible to watch that process. My daughters just love being a part of that team.”

contributed photo
In their brand-new high-kick uniforms, some of the Sartell Sabre Dance Team members practice for the 12th annual dance show this Saturday. From left to right are (barely visible at left) Amanda Yackley, Sarah Erickson, Taylor Pasell, Avalon Schlect, Hannah Carey, Amanda Burge, Jenna Klein and Lauren Lauermann.