School supplies given away


Perhaps you or someone you know needed assistance with getting school supplies for a child this year.  That help was given to those students soon to be attending their first day of school at a recent school supply giveaway.

All of the supplies needed for a succeessful school year ahead were given away at the First Presbyterian Church Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010 via a partnership of churches throughout the Pine County area, assisted by the Pine City Horizon’s Program.  There were no income guidelines or verification forms necessary…if a child was in need, supplies were readily available.

For more information about the event, contact Judy at (320) 629-1149.

Horizons Regional Training Workshop to be held in Pine City

Looking for a way to jump start your Horizons groups after a long, hot summer?  Sat., Sept. 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Horizons will host a regional training workshop open to any Horizons community member at the North West Company Fur Post.  Come pick up new ideas and strategies to aid in your local Horizons projects.

The program is designed specifically for Horizons communities and will complement the work already begun by communities in the areas of leadership development and poverty reduction.  Workshop programming includes “Preserve, Change, Create: What’s on Your Horizon?” from the Leadership and Civic Engagement team and a showcase of Community Economics programs geared at strengthening Minnesota’s local economies through informed community decisions.

Peer learning opportunities will also allow communities to give updates on their Horizons projects—share your successful strategies with others.  Last, we’ll introduce new opportunities available for Horizons communities in the upcoming year.  The workshops are FREE.  Breakfast, lunch, and learning materials will be provided.  Hotel rooms will be available for those traveling over two hours to the workshop site.

Various Workshop Locations

  • Starbuck: Thursday, Sept 16, 8:30am-5:30pm @ Community Center Starbuck, MN
  • Chisholm: Friday, Sept 18, 8:30am-5:30pm @ Valentini’s 31 West Lake Street, Chisholm, MN 55719
  • Callaway: Monday, Sept 20, 8:30am-5:30pm @ Maplelag Resort 3051 Maplelag Road, Callaway, MN 56521
  • New York Mills: Tuesday Sept 21, 8:30am- 5:30pm@ City Hall 28 W Centennial 84 Dr, New York Mills, MN 56567
  • St. James: Wednesday, Sept 22, 8:30am-5:30pm @ First Presbyterian Church 706 3rd Avenue South, St James, MN 56081-1745
  • Pine City: Saturday, Sept 25, 8:30am-5:30pm @ NW Co. Fur Post

Agenda (tentative)


        8:30am, Breakfast
8:45am, Welcome and Introductions
9am-12pm, “Preserve, Change, Create: What’s on Your Horizon?”
12-2pm, Peer Learning
2pm, Break
2:30-5:30pm, Community Economics Showcase

Come for all or part of the day as your schedule and interest allow!

Click here to register. Alternately, contact 866-407-4906.

Pine City Beginner Band Registration set for September 16


The Pine City Schools Music Department is currently registering new fifth and sixth grade students for band.  Lessons are available free to all students at Pine City Elementary and St. Mary’s School.  Parents of home school students should call to learn about availability or to schedule testing.

Registration is Thursday, September 16 from 2:45 to 6:30pm at Pine City Elementary.  At this time you can schedule lessons and learn more about renting an instrument.  If you are unable to attend registration, contact director Brad Mariska by emailing or calling 320-629-4129.  Parents should not purchase an instrument before the registration date.

Nearly 350 students in grades 5-12 played in the band program last year, when Pine City was named one of the “Best Communities for Music Education in America” by the NAMM Foundation.

Give Support to the Braham Area Community Center with just a click

The Braham Area Community Center Task Force has been working hard to raise funds and awareness about their goal to build a community center in Braham. This task force has been very successful in rallying the community around this project.

Let’s help our neighbors reach their goal by voting for this project at the Pepsi Refresh Project. Pepsi will donate funds to the top vote getters to help them build their dreams of helping and bettering their communities. You may vote for the Braham Area Community Center by visiting the Pepsi Refresh Project and typing the word “Braham” into the search bar. You may also learn more about the community center in Braham by visiting

Get Plugged in with Operation Community Connect

Operation Community Connect is a multi-organization event that provides goods and service information to those in need. Last years event served 283 individuals with items like school supplies, hats, socks, mittens, coats, food and valuable information about local assistance organizations.

For 2010, this event will be hosted in Pine City and is being chaired by Pine City Horizons member, Wendy Johnson. If you or your organization would like to continue to be involved with OCC or would like to become involved for the first time, please make note of the following opportunity.

On Thursday, August 26th, an informational meeting will be held at 5:30 at the Pine City Chamber of Commerce office at City Hall (315 Main St S). Anyone interested in helping this great cause should plan on attending to learn more about volunteering, gathering donations or any other efforts to assist this effort.

You may also contact Wendy at or phone her at 651.442.5880

Voices of Rural Minnesota Application Packet

For over one year we’ve been talking about implementing the Voices of Rural Minnesota program. We are happy to say that the application materials are available and the program will launch this fall!

Purpose Statement

The Voices of Rural Minnesota program seeks to increase awareness of the rural and tribal experience by educating key stakeholders on the realities of small rural and tribal communities through storytelling and information dissemination.

Program Goals

The Voices of Rural Minnesota Program will engage a group of up to 30 individuals from across Minnesota to:

  1. Identify and develop individual public presentation skills
  2. Recruit and train a diverse group of speakers representing all regions of MN
  3. Provide speakers with accurate information to use to move audiences to action
  4. Educate, motivate, and empower community members to play a larger role in community issues
  5. Identify and collaborate with partners to identify and research impact of current policies on rural issues
  6. Identify venues for speaking engagements
  7. Create powerful public presentations that highlight life in small rural communities
  8. Create and implement evaluation processes to access impact of program

Please forward this post and the attached application materials to anyone you think would be a good candidate.

Voices of Rural Minnesota Application Packet

Citizen of the Year Nominations Wanted

Since 1974 Pine City has celebrated members of our community that have shown a “passion and genuine concern for this great city”, have been “tireless workers in our community”, and demonstrated “community leadership skills” among many other reasons.

These community members have been recognized through the Citizen of the Year program that has been coordinated by the Pine City Area Chamber of Commerce. In September 2009, Robert Thompson was selected as the Citizen of the Year to represent Pine City. He was nominated by the employees of MINPACK and 4staffing, Inc., both businesses owned by Thompson. But it wasn’t just his role as their employer, but also the fact that he was, and continues to be, and active community member. He serves on the ECE Board of Directors, Pine City Lions member, Pine Center for the Arts board member, Early Childhood Coalition, member of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, as well as the EDA for the City of Pine City. Bob was an excellent candidate to be recognized as the 2009 Citizen of the Year.

Fast forward to August 2010 and the Pine City Chamber of Commerce is preparing to select the next person to be recognized for their committment to the Pine City community. In order to do this, they are seeking the help of community members to write letters of nomination in support of a candidiate that you feel is has the qualities that would make them deserving of recognition by the community.

Letters of nomination should be sent to: Pine City Area Chamber of Commerce, 315 Main Street South, Suite 155, Pine City MN 55063. Nomination letters must be received no later than Friday, September 3rd by NOON. Any questions regarding the Citizen of the Year program can be directed to Becky at the Chamber office by calling 320-322-4040.

Past Citizen of the Year recipients include:
1974 Dr. A.K. Stratte
1975 Bill Korbel
1976 Dr. George T. Olsen
1977 George Clem
1978 Claire Shuey
1979 Gerry Robbins
1980 Gordy Nelson
1981 Henry Sommer
1982 Art Nelson
1983 Jane Robbins
1984 James Dennison
1985 Paul Kuzel
1986 Roy Teich
1987 Albrecht Erhart
1988 Arnold Christenson
1989 Gene Pals
1990 Regina Reiser
1991 Gene Anderson
1992 Johana Cox
1993 Harold Kick
1994 Gene Biever
1995 Betty Karas
1996 Gerri Othoudt
1997 Doris Applewick
1998 Robert E. Anderson
1999 John Skluzacek
2000 Roger Hagstrom
2001 Howard Ledin
2002 Walter Johnson
2003 Betty Griffin
2004 Gordon Johnson
2005 Rita Bible
2006 Jim Zaun
2007 Dr. Robert Musgrove
2008 Dennis & JoLynn Howard
2009 Robert Thompson

PCHS announces 2010-’11 theatre season


  • Fall Musical “Guys and Dolls” coming in November

Pine City High School proudly announces its 2010-2011 theatre season, featuring the classic Broadway musical comedy “Guys and Dolls.”  “Guys and Dolls” was one of the most successful musicals of the 1950s and a classic film version starred Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra.  The show features several standards including “Luck Be a Lady,” “Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” and the title song.  There will be six performances of the musical over two weekends, November 11, 12, 13, 14, 19, and 20.  There will also be a free backstage tour on Sunday, November 14.  Based on the suggestion of recent audiences, a limited number reserved tickets will also be available in addition to general admission tickets.

Advanced tickets will be available at several area businesses starting in October.

“All That Jazz,” A Musical Theatre Revue, will return for the third time on Saturday, January 8 at 7:00pm.  This is a free event that will feature songs, scenes, and dances from Broadway shows past and present.  The evening of song is presented by the Musical Theatre class and will also feature show tunes performed by Pine City High School’s Jazz One.  This event is being presented for one night only and is sure to be great entertainment for the whole family.

Pine City will also look to defend their Sub-Section Championship in the MSHSL One-Act competition this winter.  The local thespians have qualified for a remarkable three-straight section finals, and have been Sub-Section Champions two years running. This year’s play will be a absurdist comedy entitled “Lives of the Saints” by David Ives.  The public performance of “Lives of the Saints” will be on Friday, January 28.  Students will also participate in festivals on January 17 and 22, and compete in Sub-Sections on Saturday, January 29 here in Pine City.

For more information about these productions, contact director Brad Mariska by emailing or calling 320-629-4129.

Your Weekend Update…August 13 – 19

Friday, August 13 at 6:00 PM: The Pine City Arts Council will present the final concert of the Art in the Park music series in Robinson Park – and the first time a concert is being offered after the Pine County Fair… Enjoy bluegrass music from the “Triple L Band” as well as the sloppy joes being served by the First Presbyterian Church. Food service begins at 6:00PM as well. Note that the music will begin earlier than normal this week due to the earlier sunset time. A reminder that there is a rain site location in the event of bad weather the concert is held at the First Presbyterian Fellowship Hall.

Friday, August 13 at 6:00 PM: Renee Schminkey will perform her original compositions at Java Joe’s Bistro. Renee is a former PCHS student who has played previously at Java Joe’s as well as at the Pine Center for the Arts Birthday Celebration.

Friday, August 13 at 7:00 PM: The Pine Center for the Arts will open the next month long gallery exhibit with the traditional Opening Night Reception. This month will be the “Members Gallery” which will feature a wide variety of types of art but each artist has one thing in common – they are members of the Pine Center for the Arts. The Pine Center for the Arts is a membership-driven organization that relies on the support of individual artisans to offer a wide variety of programming.

Saturday, August 14 at 7:00 PM: Pine Center for the Arts transforms the 1930s era Pine City Auditorium into a movie house, complete with popcorn, candy, and soda, to bring its audience a screening of an award-winning writer/director, Zach Hamill’s works. For less than the cost of packing up the family and heading to an area movie theatre (tickets for the event are $6 for adults and $4 for K-12 students), one can bring them out to see what has transpired for a Pine City native. The evening will also feature a question-and-answer period with the filmmaker. Tickets will be available at the door and the movies are appropriate for families, though parents are discouraged from bringing small children. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.

Sunday, August 15 from Noon-5pm: Minnesota Sokol Camp on beautiful Cross Lake in Pine City will host its 80th Annual Booya and Picnic on Sunday, August 15, from noon to 5pm. There will be jiternice, brats, hot dogs, meatloaf sandwiches, cabbage rolls, kolace, and candy. A cold pivo or refreshing soda will satisfy any thirst. Old time music, dancing, bingo, a cash prize raffle, kids games, a Country Store, and a performance by the St. Paul Czech & Slovak Folkdancers will take you back in time.

Thursday, August 19: The North West Company Fur Post will begin wild rice processing demonstrations in August and September. Learn about wild rice and the steps involved in harvesting, parching, treading and winnowing of this important food source. Contact the Fur Post for more details at 320-629-6356

AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer joins Pine City partnership

Sean Stevens, Pine City VISTA
The City of Pine City and Pine City Horizons are happy to announce the arrival of their VISTA volunteer to the community. On August 9th, Sean Stevens has begun his year long service through AmeriCorps to assist Pine City in working on individual anti-poverty projects as well as helping the city fold these efforts into their long term comprehensive planning.

“I am honored to join with such great partners to help them accomplish their goals. The collection of dedication and commitment toward this project is impressive and I am really looking forward to meeting and collaborating with all the members of Horizons and city staff as well as other partners we form along the way,” said Sean.

Sean Stevens joins the Pine City team with a background in community and economic development as well as small business start up experience. He has served for the last 6 years as a member and chair of the City of Isanti’s Planning Commission as well as serving on the Isanti County Planning Commission since December of 2009.

The VISTA office will be located at City Hall (315 Main St South) in the same office as the Pine City Chamber of Commerce. Office hours are from 8am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. You may contact Sean at