Fare for All offering low-cost Groceries

In the end of 2011, the Angel Food program closed its doors. This program provided packages of low-cost food for individuals looking to save money in their grocery budget. It provided an additional food service beyond the food shelves. This program was especially helpful for families, or the elderly with set incomes.

Despite refinancing efforts, the program had to shut its doors because of rising transportation costs.

Replacing Angel Food program is a similar system called Fare for All. Fare for All is a community supported program and is open to everyone. The more people who participate, the better. Like Angel Food, this program allows individuals to buy food in bulk and pre-packed packages for 40% less than grocery store prices. Packages cost around $10-$30 and consist of meat only packs, produce packs, or combinations of both. If it is your first time ordering, simply call 763-450-3880 or 1-800-582-4291 to place an order or visit the website for more information.

Pine City to Host Housing Forum

The City of Pine City has partnered with Mary Kay Brautigan of Coldwell Bank Results to address the housing needs within our community. The Housing Forum will take place on Thursday, March 15th at 6:30pm in City Hall.

The increase in the foreclosure rate has occurred at both a national and local level. In 2010, there were 83 homes that were sold as foreclosures in the Pine City School district. This number of foreclosed homes has increased nearly 300% over the past four years.

The forum will be an opportunity for local and regional housing partners to discuss the problem and some potential solutions. The forum will combine the expertise of local real estate agents, mortgage lenders, and non-profit leaders. Each of these organizations and sectors reflects a unique knowledge and approach to the housing sector. The housing forum is an opportunity to learn about their specific knowledge and the work that has been done in foreclosure prevention.

We encourage members of the community to attend the forum as we discuss the challenges to home and property owners. Further questions may be directed to Lauren Ellmers, lellmers@pinecitygov.com or 320-629-2575.

Pine City is a Super Achiever

The following are an acknowledgement of notable achievements of the the Greater Pine City community in recent years.  Each has brought attention to the various economic, cultural, social and environmental contributions made to the community.

  • Best Communities for Music Education in America   In 2010 and 2011, the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation announced the results of its annual “Best Communities for Music Education” survey, which acknowledged Pine City Public Schools for its unwavering commitment and support of music education for its students.
  • C.C. Ludwig Award | Mayor Jane Robbins  The League of Minnesota Cities’ highest honor for an elected official, the C.C. Ludwig Award, was presented to Mayor Jane Robbins in 2008, for going the extra mile; for her contributions to improved municipal government, for the admiration and respect of the general public toward her, and for her selfless conduct focused on the greater good of the community.
  • Minnesota Community Pride! Showcase  At the 2011 Minnesota State Fair, Pine City was recognized as a courageous and innovative community for its members’ work to collaboratively improve the community with Minnesota’s Small-Town Gay Pride, East Central Minnesota Pride, a regional event held annually in the community.
  • Minnesota Star Lake | Cross Lake  Cross Lake, a heavily-developed, 942-acre lake on the eastern border of Pine City, was designated as Minnesota’s first Star Lake in 2011 for Cross Lake and Snake River Association’s participation in the Health Lakes Program (2004) and in developing their Lake Management Plan.  The program rewards citizen-based associations that actively participate in protecting and enhancing surface waters of Minnesota.
  • Horizons  In 2010, Pine City successfully completed the Northwest Area Foundation’s Horizons Program, an 18-month leadership development program for rural towns with populations of 5,000 or fewer and with poverty rates of at least 10 percent.  The program aimed to help the community understand and alleviate symptoms of poverty, and build social capital and prosperity.
  • Initiative Foundation “Outstanding Community”  In 2009, the Initiative Foundation chose Pine City to receive its Outstanding Community Award, because of an uncommon spirit of citizen volunteerism and significant progress toward business, technology, environmental and early childhood issues.  The award highlighted efforts to revitalize downtown,   attract high-tech companies, preserve local lakes, promote early childhood education and restore community pride.
  • Job Opportunity Building Zones (JOBZ)  The Job Opportunity Building Zones program has been an effective tool in promoting economic development in Pine City.  To date, three Pine City businesses have utilized JOBZ, one relocating from Wisconsin.  Under JOBZ, businesses that create new jobs and make a capital investment in a new building may qualify for exemption from a host of state taxes and can potentially result in significant savings to businesses that qualify.  The JOBZ program is available now through 2015 and there are plenty of designated acres still available in Pine City.
  • Star City  As a Minnesota Star City, the city was recognized in the 1980s for its leadership in working with local businesses to ensure continued growth.  Though there hasn’t been any funding for the program in years, the designation carries on and there is a statewide discussion about reviving the program.
  • Women in City Government Leadership Award | Mayor Jane Robbins  Mayor Jane Robbins was awarded the Minnesota Women in City Government Leadership Award in 2010 for her unique, individual achievements in Pine City, as well as her leadership and mentoring roles both inside and outside of the community.
  • Yellow Ribbon Community  In 2011, the City was officially proclaimed a Yellow Ribbon Community.  To earn the status, Pine City developed a sustainable action plan demonstrating its commitment to service members and military families.  In the plan, the community identified and connected leaders in key areas across the community, leveraging existing support activities, building awareness throughout the community and identifying ways of taking action.

“The Foreigner” Opens February 17th

Pine City’s local community theater group, Heritage Players, are set to open their winter production this Friday evening at the Pine City Elementary Auditorium.  The comedy, “The Foreigner”, written by Larry Shue will have audience members laughing out loud with the absurdity of the on stage action. 

Veteran cast members include Dennis Howard who portrays the character of Charlie, a self-professed shy character who doesn’t want to be bothered with having to talk to people and his pal Froggy, played by Andrew Cox, that concocts a plan so that Charlie can do just that – not talk – at least not English!

Other cast members include: Karen Miller and Kristen Waxberg – last seen in “Faith County” and Jasper Thomas who was last seen in “She Loves Me” with the Heritage Players.  Newcomers Jared Faust and Webster Ford round out a highly energetic and wacky cast of characters. 

The production will open on Friday, February 17th and continue with 7PM showings on Feb 18, 24 & 25.  A special 2PM matinee will be available on Sunday, February 19th. 

Tickets are available at the Pine Center for the Arts (265 5th Street SE) in Pine City or at the box office one half hour before the start of the show. Adult tickets are $8, Student tickets are $6. 

For more information on the production or the Pine City Heritage Players, visit us on facebook at www.facebook.com\pcheritageplayers

Singing Valentines make their way through Pine City

For the third straight year, the Pine Center for the Arts‘ singing valentines made their rounds through Pine City, visiting offices, private homes and surprising those they sang to.  Pine City Pioneer editor Mike Gainor surprised members of the planning committee of the Highway 61 Film Festival the night before Valentine’s Day.

Discover more about our heritage

Take a look at this Heritage Area Flier and learn how you can get involved in exploring more about the communities in the St. Croix River region and their contributions to the American story.  

February Events That You Don’t Want To Miss!

The month of February is filling quickly with a wide variety of events for community members to enjoy.  I’ll share a few of the events that I have been made aware of…but this is not a complete list by any means!

Friday, Febraury 10th – 5:00 PM – The PIne Center for the Arts will host the next Gallery Opening.  Stop in tonight to meet the artist Keith Raivo and see some wonderful sculpture work. Visit the Pine Center for the Arts facebook page for more information.

Friday, February 10th – 6:00 PM – The Pine City Chamber of Commerce and Voyageur Bottle Shop are co-hosting a wine tasting event at the Pine City Country Club.  Tickets will be available at the door for $20 (or hurry to Voyageur Bottle Shop for an advance ticket for $15!)  Attendees will enjoy light appetizers and a selection of over 30 wines to taste during the evening. 

Friday, February 10th – 7:30 PM – The Pine Center for the Arts and the North West Company Fur Post present “A Celtic Crossover” Music Series event.  Tickets are $12 and will be available at the door.

Sunday, February 12th – 12:00 to 1:30 PM – Zion Lutheran Church’s annual spaghetti dinner.  For more information email: Westeren@q.com

Wednesday, February 15th – 11:30 to 1:00 – Pine Area Networking and Entrepreneurship Luncheon.  Session Topic: Small Business Computer Maintenance.  Advance Registration is requested by calling 320-322-4040.  $15 includes lunch or $10 for session only.

February 17, 18, 19, 24 & 25 – Times vary – The Pine City Heritage Players are preparing for the opening of “The Foreigner” a comedy written by Larry Shue.  Tickets are available for advance purchase at the Pine Center for the Arts, Adults are $8, Students are $6.  Visit the Heritage Players facebook page for more information.

Friday, February 17 – 4PM to 7PM – PHASE Furnishings, located near the Beroun exit, will host an open house for community members to stop in and see the wide variety of furniture, gifts and crafts that are available at the store.  Visit the PHASE Facebook page for more information.

Friday, February 17 – 19 – Times Vary — Pine Pond Hockey Tournament comes to Pine City.  Event schedule is posted online at: www.pinepondhockey.com

If you have an event that you would like added to the Chamber Community Calendar, email submissions to info@pinecitychamber.com




East Central MN Vasculitis Group starting in Pine City

The East Central MN Vasculitis group will be holding their first meeting on Saturday, February 25th at 2pm in the Pine City Public Library.

The group is a chapter of the Vasculitis Foundation, an international organization for patients with Vasculitus, their family members, caregivers, and medical professionals. The East Central Vasculitis support group was started by mother and daughter, Kami and Haley Schmidt (pictured at right).  The group is for those diagnosed with the disorder as well as their friends and families. Vasculitis is a rare autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues.

More information is available at The Vasculitus Foundation’s website or by contact Kami Schmidt at 320-629-7704, ecmnvasculitis@yahoo.com

PCHS Theatre Students Present $700 to Food Shelf

Senior cast members of the PCHS One-Act Play finished their remarkably-successful season by placing third at the Section Finals on Feb. 4.   But the real winner this season is the Pine Community Food Shelf, which was presented with a check for $700, raised through donations at three public performances of the students’ play, “slasreveR neveS.”  The Pine City theatre program has adopted the Food Shelf as their community service partner since 2005, when they held their first “trick or treat” Halloween food drive.

Skate with the Gophers this Saturday

  • Hometown player, Christian Isackson, ready to greet fans

The University of Minnesota men’s hockey team will hold its annual “Skate with the Gophers” this Saturday, Feb. 4., from Noon to 3 p.m. at Mariucci Arena.

Accoring to the Gopher Sports Web site, fans can register in advance by calling (612) 624-8080.  Any fan wishing to secure a specific time to skate is strongly encouraged to register by calling advance.  Tickets are also available the day of the event, but specific skating times cannot be guaranteed.

The event, sponsored by M&M’s, provides an opportunity for fans to skate on the Mariucci ice with the 19-9-1 (15-5-0 conf.) Golden Gophers, including Pine City’s own Christian Isackson.  Fans will be able to take photos with Isackson and other members of the team and get their autographs as well.

Here is some additional info about Isackson:

Team Number: 26
Birth Date: 01/20/1992
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 185lbs.
Position: Forward

At the event, in addition to what’s mentioned above, there is also an area where fans will be able to suit up in hockey equipment, get their face and hair painted, and play games.

Isackson’s mom, Tracy Isackson, who will be on-hand helping out, said that he will be skating from 2:35 p.m. to 3 p.m. for those who want to schedule skate time accordingly.

Ticket prices are $5 for adults and $3 for youth.  If attendees have their own skates, they are asked to bring them; a limited number of rental skates are available (for $2).