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West End News Feb. 9

The Cook County High School Invitational cross-country ski meet was broadcast on the radio and online through WTIP and Boreal
The Cook County High School Invitational cross-country ski meet was broadcast on the radio and online through WTIP and Boreal

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The second annual Birch Grove Foundation boot hockey tournament will be held at Birch Grove School in Tofte on Friday, Feb. 17 starting at 4:30. This event was a big hit last winter and is back by popular demand. The teams are filled for this year, but if you stop by to a spectator there will be a lot of laughter, followed by a bonfire and pizza available for purchase.

Patty Nordahl, Director of the Birch Grove Foundation, recently won a prestigious award from the Minnesota Department of Human Services. DHS Commissioner Lucinda Jesson honored professionals and organizations from across the state on January 20th, citing their outstanding contributions to human services program clients. Eleven individuals and organizations were recipients of the DHS Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Awards. Patty was recognized for her work with Cooperation Station in Grand Marais and her efforts in developing the Parent Aware child care rating system. She also advised DHS on its federal Child Care Development Fund Plan and serves on the Governor’s Early Learning Council. Congratulations Patty!

If you thought you missed Birch Grove Community Lunch this week, you have another chance to make it, because the wrong date was publicized for the event. The Community lunch is held the second Tuesday of the month, which falls on February 14th. So mark your calendars and drop by Birch Grove in Tofte for a delicious meal and congenial company.

The Birch Grove Senior Lunch is held the next day, on Wednesday, Feb. 15 and David Abazs from Round River Farms in Finland will there to talk about Community Supported Agriculture and the possibility of having a drop off point in Tofte for his produce next summer. I’ve heard David speak and he is a really interesting guy. Anyone who is a full time farmer in Finland, Minnesota has to be pretty determined.

The next Senior Lunch on February 29th will have an interesting speaker too. Bonnie Brost is a registered dietician with Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Heart and Vascular Center. She’ll be giving her popular presentation titled “Sugar: The Sweet and the Sour.” There will also be free blood pressure and glucose checks before lunch.

Finally, in Birch Grove News this week, the Early Childhood Coalition is having a Fun Day at Birch Grove on Saturday, February 11th from 10 until 1 for families with children under school age and their siblings. There will be skating and gym will be set up with inflatable bouncers and other activities.

As always, you can contact Patty Nordahl at 663-7977 for more information about all the activities at Birch Grove.

The North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum in Tofte has scheduled another installment of "Voices from the Fishing Life." Tofte native, Dale Tormondsen, Lake Superior commercial fisherman, former Cook County School Superintendent and all around good guy, will be at the North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum in Tofte on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 2PM to talk about his experiences fishing the big lake. Admission is free and all are welcomed. Call 663-7050 or for additional info.

It was fun to hear the live coverage of the Cook County High School Invitational cross-country ski meet on WTIP last week. Announcer Buck Benson and color commentator Jonathon Rova did a great job. I usually volunteer at the meet as a starter, but I had to miss it this year due to having a terrible cold. WTIP also broadcast live video of the meet in cooperation with Boreal Access, as they have been doing with some other high school sports events recently. Station manager Deb Benedict says that there will be more live video broadcasts of all sorts of events as broadband internet service becomes available in Cook County over the next couple of years. I find the cross country ski meet to be particularly heartening to watch because you can look across the stadium and see hundreds of happy, physically fit teenagers all enthusiastically participating in a healthy event. It makes the future look bright.