Party for the Lakes gets rained out at park

Published 9:18 am Friday, August 15, 2008

Dark, ominous clouds were just rolling into the area as the fourth annual Party for the Lakes began Thursday at the Fountain Lake Park gazebo.

Due to the threat of severe weather, the party was declared postponed at 5:15 p.m., with a future date yet to be announced. And sure enough, large raindrops began to fall just five minutes after the cancellation, causing a few dozen people to dash for their cars.

The organizers huddled under the gazebo until the worst passed and then they began packing up.

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Look to the Albert Lea Tribune for the date of the postponed Party for the Lakes.

The Party for the Lakes is the largest fundraiser for the Lakes Restoration Committee, which recently underwent a transformation. The group is now called the Lakes Foundation of Albert Lea and is working toward becoming its own nonprofit organization. It presently is part of the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce.

There will be a lake cleanup at 9 a.m. Saturday at Frank Hall Park to clean up around Albert Lea Lake.

“We would like to branch out and grow,” said Lakes Foundation member Laura Lunde, who helped plan the Party for the Lakes and drew the picture featured on the back of the Lakes Foundation commemorative coin. Each year the group produces a coin. Lunde is also an advertising representative for the Albert Lea Tribune.

The coin this year features a drawing of the Pelican Breeze II to honor the boat in its inaugural year on Albert Lea Lake. The decision for the coin decoration was in conjunction with the Lakes Foundation’s new focus and efforts.

The Lakes Foundation of Albert Lea meets at 7 p.m. the third Thursday of every month at Country Inn & Suites.

The Lakes Foundation is working to expand its scope and will now focus on promoting recreation on the lakes, according to Lunde. It will remain committed to cleaning and maintaining the lakes in the Albert Lea area.

“We have many citizens that are concerned about our lakes,” she said.

One project that is in the works for the Lakes Foundation is a new buoy and warning system for boaters on Albert Lea Lake. In some parts of the lake there are unknown rocky or shallow areas, and the new buoy system will help newcomers navigate the lake in their boats.

The Lakes Foundation, Lunde said, would also like to place updated maps and information about each lake at public access areas.

When the Party for the Lakes is rescheduled, it will have live music and games for the kids. The Lakes Foundation planned a homemade ice cream stand, tic-tac-toe, dice, and a bean bag toss for kids to play and the band Flashback for entertainment.

The Green Mill Restaurant is scheduled to serve drinks and food with an extra charge.

Lakes Foundation coins are still available for $25 at the Chamber of Commerce, but the No. 1 coin will be raffled off by Hugh O’Byrne at the party.

For people who bought the coin, top prizes will be raffled including $500 gift certificates to Nick’s Meats, Erlandson’s Inc., Fisher’s Jewelers and Morris Furniture. Four Minnesota Vikings tickets will also be raffled off.

People will be able to buy raffle tickets at the Party for the Lakes for many other prizes. Tickets purchased Thursday will still be valid.

Businesses and people will be honored at the Party for the Lakes for their dedication and volunteer efforts with the lakes in the area.