Published 9:00 am Saturday, March 14, 2020

Duplicate Bridge

There were three tables of duplicate bridge March 4. Winners were Lorraine Quinlivan and Vandy Newman, first place; Dave Ring and Rick Stroup, second place;  Gail Schmidt and Larry Crowe, third place.

The Tuesday was cancelled due to  voting.

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Both sessions are played at the Austin Senior Center; players come from Mason City, Northwood, Albert Lea, Blue Earth, Rose Creek and Austin. Call 507-437-2750 if you would like to play or need a partner.


First Lutheran Church Women

First Lutheran Church Women met at 1:15 p.m. Feb. 12 in Bethany Hall with prelude music provided by Joan Holt. Janice Lestrud, co-president, welcomed members and guests. Holt read a devotional by Corrie ten Boom from her book “Each New Day.” Boom, a Christian, had been imprisoned in a concentration camp for taking care of Jews in her native Netherlands. Her message is one of forgiveness to be shared with brothers and sisters around the world.

Diane Damerow introduced the program speakers Jackie Hillman and Linda Lares, who spoke on health care resources in Albert Lea. Lares, director of Semcac, spoke to members on its administration of programs available, including housing, loans, energy assistance, senior dining and the homeless shelter. Hillman, director of Senior Resources, spoke on programs available to help seniors stay in their homes longer: CHORE will line up help with yardwork and snow removal and involves a sliding fee scale, Ride Share is a transportation service to help seniors get to appointments and activities both in and out of town and involves a small fee, monthly support groups for caregivers are available, and advocacy programs help seniors by giving information and referrals to other agencies for assistance. Funding for these programs comes from the federal government, grants and United Way.

Lestrud called the business meeting to order. The secretary’s minutes from the Jan. 15 meeting were approved as printed by a motion from Jo Hanson and second by Bonnie Trampel. Motion carried.

Cindy Gandrud, treasurer, gave a report on the current checking and savings account balances. Shirley Strand made a motion to accept the report with a second from Pam Stern. Motion carried. The report will be filed for audit. Gandrud also reported the 2019 audit has been completed. She discussed the handouts of the financial distribution report for Holidays Ahead 2019, the 2020 FLCW budget excess funds for year ending 2019, and the proposed 2020 FLCW budget.

Corresponding secretary Trampel received a thank you from Mount Carmel for support in 2019 and a newsletter from Dr. Earl Thompson of Nepal Social Services requesting funds.

Carol Olson made a motion to accept the 2020 excess funds distribution for the year ending 2019. Ruth Noren seconded the motion, which carried. Donna Ludtke made a motion to accept the 2020 proposed FLCW budget.

Bonnie Schneider seconded the motion, which carried.

Lestrud announced that funeral meals will be made by First Lutheran Church with Joe LaFrance in charge of food purchase and preparation.

Lestrud reminded members that the Triennial Gathering will be July 16 through July 19 in Phoenix with money available for those interested in attending. Contact Lestrud or Diane Damerow if interested.

The Blue Earth River Conference will be April 4 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Glenville.

Lestrud thanked greeter Sheri Nicol and usher Diane Damerow.

Caring and Sharing chairpersons Bonnie Anderson and Marge LaFrance and their committee served five funerals in January.


• Ash Wednesday, Feb. 26 began Lenten season lunches at 11:30 a.m. in Bethany Hall. Worship is at 12:30 p.m. in the sanctuary with evening meals at 5:30 p.m. in Bethany Hall and evening services at 6:30 p.m. in the sanctuary.

• Blue Earth River Conference is April 4 with registration/coffee from 8 to 9 a.m. and the program from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Glenville.

• Bonnie Schneider reminded members that the Red Cross blood drive wasfrom noon to 6 p.m.  Feb. 21 at First Lutheran Church.

The meeting closed with the Table Prayer followed by the Lord’s Prayer. Lestrud then invited members to enjoy delicious Valentine’s desserts that were served by Schneider, chairperson, and her committee of Cheryl Moran, Virginia Thompson and Trampel.


Women Veteran of Freeborn County

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Women Veterans of Freeborn County met at 11:30 .m. March 4 at American Legion Post 56 in Albert Lea.

Women veterans present included Judi Olson, Bonnie Carlson, Deann Luedtke, Ruth Perry, Sandy Maiden, Julie Hamson, Pat Johannsen and Barb Babb.

Maiden noted that the PTSD stamp is now being sold at the post office. She also said the Austin women’s Legion will take over the flag program.

Luedtke gave an update on the upcoming new VA clinic facility.

March 16 is the Post Everlasting ceremony at American Legion Post 56.

The treasure’s report was given, and the group is in the black.

April 4 is the Women Veterans of Minnesota Conference at the YMCA in Mounds View. At least seven from the Freeborn County group plan to attend. Maiden will arrange transportation.

Luedtke mentioned the first all-female honor flight is planned to leave Chicago Oct. 7.

The group discussed the possibility of getting more involved with the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program and will brainstorm at the next meeting.

May 21 is the fourth annual Women Veterans Gala at the events center in Rochester. The group plans to attend and said it’s always a good time. Maiden will arrange for the VA van for transportation.

The weekend of August 21 through 23 is the Women Veterans Summer Retreat in Stewartville. It will be discussed more at the next meeting.

The Women Veterans of Minnesota meeting and luncheon is schedule for Sept. 26 at the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Chrystal. Some of the group will also attend that meeting, and will firm up plans at a later meeting.

Babb handed out copies of the newspaper article about the national commander visiting American Legion Post 56.

Luedtke read an article that stated the government has set aside $5 million to study the therapy responses of people affected by PTSD and substance abuse to try and find out what (if anything) works best.

A long article was read about why the 2020 Census is so important. Most older adults want to stay in their own homes and communities as they age. Filling out the Census could increase the likelihood of that happening. Census data will be used over the coming decade to decide where to place parks, roads and hospitals. It will determine funding for community projects that benefit people of all ages, including mass transit, which helps may people stay in their homes longer.

For dessert, Babb made a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting.

The Women Veterans of Freeborn County meet at 11:30 a.m. at American Legion Post 56 on the first Wednesday of every month. They encourage all women military veterans to join them for an informal lunch, discussion and camaraderie. Call Luedtke at 641-425-3482 or 641-323-0121 if you would like more information.


Lens and Shutter Photography Club

The Lens and Shutter Photography club had its Feb. 20 meeting at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea in room 465 on the lower level. Club president Darcy Sime presided over the meeting. There were nine members in attendance.

February’s local competition category as “Open.” Members receiving awards were Sime for “Great Grey Owl,” first place; John Eisterhold for “Looking for Nectar,” second place; and Alison Witter for “Painted Lady,” third place.

Honorable mentions and merit awards were given to Carol Bertelson, Mitch Pederson and Sime.

Sime gave a presentation on “Macros Lens Photography.”

Pederson provided the evening’s refreshments.

The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. Thursday in room 465 in the lower level of Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea.

The club displays new prints every month at Farmers State Bank in Albert Lea.

The club meets the third Thursday of the month September through May. Anyone interested in photography is welcome to attend.