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Weekend planner: Many benefit events this weekend


FALL BENEFIT DINNER -- The congregation at Community United Church of Christ, 1145 Summit Ave., St. Paul Park, is hosting a benefit ham dinner from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13. Tickets are $9 for adults and $6 for children, 6 to 12. Children under 5 eat free. Music will be provided by Don Kaste and Eric Thomas and a silent auction will be available for guests. Proceeds from the event will help church members who are out of work during the holidays and the local police and fire departments.


NEIGHBORHOOD ART SHOW -- The work of Pasha Gravdahl, a first-grade student at Newport Elementary School, along with Alex Amble, a seventh-grade student at New Life Academy, and seven other artists will comprise a neighborhood art sale, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16, at the Amble home, 6318 Crackleberry Trail, Woodbury. The public is invited.

RED RIBBON BENEFIT -- Cottage Grove resident Annie Elmer is hosting a charity sale to raise money for the 2009 Red Ribbon Ride for Minnesota AIDS Charities. The sale is scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15 at Elmer's house, 9866 Hamlet Lane. Holiday items from Silpada Jewelry and Arbonne will be available for purchase. Money from the sale will help Elmer's 2009 Red Ribbon Ride for AIDS. For details, e-mail Elmer at or call her at (651) 459-5361.


OUTSTANDING ARCHITECTURE -- Former Cottage Grove resident Ryan Connolly, architect and accompanist at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, St. Paul Park, completed a master's thesis last summer that features the church. During a special presentation at 12 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16, in the church activity building, Connolly will talk about what makes the church a "gem of mid century modern design." The program is open to everyone. The church is located at 920 Holley Ave., St. Paul Park.

GIRLS HOCKEY BENEFIT-- The Park High School girls hockey team will serve a spaghetti dinner, including dessert, from 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16, at the Cottage Grove VFW Post 8752 Red Barn. Everyone is welcome for dinner, Shoot the Puck and a silent auction. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children, 5 and older. Children, younger than 5, eat free.


NEW ICE ARENA GRAND OPENING -- The 2008 Ice Arena Expansion Project grand opening ceremony will take place at 7:15 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 18, preceding the Park High School girls varsity hockey game against Bloomington Kennedy High School. Everyone is invited to attend. There will be free public skating on the north rink from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Admission to the game is free but donations will be accepted.

GROWING UP LUTHERAN -- Author and Hastings resident Janet Letnes Martin will share stories of what it meant to grow up Lutheran at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, at St. Mary's Episcopal Church Guild Hall, 8435 St. Croix Trail, Denmark Township. The program is free and sponsored by the Denmark Township Historical Society.

Martin teamed up with friend Suzann Nelson to write "Growing up Lutheran," which inspired the musical Church Basement Ladies, now playing at the Plymouth Playhouse. Recently she co-authored "Lemonade for the Lawnboy: the Executives' Wives' Cookbook Committee." Martin also owns the Scandinavian Marketplace gift shop in Hastings.