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It's all about the feeling of family at Hope Christian Academy in St. Paul Park. Each member of this year's graduating class said they will miss the close-knit community that characterizes HCA. One has been part of it from kindergarten, two came after homeschooling, two had a friend or cousin already at the school and one started at HCA, rebelled, went away, and came back to complete high school. Philip Gibbens was homeschooled until sixth grade, then started at Hope Christian Academy. "The size of the school allows me to get to know if someone is having a good or bad day.
In preparing for the holidays this weekend, families in south Washington County can attend benefits, dramatic presentations and children's pageants in between baking, shopping and decorating. At Light the Way Church in Cottage Grove, Brad Perrin portrays the angel Gabriel and Lynn Magee is Mary in "Two From Galilee," a Christmas musical scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16; and 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 17-18 at the church. The show is free but reservations are required.
South Washington County families can have fun and help needy neighbors at the same time this weekend. The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will roll into Cottage Grove between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11, near the Youth Service Bureau just south of the 80th Street overpass on West Point Douglas Road. Prior to and during the train's visit, Santa Claus will visit with kids and local businesses will provide hot beverages and cookies. All donations--cash and toiletry items--will be given to the Friends in Need Food Shelf in St.
This holiday weekend offers a variety of activities for the whole family. The 21st annual Stillwater Nutcracker will be performed at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25 and 26; and at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27, at Stillwater Area High School. All tickets are $15 and may be ordered on-line at http://www.stcroixballet.com/tickets.aspx or call (651) 439-2820, press 1, and leave a message. Chuck & Don's Pet Food Outlet in Cottage Grove are offering customers free coffee, doughnuts and pet food donations from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 25.
Seeing the demonstrators in Cairo's Tahrir Square has reminded me of what the city was like when we lived there in the late '80s. There were signs of obvious poverty but there was also the unbounded hospitality of the Egyptian people. We made lifelong friends. We were always welcomed with cups of hot mint tea in the shops and food, music, good stories and sometimes dancing in people's homes. Our friend Haji Amer introduced us to camel riding, the desert, the pyramids and life in the village.
Despite predictions of heavy snowfall Friday and Saturday, the Canadian Pacific Railway's Holiday Train will make its scheduled stop in Cottage Grove on Saturday between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., just south of the 80th Street/Sieben Bridge in Cottage Grove. "The Holiday Train stop in Cottage Grove will definitely take place. Weather will not stop the train," said Canadian Pacific Railway spokesman Jeff Johnson.
Cadets in the Air Force Junior ROTC program at Park High School flew to Duluth and back on a military transport aircraft. Some had never been on an airplane before, much less a C-130 flown by the Minnesota Air National Guard's 133rd Airlift Wing. The familiarization flight is one of several offered to high school cadets by the 133rd Airlift Wing from year to year. This flight, which took place in late October, was special, however.
George Chavez, the man most people see taking photographs from the sidelines at Park High School sports events, likes to stay in the background. For more than two decades, Chavez, a Cottage Grove resident, has been taking photographs of athletes in action, printing out copies and giving them to the student free of charge. "I played many sports when I was a kid, but my parents never took any pictures of me," Chavez said recently. "Quite a few students have parents who never go to games and never take pictures.
Wind gusts nearing 50 mph knocked out power to a St. Paul Park elementary school overnight and toppled a pine tree onto a Cottage Grove home. A power outage was reported at Pullman Elementary school in St. Paul Park on Wednesday morning. School officials said power was restored by noon. Steve and Debby Kaufhold were watching TV at their Cottage Grove home on Tuesday evening when they heard a crash just after 10 p.m. "We just thought it was the wind blowing extra hard, or maybe a sonic boom," Debby Kaufhold said.
Halloween parties for young and older, hauntings, benefits and meetings await south Washington County families this weekend. Everyone is invited to the South Washington Senior Center Fall Festival, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 22, at the District Program Center, 8400 East Point Douglas Road. Activities will include a granny's attic, homemade bake sale, crafts, a quilt raffle and music by the Regals Red Hat Chorus. Sloppy joe lunches will be available to purchase for $3.