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News from the week of March 13, 2002

Dollars-for-Scholars organizing in Tracy

Schwan's pledges up to $7,000

Thanks to a $2,000 jump-start from Schwan's Sales Enterprises, a Dollars-for-Scholars Chapter is being organized in Tracy.

“It's a great opportunity,” comments Chris Kamrud, Tracy Area High School guidance counselor.

The Dollars-for-Scholars organization plans to raise scholarship money for Tracy Area High School graduates pursuing post-secondary education. In addition to the $2,000 donation, Schwan's has offered to match up to $5,000 raised in a local Dollars-for-Scholars fund-raising campaign.

“This is an opportunity that is too good to pass up. We are excited to be able to raise that kind of money,” Kamrud said.

The goal is to establish an on-going Dollars-for-Scholars fund to provide scholarships to deserving local students each year.

Ten people were invited to a Dollars-for-Scholars informational meeting last week. They included: Luann Hansen, Currie; Doug Prairie, Balaton; Cheryl Bitker, Milroy, Laurie Fox, Tracy, Garry Hippe, Tracy; Deb Ludeman, Tracy; Robert Gervais, Tracy Community Development director; High School Principal John Rokke; Tracy Supt. of Schools Rick Clark; and Kamrud. The group agreed to begin the Dollars-for-Scholars organizing process, and seek tax-exempt, non-profit status.

“The paperwork has been sent in,” Kamrud said.

Kamrud said some of the $2,000 will likely be used for setting up a database of area high school graduates, and then soliciting contributions from alumni. The campaign has some urgency, since the deadline for the matching $5,000 from Schwan's is June 30.

Under a best-case scenario, Kamrud said, Tracy Area Dollars-for-Scholars will give out its first scholarship on senior awards night May 17.

Immaculate memories

The Immaculate Heart of Mary High School exists only in memory, but the legacy of its 1952 state tournament basketball team lives on.

“Oh, my, that was really something,” remembers Louise Gervais, who was a cheerleader for the team. “For a little town like Currie to make it to state, people couldn't believe it. Practically the whole town went up to St. Paul to follow the team.”

Ralph Surprenant was a sophomore guard for the IHM “Sheteks.”

“I guess we were all shocked that we were able to make it to state. It was a big thrill,” he comments.

The early 1950s were a different era. Although America was enjoying a new prosperity following World War II, only a few families owned televisions. Rural homes without indoor plumbing weren't unusual. Families were large. A quarter or half-section of land was considered an adequate-size farm. The town of Currie (Pop. 600) had a newspaper, grocery store and two high schools. IHM, the private Catholic School, was bigger than the public high school.

During the long winter months, Currie fans religiously followed the fortunes of the IHM Sheteks. Spectators came early for games at the crammed Currie Community Center, or they might not get in at all.

A single row of chairs and benches edged right up to the out-of-bounds line on each side of the court. Some fans stood on either end of the court. A few more spectators stuffed themselves into a small balcony. Any overflow crowd had to stand near the entryway. Perhaps waiting for someone else to leave.

The hope wasn't far-fetched. The nearest bathroom was across the street at the Ma Pa Loma Café.

Spring Expo is Saturday

Looking for spring home improvement ideas? What about financial advice? Or maybe you're thinking about landscaping your lawn this summer.

All that and more is promised at the Tracy Spring Expo Saturday, March 16. The 33rd annual event, sponsored by the Tracy Area Chamber of Commerce, will be staged at the Prairie Pavilion from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is no admission.

Increased numbers of exhibitors are expected, according to Community Development Director Robert Gervais.

Boeve's Maize `N Heat is one of the new exhibitors. The company sells corn-burning stoves, and will have an operating stove on display.

Other exhibitors committed to the Expo as of Monday are: John Kosse Insurance/Principal Financial Group; Prairie Home Hospice; American Express Financial Advisors; MINVAL Agency; Tracy Aquatic Center, Doug's Lawn & Landscaping; Knakmuhs Real Estate; Ray & Janet Randall; Lake Shetek State Park; Tracy Area Medical Services; Tracy Food Pride; State Farm Insurance, Mark Priegnitz; Apollo Water Systems; Nikken Wellness Consultants; Homemaker's Idea Company; Culligan Water Conditioning; G&R Electric; Minnwest Bank South; Charles Reinert, Ph.D., South Dakota Eye Bank; Tracy Equipment, Inc.; Tracy Health Care Auxiliary.

The Tracy Hospital Auxiliary will serve hot turkey sandwiches, hot BBQ sandwiches, baked beans, coleslaw, pie, and ice cream from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be also free popcorn courtesy of Minnwest Bank South.

In conjunction with the Spring Expo, there will be an open house at the Tracy spec house, located at 503 Sunrise Drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Penny for your thoughts?

Would you believe 46,397?

By Val Scherbart Quist

Tracy Area High School students emptied their piggy banks last week for a good cause.

The school participated in a penny-raising drive for Pennies for Patients, which benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. A total of $463.97 was raised.

Students were encouraged to bring pennies to their first hour class. The pennies for each class were kept in separate jars to see which class could raise the most money. Brian Michelson's class collected the most pennies, and raised $189.39. Chris Miller's class was second with $101.88.

Students Joe Brockway and Steph Carter, along with school counselor Chris Kamrud, brought the pennies to be counted at Minnwest Bank South.

Kamrud credited Peer Helper President and student assistant Brady Averill, who is on the school Spanish trip, with her efforts in making Pennies for Patients a success.

Pennies for Patients is sponsored by WCCO Radio and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota Chapter. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is a national health agency dedicated to seeking the cause and cure of leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, and myeloma.

Baumann Brothers slated to perform at TAMS fund-raiser

The Baumann Brothers are the featured entertainment for the Tracy Area Medical Services Foundation's scholarship fund-raiser. The “Cabin Fever Reliever” will be held at the Mediterranean Saturday, March 23, beginning at 6 p.m.

The Baumann Brothers, who come from a family of 10 children, were raised on a small farm northeast of Lakefield in Southwest Minnesota. The brothers often sang for family get-togethers, and later began singing for other functions.

Brothers Walt, Brent, Karl, and Guy are the second generation of Baumann Brothers singers—their father and his brothers also sang together. Karl Baumann and his family have lived in the Tracy area for the past 20 years. Walt lives in North Mankato, Brent lives in Wabasso, and Guy lives in Sioux Falls.

The Baumann Brothers have performed at fairs in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa, and have participated in talent contests at the Minnesota and South Dakota state fairs. They have also performed at many church functions and benefits.

After winning a few local Jimmy Dean True Value country showdowns, they decided to record some of their music. In September of 1999, they recorded their self-titled CD, “The Baumann Brothers.” In August of 2000, they recorded their second CD, “Close to You,” with Dennis Morgan in Nashville. In the fall of 2001, they finished a Christmas CD that was released at Thanksgiving.

All of the proceeds from the “Cabin Fever Reliever” will go toward scholarships for local people pursuing health-care careers.

For more information about this event, call Valerie Sobrack at the Tracy Hospital at (507) 629-3200 or (800) 515-6544.

FFA stages PALS safety program

Third and fourth grade students from Tracy Elementary and St. Mary's got a lesson in safety this week. The students attended Safety Camp, sponsored by the Lyon, Murray, and Redwood County Farm Bureaus and the Tracy FFA Chapter.

The camp began with a rescue by the Tracy ambulance and fire department crews. Students were able to watch as James Fultz discovered his dad, Eric, who had been “injured” by an auger. They observed as James called 911 and the ambulance and fire department crews arrived to help and used the “Jaws of Life” to free the victim.

Following the demonstration, students had the opportunity to visit 10-minute hands-on safety sessions led by community members. The students learned how to identify and deal with hazards at home and on the farm, how to respect parents' safety rules, and share safety tips with their families and friends. Station activities included emergency situations, machinery safety, lawnmower safety, chemical look-alikes, animal safety, hidden hazards, electrical safety, firearm safety, and sun safety.

The Tracy FFA Chapter and County Farm Bureaus said the safety camps success was due in large part to the support of organizations and volunteers.