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Reaching Everybody! Presorted Standard U.S. Postage Paid St. Joseph Newsleader St. Joseph, MN 56374 Permit No. 21 ECRWSS Postal Customer Newsleader Sartell Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 Volume 18, Issue 49 Est. 1995 Town Crier Senior Connection shows ‘Argo’ Dec. 13 The Sartell Senior Connection will show “Argo,” a thriller based on the rescue of six diplomats from Iran at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13 at 212 3rd Ave. N., Sartell. Free admission. Popcorn will be served for a donation and you provide your own beverage. All ages are welcome. See you at the movies. Great River Chorale presents ‘Gloria’ Great River Chorale will perform its 13th annual holiday concert “Gloria” in collaboration with the Concert Choir and Choristers of the Cantabile Girls Choir Program. The concert will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15 in St. Mary’s Cathedral, 25 8th Ave. S., St. Cloud. It features seasonal music, audience carols and narrations, and will conclude with John Rutter’s Gloria for choir, brass, percussion and organ. General admission tickets may be purchased in advance online at or by phone at 320-515-4472. For more information, www.thenewsleaders. com and click on Criers. ‘Christmas in the Barn’ set Dec. 23, 24 Discover the Christmas story in a new way this year at the seventh annual “Christmas in the Barn” service at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 23 and 24. This unique experience offers a simple narration and re-enactment of the Christmas story with familiar hymns, handmade ice candles and hot apple cider in the rustic, relaxed atmosphere of an old barn, located at the Chad and Amy Leither barn, four miles south of St. Joseph on CR 2. Signs are posted. Attendees are encouraged to dress appropriately and bring blankets if needed, as the barn is not heated. For more information, visit www. and click on “Christmas in the Barn” or call Peace Lutheran Church at 320-685-7656. A ‘Very Merry Prep Christmas’ to help children in need Dec. 16 St. John’s Prep School’s Theatre Department presents a “Very Merry Prep Christmas” at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16 at the Stephen B. Humphrey Theater on the St. John’s University campus. Prep students will take the stage with a fun show packed with electrifying holiday entertainment, spectacular variety acts and lots of Christmas songs. Admission to the event is a new, unwrapped toy. All donations will be given to Catholic Charities’ Toys for Tots. For additional criers, visit and click on Criers. Postal Patron Baby dolls bring instant delight to elderly by Dennis Dalman Two newborn babies, Ruby and Jack, continue to warm the hearts of residents and staff at Country Manor in Sartell. Residents hold the babies, feed the babies, burp the babies, coo at the babies. The babies, however, are not real. They are dolls. But they are dolls so lifelike that people who see them always do a double-take, wondering how in the world could a doll take on the very looks and essence of a genuine flesh-and-blood baby. Jack and Ruby, as the dolls have been named, are at the center of many therapy sessions, especially for people experiencing memphoto by Dennis Dalman ory loss. For years, nursLila Fasen, who lived for many years in LeSauk Township, enjoys memo- ing homes have noticed the ries of her own children as she holds “Baby Ruby” at Country Manor. Lila salutary effects children and and her husband, Alvin, both live at Country Manor. dogs have in interactions with elderly residents. Such interactions can actually decrease blood pressure and boost good emotions. Those same positive results happen when Ruby and Jack are brought into a room. At a recent session with three female residents, the two babies were the center of attention. “Oh, they’re just great,” said Peg Maurer, as a therapist handed her Ruby to hold. Maurer’s face beamed with delight as she held the baby, complete with bonnet and pacifier. “So cute,” Maurer said, smiling down at the baby’s face. Similar reactions occurred when the others took turns holding Jack and Ruby. “Precious” said Lila Fasen, smiling radiantly. Fasen’s husband, Alvin, Dolls • page 3 ‘Man behind camera’ honored by city council by Dennis Dalman Ted Venske, the official Sartell City Council videographer, was honored Monday night by council members for his three years of dedicated videotaping. Mayor Joe Perske thanked him for all the work he’s done and presented him with a gift certificate to Coborn’s. “We really appreciate it,” Perske said, calling Venske the “guy behind the camVenske era.” Then each council member shook Venske’s hand and also Red-kettle donations down for this time of year by Dennis Dalman When people see Salvation Army bell-ringers standing in front of area stores, they often think of holiday presents for the needy or of aid during natural disasters. Most probably do not think – or know about – the following reasons for the Salvation Army red-kettle donations: The 12 to 15 homeless families currently on a waiting list for the emergency shelter. The 180-200 free community meals served every day to anyone who needs one. The scores of breakfasts and suppers served every day of the week to clients who are staying temporarily at the shelter. The 240 tons of food distributed from the Salvation Army every year. What’s more, people might not know about the agency giving away free coats, hats, mittens and school supplies. “We’re not just a holiday organization; we’re open 12 months a year,” said Jim Muellenbach of Sartell, who is the Salvation Army’s community development director. The agency’s executive officer is Major Lee Morrison. This holiday season, there are about 150 bell-ringers in seven cities served by the SalKettle • page 5 thanked him. “I felt pretty good about it,” Venske told the Newsleader later. “I was surprised because I wasn’t expecting it. Public works director Brad Borders told me about it before the meeting, so I knew beforehand but I sure wasn’t expecting it. Recognition is always nice. It brought up my self-esteem.” Venske has had a long spell of unemployment – five years to be exact. That is one reason why, three years ago, after seeing a want ad on the Internet, he decided to contact the City of Sartell, which was seeking someone who could video city council meetings for live broadcast via local cable TV. Venske • page 4 photo by Dennis Dalman Josh Smithers of St. Cloud rings the Salvation Army red-kettle bell in front of Walmart in Sartell. On a bitterly cold Dec. 10, Smithers rang the bell from 3-8 p.m. His twin brother, Justin, also rang the kettle bell at the same time on the west entrance of Walmart. The Smither twins’ mother, Shannon, is the coordinator for 150 bell-ringers this season in the greater St. Cloud area.

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