Issue 2, 2023 GRAND Lifestyle magazine

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SHOP & Fore Love // It’s More Than // ART & OUTDOORS Putting the Fun // PERFECT Pairing The Our Favorites STYLE of Game CULTURE in Fundraising ISSUE 2 2023 Printed in USA BBI INTERNATIONAL PUBLICATION
Gearing up to hit the links with the Golf Center EAT & DRINK // 16 THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
Two of our favorites under one roof at The Other Half Coffee & Taphouse ART & CULTURE // 24 IT’S MORE THAN JUST MUSIC
The sweet sounds of summer with Hot Valley Nights 8 24 16 Issue 2:23 FEATURES // 38 30 OUTDOORS // 30
money while having fun in Bemidji COMMUNITY // 38 LISTEN UP!
new and improved LISTEN Center aims to make life better for people with disabilities

The Joys of Summer

I grew up in the country in a small Minnesota town. When my older sisters moved away, I inherited the responsibility of mowing the lawn. As you might imagine, mowing our 10+ acre lawn was an all-day event. Even with a riding lawn mower, I could pretty much count on 6 hours of my day dedicated to the chore. My mother had a fondness for planting trees, which meant making a series of figure 8s combined with a lot of forward and reverse motions around each tree to get as close to the trunk as possible. If it was a particularly wet year, mowing would take even longer as I would stop for every frog I’d find hopping through the yard. Although it was a long and tedious chore, I enjoyed the gratification that came from seeing the near-straight lines of a freshly mowed lawn, the chance to pop a cassette tape into my Walkman and memorize all the words to my favorite songs, or sometimes just the opportunity to be alone with my thoughts and enjoy the solitude. As adults with jobs and seemingly endless lists of responsibilities, we seldom have the opportunity for peace, quiet, or solitude.

My hope when you pick up this magazine is that you can tune out the noise and commotion around you and find just a few minutes to enjoy learning more about the beautiful community in which we live. Whether you skim the articles, browse the advertisements, or even just look at the pictures, I hope they bring a bit of calm to your otherwise hectic day. This issue of GRAND celebrates a few of the joys of summer: outdoor concerts, water activities, refreshing beverages, and where to go to get ready for the golf course. Additionally, we get a closer look at one of our community’s greatest assets: the new and improved LISTEN Center.

As always, please reach out with any story ideas or potential contributions. We love hearing from our readers! And be sure to check out our latest “The Art of…” podcasts on GRAND Lifestyle magazine’s website and Facebook page.

PUBLISHER'S NOTE // //////////////////////////////////////




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GRAND Lifestyle magazine/Subscriptions

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GRAND Lifestyle magazine provides a specific topic delivered to a highly targeted audience. We are committed to editorial excellence and high-quality print production. To find out more about GRAND Lifestyle magazine advertising opportunities, please contact us at 866-746-8385 or


We welcome letters to the editor. If you write us, please include your name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity and/or space. Send to GRAND Lifestyle magazine/Letters, 308 Second Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203 or email to

© 2023

Please recycle this magazine and remove inserts or samples before recycling 7
by BBI International
CEO Joe Bryan President Tom Bryan
President, Operations,
John Nelson Vice President, Production &
Jaci Satterlund Editor Tami Vigness Account Manager, Circulation Manager &
Editor Jessica Tiller Staff Writer, Account Manager, and Marketing &
Manager Marla DeFoe Content Coordinator & Marketing Danielle Piekarski Staff Writer Chloe Piekkola Photographers Manstrom Photography Insta: @manstromphotography | FB: @manstromphotography | Twitter: @ManstromPhoto Dimensions Photography Insta: @shopflaar | FB: @DimensionsPhotographyLLC | Web: ADVERTISERS Advance Chiropractic Clinic 23 Alerus Center 3 ArtFest 4 Avant Hair & Skin Studio 23 Choice Health & Fitness 36 Country Financial 22 Downtown Development Association 29 Gerrell's Sports Center/ Hockey World 37 Grand Forks Public Library 44 Interior Design by Ruth 41 King's Walk 2 Norby's Work Perks 22 Sanford Health 15
Marketing & Sales

Fore Love of Game

The Golf Center Has Been Your Local Headquarters for All Things Golf for Nearly 30 Years

As the weather gets warmer and the grass turns greener, it’s time to start getting back outside and enjoying the beautiful weather while we can. Whether we're camping, gardening, biking, swimming, or golfing, we all yearn for the warm temperatures and the sun shining above.

One of the most popular summer pastimes in our region is golf; and the Golf Center has something for every level of golfer. I sat down with owner Brian Leach, and assistant manager, Nate Bertram of the Golf Center to learn a bit about the past, where they are now, and how they remain on the cutting edge of golf retailers.

Photos by Manstrom Photography 9

The Golf Center first opened as a small pro shop on the site of the former driving range on the south end of Grand Forks in 1992 by a group of former schoolteachers: Bob Leach, Larry Barker, Jim Lies, and Terry Dunphy. Brian learned a lot from his dad. “I remember watching my dad put golf clubs together in the garage,” he said.

Brian wasn’t immediately interested in taking over the store from his dad and partners. After he graduated from UND, he moved away and worked in retail for about eight years. “Dad asked me to move back and manage the store in 1995,” Brian explained. In the early 2000s, Brian purchased the store with his wife, Mary. The store was located in the Columbia Mall for a few years and moved to its current location on Columbia Road in 2009.

The Golf Center has everything you can imagine to gear you up for the game: clubs, bags, balls, shoes, hand carts, and all the accessories. Brian pointed out the apparel to me, including rain gear to utilize when the weather isn’t quite golf perfect. “We strive to give our customers the tools they need to play the best they can,” he said.

Providing outstanding customer service is a top priority of Brian, Nate, and the entire team at The Golf Center. “Be nice. Be helpful. Be knowledgeable,” said Brian. “We offer the latest technology to stay on the cutting edge with golf fitting.”

As the store’s foremost golf club fitting expert, Nate takes the job seriously. “It’s my goal to get more educated every year and see how others do it.” Around

'I’ve been fit by some of the best in the world, and I’ve taken what they do and put it into what I do every day.'
Nate Bertram 11

Nate Bertram has a reputation he’s quite proud of. He’s known to most of his customers, and those in the Grand Forks region, as “the man with the fancy shoes.” He is a collector of custom-made dress shoes from all over the world, including Turkey, Milan, the Netherlands and Poland; and they are something to behold.

When he first started working at The Golf Center over 20 years ago, he helped a customer from Canada. She swore she would come see him again when she returned to Grand Forks in about six months. She told him, “I’ll just look for the man with the fancy shoes.” Nate told me that, at the time, the green ostrich shoes were the only fancy shoes he owned, so he started looking for more. She was pleased when she returned months later to find another outstanding pair of shoes on Nate’s feet.

Throughout the years, his collection has grown from that lone, green ostrich pair to a collection of nearly 300 pairs of shoes. You can check out his shoes on his Instagram account @fancyshoesadl.

The Man with the Fancy Shoes


eight years ago, Nate started attending golf fitting seminars twice a year. “I always come back with something new, something I didn’t know before,” he said.

This dedication to expanding club fitting knowledge has given The Golf Center quite a reputation. They have won multiple national club fitting awards, including being chosen as Golf Digest Top 100 Club Fitter. They have received the same type of recognition from all the major golf club brands, including Callaway, Ping, and Mizuno. At The Golf Center, club fitting in one of two state-of-the-art fitting bays is complimentary. You can call the store to make an appointment, but walk-ins are also welcome.

Each club fitting bay is equipped with a large screen and a launch monitor to study each golfer’s form, swing, and distance. From that data, The Golf Center can help build the perfect club for any scenario. “Club fitting is very scientific,” said Brian. “We do everything we can to get each golfer in the right club.” They can customize drivers, irons, and putters with different shafts, grips, and heads.

Listening to Nate talk about club fitting, you can tell he takes his craft very seriously. He has traveled to all the major golf brand headquarters to learn from them. “I’ve seen how others do it,” he said. “I’ve been fit by some of the best in the world, and I’ve taken what they 13 SHOP & STYLE //

do and put it into what I do every day.” On any given day, you can see him working with customers to equip them with the best tools to play the best game they can. He has over 25 years of experience in the retail golf business.

Whether you are a beginning golfer or a seasoned pro, The Golf Center has everything you need to hit the course looking your best, with the best equipment. They are the only retail store in the region that offers skilled club fitting staff. Brian said, “We are proud to be customer-driven and locally owned.” G

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The Best of Both Worlds

GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 2 2023 16 EAT & DRINK // Photos by Manstrom Photography and Dimensions Photography

Is there anything more Midwest than

the love for coffee? For many of us, the first thing we do in the morning is brew a pot of hot, rich, aromatic coffee. Some of us even begin the process the night before by grinding the coffee beans and setting a timer so that the pot is ready by the time we’ve hit the snooze button on the alarm clock. Whether you doctor up your coffee with flavored creamers, sugar, and sweetener, or drink it black (“like a true Scandinavian,” my family would say), the need for caffeine in the morning borders on urgency and there’s nothing more satisfying than that first sip.

Although the origin of coffee dates back centuries, the modern coffee shops we know and love are a relatively new concept. Today, you can find wellknown coffee chains on nearly every corner of every larger city, but it’s the locally owned “mom-and-pop shops” that have taken hold of a special place in our hearts. This is where you’ll find the locals hanging out for hours reading the paper, doing homework, catching up with friends, or engrossed in a good book. Coffee shops have become a kind of sacred place; a place where the barista knows your order by heart – even if it’s a complex non-fat, half-caff, extra hot, 4-pump vanilla, 1-pump caramel latte with almond milk and whip. In fact, they probably know your order better than you do.

Often these smaller, lesser-known establishments offer something that the large franchises just don’t and can’t. A certain je ne sais quoi. Their beans are roasted in-house; they offer tasty, house-made treats and snacks that can be enjoyed with a hot cup of joe, a latte, or a cappuccino; or, in some cases, these quaint little shops partner with other local businesses to not 17

only enhance what they have to offer, but also to spread the love and feature other local businesses.

Early in her journey with coffee, Sandi Luck, owner of Bully Brew Coffee Company, connected with Chad Gunderson, owner of Half Brothers Brewing Company. Chad, a talented brewer, was looking to create a coffee beer to add to his lineup of craft beers. As is often the case with small business owners, teaming up with another small, locally-owned business is the ideal partnership. Using beans from Sandi’s roastery, Bully Brew Coffee Brown Ale was born and remains a staple on tap at Half Brothers.

Perhaps a close second to Midwesterners’ love for coffee is their love for beer. After Sandi and Chad teamed up to create the coffee beer, it was only a matter of time before the idea of a hybrid coffee and taphouse combo would come to fruition. While it’s not unusual to find a coffee-taphouse combo in large cities, it’s a new concept for the Greater Grand Forks area, but one that has been embraced with open arms. After


all, what’s better than being able to enjoy a customized coffee treat and a delicious craft beer from a local brewery under one roof?!

In 2021, the concept came to life as The Other Half Coffee & Taphouse. Chad gave his share of the rights over to his wife, Kathryn, and together Sandi and Kathryn have worked to build the business into what it is today. “The Other Half has a unique feel to it,” Sandi explained. “We serve Bully Brew Coffee and craft beer from Half Brothers, as well as other local breweries. We hope the space brings a feeling of togetherness with friends and community.”

Housed in a busy strip mall on the south end of Grand Forks, The Other Half has become a popular gathering place with a loyal clientele. During the pandemic, when indoor dining was put on hold, a group of men, affectionately called “Board Members,” who met daily at the Bully Brew location on Columbia Road, decided they would move south to The Other Half where there was space to sit outside to discuss current events and solve the world’s problems. “They even brought their own chairs,” Sandi recalled with a laugh. Seeing their dedication and loyalty, Sandi and Kathryn built a gazebo on the lawn outside The Other Half where the “board members” and other patrons could enjoy the outdoor space, even if the weather was less than optimal for being outside.

Besides getting a great cup of coffee made from beans 19

roasted locally at another one of Sandi’s companies, the North Dakota Coffee Roastery, or a cold craft beer from a local brewery, patrons of The Other Half can enjoy a variety of other fun treats not found elsewhere in town. Playing off the popularity of the beer flight, the creative staff at The Other Half have come up with other flight options as well. Customers can enjoy flights of cold brew coffee, affogato, bubbly mimosas, mocktails, and even flights of cookie dough. Additionally, a variety of breakfast options, sandwiches, and pizza are on the menu, along with tasty boards filled with meats, cheeses, veggies, crackers, and dips.

As entrepreneurs and small business owners themselves, Sandi and Kathryn recognize the importance of supporting local and developing partnerships with other small businesses. Their business model focuses on knowing their own strengths and utilizing the strengths of other locally-owned businesses. You Betcha Ice Cream is featured in the affogato flights and dessert options; "Two Bird, One Dough" is found in the cookie dough flight; items from L&M Meats and The Olive Barrel appear on the charcuterie boards; Jimmy’s frozen pizza options are ready to accompany a pint of your favorite beer; and the massive cookies from Real Good Cookies can be found for dessert. You can also find the coolers and shelves at The Other Half stocked with items from these businesses and available for purchase.

Now, recently retired from teaching entrepreneurship and business classes at the University of North Dakota, Sandi has no intentions of leading the quiet, retired life many of us dream about. In true entrepreneurial fashion, she intends to shift her focus to growing and expanding her businesses. Bingo will become part of the weekly rotation at The Other Half, along with hosting other special events and workshops in the space. As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, food trucks will become a regular addition to the parking

lot and outdoor area. Proving that a teacher will never stop teaching, The North Dakota Coffee Roastery building, which houses the full-time leadership team, will begin hosting another new concept – The North Dakota Coffee School. “We will teach others the best practices and processes of owning a coffee shop,” Sandi explained. “We’ll also have Management Training and Barista Workshops that we plan to hold monthly,” she continued.

When asked what advice she’d give to other entrepreneurs looking to make their mark, Sandi offered this advice: “Find a good mentor. There are so many amazing people out there and it doesn’t always have to be someone in your field. Being a professor and having that book knowledge is great, but the true wealth is when you can learn from other people and their experiences.” G 21
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GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 2 2023 24 ART & CULTURE // Photos Submitted by Hot Valley Nights

How Hot Valley Nights Celebrates Community, Music and Entertainment

Nothing beats live music on a hot summer night.

Breathing in the air, swaying to the music, and being together with friends, just celebrating that we made it through another Midwest winter and spring, long, hot nights under the stars are our reward.

Hot Valley Nights, a two-day music festival in East Grand Forks, Minnesota, has been bringing national acts and regional bands to the region for seven years. Rebranded from the former Happy Harry’s Rockin’ Up North Fest, Hot Valley Nights is ready to bring talented musicians to East Grand Forks again this August. Along with headliners Tracy Lawrence and Dylan Scott, performers also include Tigerlily Gold, Drake White & The Big Fire, Matt Aakre and the Dirty Little Secret, and Paint the Town.

I sat down with Justin Larocque and Tyler Piper of Hot Valley Nights to talk about the event, the rebranding, the future, and yes, porta-potties, too.

When Justin moved to Grand Forks from Fargo, he noticed a lack of outdoor summer entertainment options. He took matters into his own hands and started planning the first Rockin’ Up North Fest. “I just said to myself, let’s create it, and see if they come,” said Justin. He planned the first two years’ festivals on his own, and then realized as the event grew, he needed more help. “Planning a festival is a year-round job,” he said. “I now have an amazing committee of people who all bring their specific strengths to planning the festival.” 25

Tyler Piper, one of the committee members, is responsible for the marketing and social media surrounding the festival. “The whole group is passionate about bringing something to the area,” said Tyler. “Part of a thriving community is having things to do that bring people together.” Other committee members include Mike Boushee, Chris Halstensen, and Jenny Milling.

Bringing people together is something Hot Valley Nights does very well. The event has grown from year to year, with more to offer attendees as the festival grows. “We like to cater to a wider audience,” said Justin. One way they do that is by splitting the weekend into two distinctive nights. One night, they bring in classic performers, geared more toward the older generations. Past headliners have included Diamond Rio, BlackHawk, Little Texas, and this year’s Friday headliner, Tracy Lawrence. The second night features today’s hottest new country stars and up-and-coming talent, catering to the younger crowds. Past performers have included Michael Ray, Love & Theft, James Otto, Jordan Davis, and this year – Dylan Scott.

Being the longest running, and now only, concert series in town, is a source of pride for Justin. He recalled a lot of the 27
'The whole group is passionate about bringing something to the area. Part of a thriving community is having things to do that bring people together.'
Tyler Piper

“growing pains” that have come as the years go on. “There are so many things that need to be addressed and improved from year to year,” he said. Some of those things have included a more streamlined ticketing process for beverages, a VIP-only area, an adult arcade, and more food trucks. “Our first year we had around 900 people,” said Justin.

The festival has grown every year since it began, with around 5,000 people expected this year. “We went from 900 people our first year, to 1,200 our second year, and expected around 1,800 our third year,” Justin said. Year three, is also known as the year with the famous porta-potty incident. “When you get twice as many people as you expected, there’s bound to be some issues,” he laughed. With a lack of bathrooms, Justin had to spring into action quickly. “We were able to find more porta-potties during the event, and they brought them right over,” he said. “There are so many things that happen behind the scenes, and you have to be flexible and ready to make changes on the fly.”

Justin credits his years in the restaurant industry for his ability to pivot and think on his feet. He is the owner of the popular East Grand Forks bar & grill, The Spud Jr., which opened in 2019. The Spud Jr. also holds music performances and comedians, as well as other private events in its charming Prohibition Room. “It’s great to have an entertainment space that can be used year-round,” said Justin. “Having fun things to do in town has become a passion of mine.”

If you are looking for fun this summer, check out Hot Valley Nights-Two days of live music, great food trucks, and an adult arcade, where you can play games to win great prizes. Tickets are available on their website: G


PuttingFun Fundraising the in

Photos by Manstrom Photography

Summertime in the Midwest is a highly anticipated season. With a fleeting five-month window of warm weather, many of us try to experience as much outdoor adventure as we can before the area is once again blanketed with snow. Whether it is heading to the lake, catching some live music, or playing your favorite sport, everyone has a summer pastime they look forward to. One annual event that has become a beloved tradition for locals is the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival in Minnesota.

The Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival, now in its 17th year, was started by the Bemidji Chamber of Commerce and the Bemidji Rotary Club. A group of Rotarians participated in the 2005 Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival and were inspired by the event. They agreed that Lake Bemidji would be the perfect venue to host such an event, since a large part of the city is connected by the shoreline. Brian Bissonette, long-time volunteer and marketing organizer for the Festival said, “We were skeptical the first year, but it has really come around. Everyone in the region is familiar with the festival now. It has become the fabric of summer in the area.”

What originally began as a one day-only event, has grown into nearly a full week of fundraising festivities. On Tuesday, there are teams that begin practicing their paddling skills, and continue throughout the week.

Wednesday, the big festival kick-off takes place with a taco feed hosted by Sanford Health. This allday event serves as a fundraiser for the United Way of Bemidji Area. The meal, which is offered for $10, has become incredibly popular over the years, and in 2022 raised approximately $30,000. Wednesday is also the beginning of free, nightly entertainment.

On Thursday, the food court officially opens, and the Cornhole Tournament begins. All proceeds from this tournament are donated to the American Cancer Society and Relay For Life.

The opening ceremony of the races takes place Friday evening, which includes a parade and introduction 31

of the participating teams. This also celebrates the Chinese heritage that inspired the event. Concordia Language Villages’ staff and students lead the parade with a dragon and drum crew. Then, the annual Sprint Cup race begins, hosted by Dondelinger GM. This is an optional race intended to stir excitement for Saturday’s races. This course is 200 meters, half the distance of the race on Saturday. Each team receives two attempts at the course. The fastest team to complete the course, wins the title of Sprint Cup Champion.

The main event is held on Saturday. The festivities begin with a 5K run/walk and a 1/2K kids’ run. This event typically raises approximately $5,000, all of which goes to support the local track and cross-country teams. Following the run, festivalgoers are encouraged to attend a breakfast hosted by the Bemidji Area Young Professionals Network. Then, off to the races!

Annually, more than 50 teams participate in the primary race. Each team is co-ed and may have 16-20 paddlers per boat, with at least eight female paddlers per team. In addition to the paddlers, a drummer is seated at the head of the boat to keep the rhythm of the row. There is also a person pro-

vided to navigate the boat through the lanes. Furthermore, any individual who is not on a team, but would like to participate, can volunteer to be “adopted” and join in the fun.

Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the race is that no prior experience is required. Anyone who is over the age of 13 on the race day is welcome to participate. The festival organizers provide all the equipment and will teach the teams how to paddle throughout the weekday practices. In the Saturday races alone, there are nearly 1,200 people that take part in the event.

The major course consists of four lanes, which start at Library Park and extend 400 meters to the destination at the amphitheater, near Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. The finish line is the gathering point for most guests, but there is a Team Village located at the starting point that festivalgoers are welcome to visit as well. The Village is a designated area


for teams to socialize when they are not racing. Many teams get creative with their own 14’x14’ spaces and include games or photo opportunities to enhance the festivalgoer’s experience.

Heat one of the races begins at 9:30 am and continues until 12:30 pm. Each team races twice; once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Morning race times determine the Traveling Trophy winners. There are several different Traveling Trophy categories including: The Realtor’s Cup, The Education Cup, and The Casino Cup. Each trophy includes a plaque with the team’s name added to the cup and the winner earns the bragging right to their title until 33

the next year. “This is a great way for organizations to get involved and have some friendly competition,” Bissonette added.

The second heat of the race times are combined with the first heat times to determine placement for the final race. Once the combined times have been calculated, the top four teams are placed in the championship, and the remaining teams are ranked and separated into three divisions. The top third of teams is represented in the gold division, the middle third in the silver division, and the lower third in the bronze division. The four teams with the fastest cumulative times in each division will then race a third time to determine the winner.

Once the races have concluded and prizes have been awarded, it is time for one last celebration. The final night of free entertainment runs a bit later in the evening as a “thank you” to all attendees, volunteers, and sponsors. “We have had great sponsors throughout the years, and have 200-300 volunteers throughout the week,” Brian added. “We’re able to provide the community with a week of fun, and they help a handful of great, local nonprofit organizations. It’s a win-win for everyone, and one way we like to show our appreciation is by providing the free, nightly entertainment.”

The Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival, now a summer tradition for many, attracts an estimated 15,000 attendees throughout the


week. The festival is free to attend, and while most festivalgoers arrive by land, some opt to watch the races from their boats on the lake. Participants and spectators alike come from various regions, including Canada, North Dakota, and Iowa. Located conveniently close to downtown Bemidji, the festival has also proven to be a boon to local businesses. More than just a competition, the festival emphasizes community through its charity-focused nature. By integrating everyone’s favorite summertime activities with giving back, it has become a must-attend event for many. This year's festival is scheduled for August 2-5. . G 35
Gerrells Sports Center 1004 S Washington St, Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-775-0553 KEEPING YOU IN THE GAME FOR 50+ YEARS

Christy Potts grew up on a farm north of Bismarck. With her roots growing deep in the heartland of North Dakota, she found an even deeper love of working with adults with disabilities after it was modeled for her by her family. Christy has two uncles with developmental disabilities. “Time, respect, advocacy, and a high level of care was demonstrated for me by my family, especially by my grandparents, who were their biggest champions.” Her personal experience translates into the way Christy advocates for care and respect at the LISTEN Center. When designing the new center on South Washington Street in Grand Forks, every aspect was designed for people with disabilities in mind. The hallways, desks, tables, and bathrooms were designed to help the staff provide the best care for everyone who visits the LISTEN Center.


GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 2 2023 38 COMMUNITY // Photos Submitted by LISTEN Center & Stock
'When we support all people to have a better quality of life, that ripples up to the rest of us and we see it in our communities, in our workplaces, and in our lives.'
Christy Potts
Questions by Chloe Piekkola

You have just recently opened a new facility; how does this center differ from previous locations?

Our previous spaces were not accessible or safe for people with disabilities and our staff. The old Drop-In Community Center on North Washington Street was old and outdated. LISTEN had owned that property since 1984, but it is a split-level building and wasn’t accessible for people with limited mobility. We had many people in our community who loved coming to Drop-In, and many who would have to miss out because they had limited mobility. There were so many opportunities to improve the quality of services and spaces for people with disabilities in our new building, that we all worked hard to make it accessible and user-friendly for everyone who chooses our services, and everyone who chooses to work for us. We have a dining room now, and an actual elevator. We designed the building with wider doorways and hallways, lots of natural light, and automatic door openers throughout. We also installed ceiling lifts and hydraulic changing tables in nine of the bathrooms in the building. We can now support more people in this building because of the accessibility and wide-open spaces.

What kinds of services does the LISTEN Center offer for adults who live with disabilities?

Everyone who comes to LISTEN during the day, decides what they want their schedule to look like and what activities they would like to participate in. Some of these include music therapy, arts and crafts, pet therapy, volunteering for Meals on Wheels, working out at Choice Health & Fitness, movies, cooking classes, exercise classes, and sometimes just taking a quiet moment in one of our sensory rooms. We support people with everything and anything you could think of that would affect someone’s daily life. Giving our direct support staff the freedom and authority to look for ways to improve people’s lives has helped us provide great quality-of-life care for everyone who chooses LISTEN as their residential provider. We can support someone at their family home with these services to provide some relief or a break for their loved ones, or support someone at community events and activities during these hours. Our Drop-In Community Center is open to all and provides many low or no-cost activities and events for the community. 39

What does LISTEN stand for?

More importantly, what does LISTEN mean to you?

LISTEN stands for Love Is Sharing The Exceptional Needs. For me, this company means growth, progress, advocacy, and raising the standard for accessible and quality spaces and services for people with disabilities. Professionally, for myself, LISTEN has given me a great avenue to show my leadership skills and business knowledge. I’ve had the opportunity to improve so many policies, practices, and procedures at LISTEN that I wouldn’t have had at a larger organization. Since I started, I really do feel a lot of pride and ownership in our new building and the growth of LISTEN.

What are some goals the LISTEN Center has for future years?

Our most important goal is to respect, value, and appreciate everyone who chooses LISTEN’s services and everyone who chooses to work for us. One of LISTEN’s future goals includes expanding residential services with high-quality accessible housing options for people with disabilities. It’s very difficult to find truly accessible, affordable housing. So, we want to build partnerships in the community and work to design spaces that are more accessible and user-friendly for people with disabilities.


In what ways can people in the community help the LISTEN Center?

Are there volunteer opportunities?

Is there somewhere they can go to donate?

LISTEN is very fortunate to have gaming dollars to offset expenses. Without gaming, LISTEN wouldn’t be able to support so many people with disabilities, and we certainly wouldn’t be able to help individuals and families in dire need of services. We will always be thankful for donations, and you can certainly do that on our website However, the need right now is not for us, it is for all citizens in the state with disabilities, because LISTEN can’t support everyone. The best way to help right now is to contact your legislators and encourage them to provide funding for the DD Budget. The Health and Human service funding supports the most vulnerable of us, the most disadvantaged of us, the most underprivileged of us. When we support all people to have a better quality of life, that ripples up to the rest of us, and we see it in our communities, in our workplaces, and in our lives. G


Volunteers are always welcome at LISTEN. If you would like to volunteer with awe-inspiring people, you can call the main line at 701-746-7840 or visit their website at 41

Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra

The Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra, established in 1908, strives to excite, educate, and inspire audiences with the highest quality performances of the most beautiful music. The GGFSO features local and regional musicians in performances of classical and modern symphonic music. Check out the 2023-2024 concert season dates at!

3350 Campus Road, Stop 7084 Grand Forks, ND 58202-7084 701-732-0262


Shanna Field, Wintrust Mortgage

Purchasing a home is one of the largest financial decisions the majority of people make. I find great joy in making borrowers’ dreams a reality. Whether you’re purchasing your first home, refinancing your vacation home, or financing an investment home, my team and I are happy to help! We’re local to Grand Forks, but offer lending in all 50 states!

997 47th Ave S, #4 Grand Forks, ND 58201 701.738.0651

Mainstream Boutique

Mainstream Boutique is a women’s retail clothing boutique offering the newest trends and personalized styling. In her boutique, Linda is on a mission to love, strengthen and celebrate the women of Grand Forks through fashion. She is so grateful for the opportunity to connect with members of the community and help each customer realize their own inner beauty.

Follow us on Facebook:

mainstreamboutiquegrandforks 2712 S Columbia Rd Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-757-2003

Plains Chiropractic & Acupuncture

At Plains Chiropractic & Acupuncture we see you as an individual with a unique set of needs, and we view chiropractic care as a system of health care that can help you reach improved levels of wellbeing. Allow our combination of experience, evidence-based care, and collaborative mindset help you reach your health goals.

3750 32nd Ave. South Suite #103 Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-775-1034

Mainstream Boutique Plains Chiropractic & Acupuncture Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra Shanna Field, Wintrust Mortgage

Public Image Services

The Lighting Gallery

Visit us for inspiration for your next project.

At The Lighting Gallery, we’re more than just a showroom full of lamps. We’re the ultimate solution for all things lighting , residential or commercial. Our team of passionate, experienced lighting experts is committed to helping you with your design choices and lighting needs for any space or project.

3622 S Washington St Grand Forks, ND 701.772.2402


Public Image Services

General Contracting for Complete Fire and Water Damage


 Taping

 Drywall

 Texture

 Cabinets

 Painting

 Trim

 Doors

 Framing

 Electric

 Plumbing

 Flooring

 Tubs/Showers

Call Us 701-740-2865


Altru Family YMCA

We are committed to strengthening our community with quality facilities, programs and services for people of all ages and abilities. Our members also enjoy Nationwide Membership (which allows members access to over 2,600 YMCAs in in the U.S.) plus membership privileges at Choice Health & Fitness. The Y: We’re for Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility.

215 North 7th St Grand Forks, ND 701-775-2586

Elle Interiors

At Elle Interiors, our strengths give us the opportunity to give an overall full service experience to our clients. From expert advice on products, 3D images and selections of finishes — we are here to make your experience unlike any other! Our Mission: To use the skills God has given us to enhance the environment of others.

Kitchens, Bathrooms, Flooring, Design Services

2001 Gateway Drive Grand Forks, ND 58203 701-757-0563 43 GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 4 2022 43
Altru Family YMCA The Lighting Gallery Elle Interiors
2nd Ave. N., Suite 304
Forks, ND 58203
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