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AUGUST 2020

COMPLIMENTARY


TABLEOFCONTENTS

FARGO MONTHLY // AUGUST 2020

COVER STORY

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"IT'S TIMES LIKE THESE..."

We have all seen our ups and downs over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. While it is easy to focus on the negatives of the situation we are in, it is important to remain positive. COVID-19 has altered the way we interact, do business and simply exist. Despite these changes in our daily life, our community continues to showcase its tenacity and resiliency. On the other side of that is positive stories and we are here to highlight these incredible tales in a time of great uncertainty.

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24 FM Area Foundation: Building Community, One Meal at a Time 28 Bankers: The Unsung Heroes 30 Unglued: Creativity Lives On 34 The COVID Dictionary 36 Office Sign Company: Signs of the Times 44 Norman The Corona Corgi 46 Proof Artisan Distillers: Community Spirits 50 GoodBulb: "Be Good" 52 Helping Hearts: Helping is What We Do Best 58 Crisis as a Catalyst for Transformation 60 Local Mask Selling FEATURES 16 SCHEELS: Setting Students Up For Success

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EDITORIALNOTE

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very individual or group of individuals needs a rallying cry. In the face of uncertainty and times of negativity, we as humans need something to rally around. A real or abstract force that brings us towards a brighter end, giving us a glimmer of what is to come and not what is behind us.

One conjures up images of Mel Gibson in Braveheart, acting as the Scottish legend William Wallace. In the face of uncertainty, one recalls Gibson's Wallace wailing: "They may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom!" as he leads the Scots into battle.

we began drafting a COVID-19 themed issue, we wanted it to encapsulate our rallying cry of telling positive community stories. In a time full of negative energy, that task was easier said than done. The true heroes of this pandemic are and continue to be our frontline healthcare professionals as well as essential workers. We owe them a great deal of thanks and gratitude as we continue to battle COVID-19 each day. They are our community's sword and shield. No amount of thanks can even begin to bear the brunt of what they have endured during the pandemic.

Our world is in a battle right now. Our country, state and community are at war with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not comparable to the Scottish war for independence, though. Instead of swords, we have masks. Rather than meet our enemy face to face, we are keeping our distance. However, we still require a rallying cry in the fight against COVID-19.

They are the reason that the following stories are still being told in our magazines. In this issue, we have profiled extraordinary actions and events by individuals, groups and businesses in Fargo-Moorhead. Throughout the pandemic, our community has shown its tenacity, its resiliency and its ability to adapt to a swiftly changing climate. On the other side of that uncertainty? Positive outcomes, which is exactly what our magazine strives to profile.

At Fargo Monthly, our rallying cry has always been the same, pandemic or no pandemic: Positivity Overcomes All. So when

Yet, none of these qualities are on display without our sword and shield. Our healthcare professionals and essential workers have


defined what it means to be resilient, tenacious and adaptable in the face of uncertainty. Fargo-Moorhead continues to follow their lead in the battle against COVID-19. We must continue to follow. That alone encompasses our rallying cry at Fargo Monthly. What is your rallying cry? Stay Strong And Safe,

The Spotlight Editorial Team.


Volume 10 / Issue 6

AUGUST 2020

Fargo Monthly Magazine is published 12 times a year and is free. Copies are available at more than 500 Fargo-Moorhead locations and digitally at fargomonthly.com.

Publisher Mike Dragosavich Drago@SpotlightMediaFargo.com EDITORIAL Editorial Director Alexandra Martin Alexandra@SpotlightMediaFargo.com Editors Alexandra Martin, Nolan P. Schmidt Graphic Designer Kim Cowles Contributors Marisa Jackels, Cole Keney, Scottie Knollin, Courtney Larson, Dr. Sue Mathison, Kaley Stremick INTERACTIVE Business Development Manager Nick Schommer NickSchommer@SpotlightMediaFargo.com Inbound Marketing Strategist Kirsten Lund Social Media Content Specialist Emma Bonnet Videographers Tommy Uhlir, Laura Alexander Executive Sales Assistant Kellen Feeney Graphic Designer Ben Buchanan ADVERTISING Senior Sales Executive Paul Hoefer Paul@SpotlightMediaFargo.com Sales Executives Zach Olson Zach@SpotlightMediaFargo.com Client Relations ClientRelations@SpotlightMediaFargo.com Client Relations Manager Jenny Johnson Marketing Designer Christy German ADMINISTRATION VP of Human Resources Colleen Dreyer Account Strategist Cassie Wiste DISTRIBUTION Delivery John Stuber

Fargo Monthly is published by Spotlight, LLC. Copyright 2020 Fargo Monthly and fargomonthly. com. All rights reserved. No parts of this magazine may be reproduced or distributed without written permission of Fargo Monthly and Spotlight, LLC is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on such information. Spotlight, LLC accepts no liability for the accuracy of statements made by the advertisers.

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SPONSORED CONTENT

SETTING

STUDENTS

UP FOR SUCCESS Every year, SCHEELS teams up with The United Way of Cass-Clay as the official backpack sponsor of their School Supply Drive. This year, back to school will look a bit different, so the success of this drive is important, now more than ever.

16 | AUGUST 2020 | FARGOMONTHLY.COM


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In most years past, the first day of school is a day of nervous excitement. Who will be in your class? What adventuresome stories will your friends tell you about their summers? How long will you be able to preserve your pristine crayon pack? But this year is different. As the summer is coming to an end, we've all found ourselves questioning what "normalcy" means. Grins are hidden under masks. No reuniting with big hugs. And possibly of hybrid virtual and in-person classes. But this isn't to paint the overall picture with a negative brush. In the midst of everything going on, there are ways to uphold the joy and positive energy that come along with a new school year. For many students, one of these joys comes in the form of new school supplies. Back-to-school shopping is a ritual for many families, signaling the start of a fresh adventure. Sure the notebook from last year still has hundreds of open pages. And sure, there are still pens with plenty of ink in them. But there's just something about shiny new school supplies that gives confidence and a sense of endless possibilities. But for the families of the over 5,000 kids living in poverty in Cass and Clay Counties, back-to-school looks even more different. Hand-me-down backpacks don't confidently hold hopes for success. And pencils sharpened to a nub don't write their way to new ideas. It takes a whole community's worth of efforts in ensuring every child that returns to school is set up for success. To make certain all children in our community are given the tools to succeed in the classroom, The United Way of CassClay puts on their annual School Supply Drive.

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SPONSORED CONTENT

In years past and this tumultuous year alike, this drive provides over 6,000 backpacks filled with supplies to K-12 students in need. In 2019, 6,033 students were equipped with a backpack and new school supplies thanks to this drive. When a child is well-prepared and succeeds in school, we all win. The United Way is a national network of nearly 1,300 local organizations that work to advance the common good by focusing on education, income and health. Helping people is at the center of what The United Way does, tackling the source, not just the symptoms, of key issues in our community. By doing so, they are on the path to creating real, lasting change by shifting how people, organizations and systems all work together Based on school data, more than 10,000 K-12 students in Cass and Clay Counties access free and reduced-lunch programs. We also know that one in nine local children under the age of 17 live in poverty in this very community. These families are often making choices about whether to pay their bills or buy new school supplies and clothes for their children going back to school. In the midst of nation-wide economic hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, more students will be in need of what this drive can offer. While the success of this drive is always important, this year will obviously look different. Nothing will be "normal," but what won't be different is that kids will go back to school. And no matter what their standard back-to-school shopping looks like – this drive can perhaps add some much-needed normalcy into this historically different back-toschool season. SCHEELS makes for a natural partner in this type of drive, as they carry a lot of back-to-school essentials in their stores and they have the same

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mission of bettering the community. SCHEELS has been a proud backpack sponsor for the United Way's annual school supply drive for over 20 years and is excited to continue that tradition this year too. Both The United Way and SCHEELS know that it takes everyone in the community working together to create better, brighter futures, which is why their ongoing partnership has been so successful. We sat down with some of the team at SCHEELS and discussed what it means to participate in this drive year after year and how they hope to equip area children for the best year possible. SCHEELS recognizes how fortunate they are that they've seen such success with their company. And they know that this is all thanks to the vibrant communities they exist in. To repay the communities they feel lucky to be a part of, SCHEELS is dedicated to community-betterment initiatives. Each year, one of their big fundraising efforts is being the backpack sponsor for The United Way of Cass-Clay's School Supply Drive. "SCHEELS has definitely always been committed to giving back to the community and we really care about the communities we are a part of. We do our best to try and support the communities that support us, and our involvement in the backto-school drive is just one piece of that. It is something we are proud to participate in every year," said Samantha Brant, an e-commerce merchandiser at SCHEELS. John Burt, Assistant Store Leader at SCHEELS, has been with the company for over 22 years. When asked why it was important that he work for a company that participates in such charitable drives, he laughed. "It's an odd question, honestly," he said. "The reason it is odd is, at face

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value, it makes sense to just say, ‘Yeah, [SCHEELS] could just choose not to do that.' Things are uncertain, not only for families that are going back to school but for businesses too. But it is not who we are. An important part of who SCHEELS is is we want to do well for us and our associates, but also for our communities. So I don’t even think it is a choice as far as ‘Should we do that?' Of course we should do this. The need now is greater than ever. It is vital for us to be an important part of that." Being the backpack sponsor of the School Supply Drive with the United Way isn't close to being the only piece of communityinvolvement SCHEELS participates in. Just last year, 494 SCHEELS associates volunteered a total of 3,285 hours. Associates work to make a difference every day by getting involved in everything from United Way campaigns to volunteering at community service organizations. Time after time, when asked about why the company is dedicated to such deeds, various staff answered with, "It's just in the company DNA." To encourage participation within the company, SCHEELS hosts "mini-drives" within their office, setting up donation bins around the building and even having department-specific competitions. However, it doesn't take much to get these employees fired up about serving their community. "At SCHEELS, giving back to the community is one of our main pillars and we are passionate about getting connected. No matter what is going on, we are always going to make doing this a priority," said Sydney Wurzer, Advertising Project Manager at SCHEELS. "We do good in our communities and United Way is such a great partner that we will do whatever we can to make their drive as successful as possible to help all our local children." Back-to-school season is a big time of year for SCHEELS stores, so still harnessing that excitement this year was important to the company. Being a retailer that sells a lot of back-to-school supplies, they are uniquely positioned to knowing how important it is and how it will look different this year. "School is a big part of

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[normalcy] in a kid’s life. Being in that setting, seeing people and learning is very important to them. So getting them equipped to have the best year they can, even amidst everything that is happening, that’s all we can do and all we can ask for," said Chad Bjornson, Creative Media Project Manager at SCHEELS. Even as adults, the rest of this year is stressful and uncertain. So for children heading back to school, we can only imagine that those feelings are multiplied. We don't know what lies ahead, but we do know what has made us feel safe, confident and secure in the past, and United Way and SCHEELS are dedicated to upholding those keystones. Now more than ever, the comfort that comes with a fresh binder or a pack of college-ruled paper is one adults and children alike can hold on to. "I think this year, there are some families that need assistance that didn't need assistance before," said Brant, noting that, if we can come together and make this drive as successful as possible, it'll play a part in easing some of the unpredictability. "You can’t say it enough: There are so many uncertainties with what back-to-school means to the business, to the community. It is kind of the symbol of a resurgence. It’s getting people back together and to a sense of normal pattern. [...] Obviously, we are never going to be the same after this, but what we can do right now is make a difference and ensure the kids that need to go back to school feel their best and look their best and give it their all," said Bjornson. Burt optimistically added to the sentiment, "As we hand [the backpacks] out, a little self-confidence and selfworth go with them." From donating hundreds of new backpacks to volunteering to pack the bags at the Fargodome to handing them out to students, SCHEELS is proud to be partnered with United Way. Thanks to the generosity and passion of our community, we all can face whatever lies ahead with some pep in our step and a shiny, bright backpack on our backs.


SPONSORED CONTENT

GET INVOLVED

Be sure to keep an eye on social media to watch our full video all about the School Supply Drive

Families in need can attend one of these distribution events. We ask that families attend one distribution at one of the three available times at a location within their school district. Fargo Public Schools Tuesday, August 18: • 4-5 p.m.: Davies High School (7150 25th St S, Fargo, ND 58104, Door 7) Thursday, August 20: • 8-9 a.m.: North High School (801 17th Ave N, Fargo, ND 58102, Door 30) • 11 a.m.-Noon: South High School (1840 15th Ave S, Fargo, ND 58103, Door 21) West Fargo Public Schools Tuesday, August 11: • 4-5 p.m.: Cheney Middle School (825 17th Ave E, West Fargo, ND 58078, Door 1) Thursday, August 13: • 8-9 a.m.: Willow Park Elementary School (4901 15th Ave S, Fargo, ND 58103, Door 1) • 11 a.m.-Noon: Aurora Elementary School (3420 9th St W, West Fargo, ND 58078, Door 1) Moorhead Area Public Schools Monday, August 17: • 8-9 a.m.: SG Reinertsen Elementary (1201 40th Ave S, Moorhead, MN 56560, Door 1) Wednesday, August 19: • 11a.m.-Noon: Robert Asp Elementary School (910 11th St N, Moorhead, MN 56560, Door 1) • 4-5 p.m.: Ellen Hopkins Elementary School (2020 11th St S, Moorhead, MN 56560, Door 1)

Details: • For the safety of all, families should remain in their vehicles and we ask those engaging with United Way volunteers wear a mask. • Families will be asked to complete one registration form per family – forms will be available when you arrive. • Please bring a form of ID for each child who will be receiving school supplies. Acceptable forms of ID include social security card, passport, school ID, insurance card or report card. • Backpacks and school supplies are available for K-12 students in need who attend school in Cass or Clay county. • Families who are unable to attend one of the distribution events should contact their school district. Our goal is for United Way to provide each school district with a limited quantity of backpacks that can be available students in need who are unable to attend a distribution event. Do You Have Questions About The School Supply Drive? Email schoolsupplydrive@unitedwaycassclay.org

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i m e d n Pa n o i t a l o s

n w o n k Un

Crazy

Zoom

Lockdown

Wild

l a m r o N New

c n a t s i D l a i c So We have all seen our ups and downs over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. While it is easy to focus on the negatives of the situation we are in, it is important to remain positive. COVID-19 has altered the way we interact, do business and simply exist. Despite these changes in our daily life, our community continues to showcase its tenacity and resiliency. On the other side of that is positive stories and we are here to highlight these incredible tales in a time of great uncertainty.

A t y p ic a l

Cluster

u B D I V O C

A t e e F Six 23


Building Community, One Meal at a Time With food uncertaintly being top-of-mind, Heart-n-Soul Community Café provides sack lunches for vulnerable populations. Thanks to the FM Area Foundation, Heart-n-Soul was given the boost they needed to keep serving the community.

BY Courtney Larson, Communications and Marketing Officer at FM Area Foundation

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Volunteers prepare sack lunches.

ince 1960, FM Area Foundation has been assisting our community with their charitable giving. And in March, as the coronavirus reared its daunting head onto our community, the FM Area Foundation did what it does best and activated its Community Response Fund of Cass and Clay Counties. To address the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic in the Fargo-Moorhead area, The Foundation funded the Community Response Fund with $250,000 to be used as a challenge grant to the community to encourage donations. “We’ve put in $250,000, and we’re asking people in our community to collectively give another $250,000, so we can mobilize half a million dollars in grants to local nonprofits providing direct services to people in the area,” said FM Area Foundation Executive Director, Tim Beaton. Grants from the Community Response Fund go to qualified nonprofit organizations


HOW TO GIVE Donations to the Community Response Fund of Cass and Clay Counties are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. There are no administrative fees, so more dollars go directly to assist nonprofits impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Help reach the goal of raising $500K to continue to provide relief for nonprofits affected by COVID-19! Give online at areafoundation. org/disaster. or send checks to the address below with "Community Response Fund” noted in the memo line. FM Area Foundation 409 7th St. S Fargo, ND 58103

affected by the coronavirus pandemic and those providing services to vulnerable populations throughout Cass County, N.D., and Clay County, Minn. “Many organizations do not have the luxury to work from home right now. They are helping our communities’ most vulnerable populations. They are concerned about what services they can continue to provide, how to protect their staff and volunteers, and many are having to cancel fundraising events and other programs that support their operations,” said Beaton. The Community Response Fund was created by the FM Area Foundation in 2017 to help meet the needs of community

organizations during and following a community crisis or disaster. “The flexibility of the fund allows us to respond to the needs of our nonprofit community not being met through other available programs,” Beaton said. “We hope the $250,000 challenge grant inspires community members, businesses and others to give to the fund to help support local charities.” Thanks to the help of many generous donors, more than $430K has been contributed to the Community Response Fund, thus far! Read here about one of the grantees, Heart-NSoul Community Café, and see how they were able to put this donated money to work for the community.


History of Heart-n-Soul Community Café Heart-n-Soul Community Café began in 2016 to help neighbors share a meal and foster a tight-knit community. Everyone is welcome at the pop-up café to enjoy a nutritious meal, no matter their economic status. The cafés are held in neighborhoods where health equity is at its lowest, such as low-income housing areas. “Neighbors who cannot always afford to visit a restaurant can come in and enjoy a meal, no questions asked. Those who pay it forward or pay the suggested amount keep our café going so that those who are hungry can feel comfortable and welcomed,” Daul said. The FM Area Foundation served as the fiscal sponsor for Heart-n-Soul Community Café from 2016 until 2019, when they received their nonprofit status.

Special cards created by students at Trinity Elementary accompany the meals.

GRANTEE STORY: HEART N SOUL COMMUNITY CAFE Food insecurity is a reality for many people in our community, and during the past few months, the problem has grown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Heart-n-Soul Community Café, a pop-up café that provides nutritional, locally grown food in the Fargo-Moorhead area, is adapting to meet the needs of those they serve. Gathering restrictions put in place because of COVID-19 put a hold on their usual community cafés. Making the decision to adapt to the new normal, Heart-n-Soul Community Café began making sack lunches for individuals in supportive housing, as well as people that may not be served by an agency and need food assistance over the weekends—those with limited resources, transportation issues, and who are in the COVID-19 high-risk categories. The sack lunches are made by the

organization’s Executive Director and volunteers on Fridays at Square One kitchen and then delivered. They partner with Beyond Shelter Inc. and obtain food from local farmers and Great Plains Food Bank when available. “We have received positive feedback from the residents we’ve connected with and would love to continue this service to ensure no one feels left behind during these times,” said Leola Daul, Executive Director of Heart-nSoul Community Café. Each lunch costs approximately $2.60 and includes sandwiches, fruit, vegetables, chips and a cookie. A special uplifting message is also included with the meals to continue their mission of building community. Through initial funding, Heart-n-Soul Community Café was able to provide 275 sack meals to sites across FargoMoorhead; however, by mid-May funds ran out. A $12,200 grant from the FM Area Foundation’s Community

Response Fund is helping continue the sack lunch program. “We are grateful to have the opportunity to continue serving and bringing community together throughout the summer with our weekend sack lunch program. Without our additional funds from FM Area Foundation this would not be possible,” said Daul. The Community Response Fund has made grants totaling $341,896 to organizations throughout Cass-Clay. “The goal of the Community Response Fund is to find programs that are truly making an impact on daily life for individuals. Heart-n-Soul’s lunch program is serving hundreds of individuals every week and is a true community effort. It’s a great example of how we are all in this together,” said Lexi Oestreich, Program Officer of the FM Area Foundation.

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y now, many of us are trying to settle into the “new norm”… a new work routine, a new childcare routine and even a new shopping routine with masks, social distancing and pick-up orders. Yet, we can all remember where we were when the pandemic first changed our lives, and the uncertainty it subsequently created. For many businesses, this uncertainty was magnified by one question: how will I continue to pay my employees? This question wasn’t only a top concern for businesses, it was a top question for congressional leaders as they acted swiftly to introduce the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) stimulus package, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The Paycheck Protection Program is a federal loan program aimed at helping small businesses who have been severely impacted by COVID-19. Businesses could receive funding–or a PPP loan–with the primary intent of funds be directed towards employee salaries. In other words, protect employees’ paychecks by continuing to pay them. All, or a portion, of the PPP loan will be forgiven (not be required to be paid back) if the business can show that it kept their employees employed. By Cole Keney, Business Advisor at Alerus

28 | AUGUST 2020 | FARGOMONTHLY.COM

As many businesses faced great uncertainty in mid to late March, the Paycheck Protection Program was a sign of hope during a time of darkness. And for many local financial institutions, it was time to do what we do best – act fast and do whatever possible to


In addition to medical professionals and essential workers, our community bankers are some of the heroes who worked around the clock to help save our local economies. support our clients and ultimately, our local economy. When the Paycheck Protection Program was first introduced in early April, many businesses scrambled to quickly secure funding. Since Congress only allocated $349 billion initially, everyone was moving fast to ensure they secured relief for their business and their employees. How did they secure these funds? By partnering with their bank. The critical role banks played in the Paycheck Protection Program is often forgotten. Simply put, the federal government leveraged the resources and relationships that financial institutions have with their clients to serve as a distribution vehicle in transferring money from the federal government to businesses. Since most financial institutions already partner with the Small Business Administration (SBA) for other federal loan programs, it was expedient to take this process and expand upon it for PPP funding. Given the quick introduction of PPP funding by Congress and looming concern amongst businesses and bankers that funding will run out, it was all hands on deck. This meant bankers, and many support roles within financial institutions, need to work all hours of the day, all days of the week. We transitioned employees from other departments into lending roles to support the unprecedented loan volumes and the needs of our clients.

to do something good for our clients, and our community. We saw the opportunity and rose to the challenge, as did so many financial institutions in our community and across the country. In just 14 days, the initial $349 billion allocated for PPP loans ran out. I will always remember this time as two of the fastest and most stressful weeks of my career. Shortly thereafter, the federal government approved the second round of PPP funding. After the initial rush to secure funding in the first round, the second round was much different. The second round of funds was never depleted and Congress continued to extend the application date, allowing businesses to continue to apply for funds. Financial institutions play a vital role in the economy. In addition to being the conduit between the federal government and local businesses, financial institutions are also considered an essential business. So just as medical professionals, grocery store employees and law enforcement each serve a critical role in our community, so do financial institutions. After all, you want your debit card to work when making purchases and you need access to the funds in your paycheck — but more importantly, when the opportunity arose to help provide necessary relief to many businesses, financial institutions were there to help.

So many of our team members worked evenings and weekends– including Easter weekend– all to ensure we took care of clients. For us, it wasn’t about the hours worked. It was an opportunity

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Creativi t y Lives On

By Alexandra Martin Photos by M. Schleif Photography

Thanks to the vibrant, brilliant minds of the team at Unglued, crafts and DIY are thriving, despite the ripples of the pandemic. As soon as summer hits the upper midwest, hoards of crafty, fun-loving adults rejoice at the anticipation of attending Unglued's Summer Camp. On the wooded shores of YMCA Camp Cormorant in Lake Park, Minn., Ashley Morken and the team at Unglued host an unforgettable weekend of crafts, artisanal beverages, camp-style meals and new friendships. Created in 2014, the camp came about with intentions of bringing likeminded adults together for some old-fashioned summer camp fun...just like in the good ol' days. But this year such an extravaganza wasn't the right call. Health concerns and extra precautions meant a summer sleepaway camp with dozens of adults stacked up in bunk beds wouldn't work. However, just because the grounds of Camp Cormorant aren't filled with creative folks doesn't mean the creativity has stopped! In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, a creative outlet is needed now more than ever. With extra time on a lot of our hands, many people have been drawn to trying out some new practices and diving into more activities. "Creativity" doesn't have to be painting or pottery or knitting. Creativity can sometimes come in the form of problem-solving. And lucky for us, Ashley Morken and the crew at Unglued are creative in all senses of the word. Unglued has been able to keep Fargo-Moorhead (and beyond!) creating and inspired amidst the COVID-climate, thanks to such creative problem-solving. Camp or not, the spirit of craftiness lives on! 30 | AUGUST 2020 | FARGOMONTHLY.COM

Virtual Workshops The first out-of-the-box challenge for Unglued came with introducing virtual workshops. When the pandemic first began to hit our area, Unglued knew they needed to close their retail location, for the safety of their staff and community. But at the time, they already had a couple of workshops on their schedule that they were planning on hosting. "We started thinking if those could end up being virtual," said Morken. "We had never done that before, we had no idea what platform we would use! But we talked with the instructors and asked if they would be willing to do these virtually." Just a week after they closed their brick-and-mortar, they started hosting classes over Zoom. Supplies for the classes were mailed to participants and, "magically" everything ended up being amazing, according to Morken. "We saw the response on social media and how [the classes] gave people hope. They were thinking, 'we are going to be stuck at home – and no one knows for how long – but maybe we can still do stuff that feels sort of normal,'" she said. Workshop attendance has varied everywhere from intimate classes of four people all the way to almost 50 coming together for Viking Yoga. When they started hosting the virtual events, Unglued wasn't sure if the idea would stick or not. But now that they've seen the desire for them, they plan on hosting more, especially as the winter and holiday gift-giving seasons come around.


Morken was pleasantly surprised by the amount of interest in these virtual workshops, both from familiar faces and individuals all the way from Hawaii to Massachusetts. To have materials sent to your doorstep and a class that is live and interactive, not just pre-recorded, is something that makes Unglued's classes stand out nationwide. "We love when we start off a call or workshop asking where everyone is from and how they got connected to the class. So many of them have not been in Fargo or they make a comment that they never make it to in-person workshops even if they do live in town. So it's been crazy how many people it has been able to expand craft and DIY to that would have never had otherwise" said Morken. Crafts used to be a luxury. Reserved for those who have the extra hours to dedicate to creating something with their hands or for those naturally right-brained. But now, people are craving a break from reality and need the reprieve that comes with holding something they made. "I feel that people have been finding ways to stay creative and try new things. And here we have stuff that keeps them busy or just is really fun," said Morken. With a lower amount of in-person events happening, these virtual workshops are a great way for local makers to share their craft and market their work. "We found too, that the makers who've been [teaching virtual workshops], they didn't have their normal income coming in from markets or in-person events. So it was a way for some of them to maintain a little bit of income that they wouldn't have had otherwise," There's also something to say about knowing a maker personally and feeling more connected to their work. By taking a class directly from them, community members can get more excited about supporting them and uplifting their businesses.


Photos from Unglued Fall retreat 2019

The Getaway Series In the spirit of sticking with their mission and finding unique ways to keep serving the people they serve, Unglued brainstormed with great care a way to preserve the comradery and scenery that came with Unglued's much anticipated annual summer camp. The result? Coming in September, Unglued will be hosting two one-day socially-distanced retreats at Crooked Lane Farms in Colfax. These retreats are being branded as "Unglued: The Getaway Series" and will comprise of workshops with local makers, lots of fresh air and open spaces, festive cocktails and sack lunch-style meals. Having a one-day fall retreat out in Colfax isn't new to Unglued, as they put on a similar event last year. However, this year brought a new set of problems to solve and concerns to address. "We are keeping it super flexible and we will be highly aware and watching what's going on with COVID in our area, We will keep a full-refund policy at any point, even the day of," said Morken. The crew at Unglued want attendees to be hyper-aware of safety and they want them to be wondering what COVID precautions will be taken. "We want people to be aware that we are not just flippantly like, 'We're going to do a craft retreat!' This has been painstakingly thought out, surveyed and researched. And still up for the flexibility of it not happening is something were to come up where we felt it was totally inappropriate to continue," said Morken. It'll be weird and different, but that's no reason to not give it a go. If it can be done safely, this is just what we need at a time like this. Every attendee of the retreat will get their own COVID safety kit: a camptastic fanny pack equipped with hand sanitizer and a cute cloth mask. Temperatures will be taken before entry, social distancing will be in place and mask-wearing will be required for the entirety of the event, save for eating and drinking and in designated "fresh air" stations. Since the farm is so large, there will be a few fresh air stations far from the main event, in which you can take a breather and enjoy the crisp fall air – but with precautions in place.


The retreat will have all things one comes to expect out of an Unglued event. There will be workshops teaching everything from blacksmithing to sourdough bread making to woodburning. Each event will have its guidelines shared beforehand, ensuring attendees feel comfortable with all details of the specific workshops. Craft cocktails and artisanal brews are staples of Unglued events, so they will still be served, but will be monitored with a set amount of drink tickets per person. By limiting the amount of alcohol consumed, the Unglued team can better keep social distancing enforced. In the spirit of flexibility, there will also be a half-day option for those not wanting to embark on a full day. The name of the Unglued Getaway Series game is fluidity and whatever makes local creatives the most comfortable, Unglued wants to encourage.

are 100 percent safer not doing any events at all. But we don't want to just give up the ship because it is complicated. If there is a way we can make something happen that feels magical and keeps people creative and connected, we will figure out a way it can be done safely." Even with all the different rules in place, the heart and soul of the event will remain the same: make friends, make crafts, make memories. To view virtual workshop offerings, visit unglued.myshopify.com To learn more about the Getaway Series, stay tuned to their social media channels for announcements, facebook.com/ ungluedmarket

"We want to inspire hope and creativity, but only in a safe way," said Morken. "We are trying to make it really clear that, yes, you

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Fee Co nt ac tl es s De l OVER THE PAST FEW MONTHS, WE'VE HAD A LOT OF NEW WORDS ADDED TO OUR COLLECTIVE VOCABULARY. FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THESE COVID-19 BUZZWORDS AND KEY PHRASES.

Qu ara nte am Social Distancing - The act of keeping at least six feet of distance between you and your fellow human whether that be in public or otherwise. In FargoMoorhead, this is referred to as "A typical Wednesday". Coronavirus - A family of similar viruses, Coronavirus often takes the form of respiratory illness. However, Coronaviruses are the root cause of COVID-19 as well as some forms of the flu.

COVID-19 - COVID-19 (AKA Coronavirus Disease 2019) is a serious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 strain of Coronavirus. Asymptomatic - A person infected with COVID-19 that fails to show any of the disease symptoms. While it can be seen as a positive in the eyes of the person found positive, these people are perhaps the most dangerous in spreading the virus. Oftentimes, asymptomatic people are unaware they have COVID-19, but they are equally contagious. Symptomatic - A person infected with COVID-19 that shows symptoms of the diseases. These primary symptoms include (but are not limited to) fever, shortness of breath and coughing. Pandemic - When a virus (such as COVID-19) is spread across multiple countries. Confirmed Case - A person who has tested positive for COVID-19. An often contentious statistic, one should not take it lightly regardless of your political and social lifestyle. Immunity A person's ability to fend off disease

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Un pr e

or a virus (like COVID-19). A common belief is that once a person has overcome COVID-19, they are immune to getting the disease again with the body storing antibodies against the virus. However, this has not been medically proven. Immunocompromised - A person who cannot fight off a disease or virus as well as a person with a healthy immune system. In most cases, these are people with pre-existing medical conditions. It is these people that are considered "high risk" for contracting COVID-19. Ventilator - Used to supply oxygen to a patient with lung issues, a ventilator is a vital medical tool for those with severe cases of COVID-19. In these severe cases, a person's lungs cannot supply enough oxygen to the rest of their body because their lungs are too weakened. Quarantine - Whether a person is infected or not, quarantine is a form of self-isolation inside your own home. This is done in an effort to prevent the spread of disease. Those infected by COVID-19 or show symptoms of the disease must quarantine for two weeks in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.

Flattening The Curve - If one is in accordance with and abiding by social distancing and quarantine guidelines, they are helping to flatten the curve. In plain terms, flattening the curve is controlling


Bu bb le

t Apar t liv er y

ec ede nt ed the rate of new COVID-19 cases. Social distancing, self-isolation and other protective measures can assist in flattening the curve. Mask - While often politicized, masks are a key preventative tool in flattening the curve and ridding the United States of COVID-19. A protective face covering that spans both your MOUTH and NOSE will limit the spread of COVID-19. Not only has this been medically proven, but it has also shown to help reduce confirmed cases across the globe. Wearing a protective covering over your face is not an act of protest nor it is a political statement. It is an act of humanity towards your fellow Americans. If you are a person who continues to complain, protest and completely ignore wearing a mask in public, claiming that you "cannot breath" or that it violates your "constitutional right" please consider the lives of those around you. If you feel you cannot breathe or that you are being stripped of your rights, consider the 165,000 Americans who are no longer breathing and are no longer entitled to rights because of COVID-19. In part, your hapless and selfish attitude towards preventative measures is costing lives. A loss of life is a burden that seems far harder than wearing a mask to the grocery store.


SIGNS OF the Time By Kaley Stremick, Sales Director at Office Sign Company

One sure sign of the times? More signage! Office Sign Company has been working hard to ensure local businesses have all the new signage they need to stay open during these changing times. 36 | AUGUST 2020 | FARGOMONTHLY.COM


ike many other businesses in our community, our team and operations at Office Sign Company were noticeably impacted by COVID-19. Through this time, we learned how to adapt, come together as a team and strengthen connections with our community partners. As we transition into this new normal, here is a glimpse into how Office Sign Company has been navigating through this time and how we have come together to move forward! Rallying Together As we navigated this difficult time, our team continually had to shift to put our best foot forward. We were forced to cut back on our hours, halt production and, unfortunately, have fewer employees now than when the virus started. Although the adjustments were less than ideal, we remained steadfast in meeting our customers’ changing needs and ensured our vibrant culture would survive this COVID storm. As our OSC team adjusted, collaboration became more important than ever and workloads changed for each department. We had our artists blogging, our web specialist answering national phone lines, the production team getting involved in all departments, and even our accountant was out in the community campaigning. Everyone chipped in to help, bringing our whole team closer together. We have found that the little things, such as our daily Clorox wipe down chants and individual shoutouts, made the difference with morale and helped bolster our culture. Hey, who knew team cheers about cleaning could help bring you closer! Focusing on Community We didn’t just come together internally but also focused on how we could help the Fargo-Moorhead community. We wrote blogs featuring how to support local businesses while social distancing, had our artists design stickers that were included with every order, offered unlimited free shipping and created new gift card deals. All of these efforts were to ensure we were assisting our community and clients both locally and nationally. We were inspired by our community's response to these past trying months and we were on a mission to keep our community shining in any way that we could!

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One of our favorite examples was the #AWorldOfHearts movement, which was seen in nearly every direction you looked in Fargo-Moorhead, as well as across the country. Along with our own #AWorldOfHearts display at our storefront on Northern Pacific Ave, we helped facilitate others’ contributions to this movement, including City Hall’s display in Downtown Fargo and Dakota Business Lending in South Fargo. We worked to help local businesses liven up the streets with colorful garage wraps, utility box wraps and the massive West Acres floral window graphics. Putting a spin on some of our standard offerings helped us keep up with the ever-changing demands around us, while brightening up our community. Uncertainty Creates Innovation Market industry trends were changing and our product development had to pivot to meet those trends. This uncertain time has required different products to be necessary for businesses to keep doors open and all those involved safe. Products like sneeze guards, curbside pickup signage, "wash your hands" signs, custom masks, social distancing graphics, sidewalk signs and mounting hardware have all been in high demand. We began our product development process and had multiple new products going live every day to fill the need! With these new products, we also wanted to ensure customers could customize our products to their exact needs. We found, specifically related to COVID-19, that displaying accurate business hours, safety requirements, and “we’re open” signs were some of the first signs customers looked for upon arriving at a destination. But, it doesn’t stop there. Once inside, the new normal includes floor graphics indicating six-feet distance guidelines, graphics directing traffic, signs indicating

closed tables or maximum capacity, and updated rules/ regulations. Keeping all of this signage consistent and matching brand guidelines will make an impact on your business. The bottom line is that effective signage can make your business run smoothly while ensuring your team and customers feel safe and comfortable. And we’re here to help you do it well! Not only did we have new products going live left and right, but we had to shift the content we were sharing through social platforms, email blasts and blogs. Throughout the last few months, we focused our social content on sharing new products being offered, our work and installs throughout the community and our team culture and positive energy. This shift provided us a platform to highlight our products, educate community partners on innovative practices and continue to build relationships with our local neighbors and national partners. This approach allowed us to share components that were working for us, as well as connecting with customers to learn how we could improve our support.

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Moving Forward As we continue to pivot in our day to day lifestyles, our Office Sign Company family is here to provide innovative solutions and support in our ever-changing environment. We recognize we will be dealing with change for the foreseeable future, and our focus is to continue to help businesses in the area –and across the globe – reopen and adjust successfully. A special thanks to all of our wonderful customers who trust us with their signage needs and to the many who have supported us through this uncertain time. We could not have done it without you. At the end of the day, we are continually striving to make our community better by looking to the future and honing in on community relationships. We are excited and optimistic about what lies ahead and know we will be here for our community and customers every step of the way.

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By Scottie Knollin

CORONA.CORGI

When a call for dog fosterparenthood reached Scottie Knollin's ears, he answered with enthusiasm. Warming Knollin's heart and lap, fostering soon turned into adoption as Norman the corgi filled this Fargo man's need for quarantine companionship.

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Maybe it was the way he curled up just so under my chair while I worked that first day I brought him home. Or, maybe it was how a supposedly quick walk to Island Park turned into a two-hour lunch break because he had to sniff every single tree. Or, maybe it was when he finally felt comfortable enough to roll over on his back and snore through an entire movie. Like many people, the second week of March introduced a new way of life. When I wasn’t talking about the pandemic with coworkers, I was reading and watching about it. When I wasn’t glued to my computer, television or phone, I was making plans to either isolate alone in my Fargo apartment or pack up and head South to be with family. Summer in Atlanta wasn’t really something I’d been hoping for (if the virus didn’t kill me, the humidity might), but if it was the end of the world, I’m sure my mom would rather I be a little closer to home. As that first week of working-from-home came to an end and I knew I had a decision to make, I did what anyone else would do in my situation. I spent the evening scrolling through each social media app. Newsfeed after newsfeed was full of jokes about toilet paper, posts with opinions of every political flavor, and the occasional smile of a kid or dog. In a moment that I’m still determining was purposeful or emotional, a post from a friend about dogs in need of fosters struck a chord. His short stature was exactly what you’d expect. His face exuded confidence and curiosity. It was in the late-night moment when I knew I had to meet him. Norman, the corgi. It was love at first pixelated sight. Introducing him to his new life was pretty standard. He explored my one-bedroom apartment. He pulled and tugged the entire way down Broadway, smelling smells and hearing sounds he’d never before encountered. We met a neighbor dog. He marked lots of territories, including the couch in the living room and the closet door in the bedroom. He fell asleep with his head on my leg, perking up every so often to noise from an adjoining unit or the street. By our second day, he’d learned which elevator door opened in the direction of the outside world and which door in the hallway led to his water bowl and the treats. It didn’t take long before Norman knew his way around Fargo. If I told him we were going to the park, he knew we’d head left once we got outside. If we were just doing a quick bathroom break, he knew his target was the flower bed by 46 North. If it was his first walk of the day, he got excited to say hello to the security guard in the lobby who never seemed as excited to see him, but still shared a little smile. If it was the last walk of the day, he’d try to get me to let him walk near the tree down the street where a family of birds was always chirping. In the four months since he’s gone from foster dog to adopted dog, he’s become adjusted to a new routine at the same time I, too, have adjusted to a new routine. We sense each other’s ticks and the looks in each other’s eyes to communicate certain things, like time to go for a walk or time to go to bed. He still has to check behind the shower curtain at least three times each morning to make sure I haven’t disappeared while bathing. He licks my legs once I’ve gotten out of the shower, perhaps hoping it will speed up my morning routine so we can go for another stroll before I turn on my computer. He’s learned how to roll the windows down in the car and will defiantly do so despite the weather. He gets embarrassed by the raincoat I bought him

as a joke when I went through my pandemic-online-shopping phase. I continue to make him wear it when it rains because it’s disgustingly cute. It’s the kind of cute that makes you sick. Work calls have become more entertaining having him around. The tip-tap of his feet as he zooms from wall to wall, room to room, has become a soundtrack to every virtual conversation. One of his favorite things to do is to hop in my lap and tilt his head back and forth as coworkers call his name in their highpitched dog-and-baby-friendly voices. He’s learned who my friends are, succinctly inching his way into friend territory every chance he gets. Even with their masks on, he can sense their happiness as we run into familiar people at Youngblood or the Red River Market. We’ve both become great at spotting a smiling, masked face in Roberts Alley of someone hoping to get the chance to greet him. I can see his ears perk up when we pass a group of kids whispering to each other before one of them politely asks if they can give him a pet. Which, of course, he relents to before I can even nod yes. I can also tell how his pace significantly slows down as we approach Scoop N Dough as if he’s hoping this will be the time we actually go inside. Like many, I’m still unsure what each day will look like. Did I buy enough groceries? Should I get tested again? Did I remember to wash my hands? Where did I put my mask? Should I feel guilty for having an unproductive day? I still have moments, mostly in the evenings, when I contemplate whether I’ve made the right decision to stay here and battle the isolation or if I should have gone back home to Atlanta. For this corgi, though, he is home and I can’t imagine he’d pick any other place in which to be stuck. For this corgi, the word "pandemic" means nothing. For this corgi, he’s found his family, even if it’s just a guy who keeps his apartment too cold, drinks too much coffee, never shares enough little bites of human food, stays up too late watching movies, and takes too long between the moment the word “outside” is said and when we are actually going outside. For this corgi, the past two years of being passed from family to family had to have been rough and the emotional scars make an appearance from time to time, but at least it led him to the couch on which he’s currently laying at this very moment, on his back, stuffed alligator within reach, snoring. For this corgi, he’s never known a better life. And, for this human, the feelings are mutual.

Welcom e ome , Normah n. 45


One of the industries hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic was hospitality businesses. From restaurants to bars and even hotels, Fargo-Moorhead faced a massive shut down at the height of the pandemic. This left many local businesses scrambling to figure out what to do. For restaurants, it was offering take out services for citizens looking to enjoy their favorite local bite. The local breweries opted to continue to sell off-sale through

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many of their taproom locations. While those options were only temporary solutions to large problems, it did provide an avenue of sustainability for local hospitality businesses. Proof Artisan Distillers has been a landmark in our community since opening in 2015. Their homespun spirits have not only captivated our community but have also made their way around the country as well.


How Can You Support Proof? You can purchase Proof's awardwinning spirits like 2 Docks Vodka, Minions Gin, Glen Fargo Whiskey and Crooked Furrow Bourbon at their location at 414 4th Avenue North in Fargo (off sale only). Spirits can also be found across the state of North Dakota at your preferred liquor store. Proof's homemade hand sanitizer can also be purchased at their location and it can be found at various establishments around Fargo-Moorhead. Hand sanitizer may also be purchased online. For more info, visit proofdistillers.com.

This is evident in the numerous national awards Proof has accrued throughout their history.

discusses Proof's approach throughout the pandemic and how it has impacted their business.

So when their tasting room was no longer able to churn out phenomenal cocktails for eager patrons due to COVID-19, they had to find some kind of solution. While they would still be able to sell their spirits off sale at How has your business their location and at liquor stores around the area, the changed throughout the folks at Proof needed to adapt. COVID-19 pandemic?

This came in the form of off sale of a different kind. We temporarily switched our With the tools to make hand sanitizer at their production from spirits to hand location, Proof gained the ability to make their sanitizer for several months. We own sanitizer from the federal government. have chosen to remain open for Not only did it fill a necessary need in our hand sanitizer and off sale purchases community and state, but it also aided through the summer and will decide those businesses who needed to stay what to do this fall in regards to opening open during the pandemic. Now, Proof's the tasting room back up. hand sanitizer can be found across our community and beyond. Proof opted to make hand sanitizer and release it throughout the community. What Yet, they do not feel deserving of our were the underpinnings of that decision? thanks or praise. To the fine folks at Proof, it was doing something We got the OK from the federal government to help North Dakota. In that to start producing hand sanitizer as long as it sense, producing their own was in accordance with the W.H.O. (World Health hand sanitizer was an obvious Organization) on March 19. We flipped the next day decision to make despite to making hand sanitizer. In the days following that, it altering their business we were contacted by agencies mandated to stay in model. operation that was in need of hand sanitizer with nowhere to find it except through us. It just made sense to us to Proof's Director of switch our production to help keep critical-need employees Sales Lexi Aho as well as our community safe. 47


How did the COVID-19 pandemic impact the actual distilling process? Secondly, how did it impact your sales and distributing chain? We had to temporarily shut down the distilling of our awardwinning spirits to focus on the production of our hand sanitizer. Luckily, when the bars and restaurants were mandated to shut down their dining rooms, the liquor stores got busy. Our distributors kept selling our spirits. We had enough inventory of our spirits to keep us going. That being said, we are still well under our normal sales numbers for the year.

supports local businesses at this time to help keep doors open and people employed. As North Dakota experienced a "soft opening" a few months back, do you believe Fargo has gone back to some semblance of normalcy? In some ways yes, we have reached some semblance of normalcy or what normal is going to look like moving forward. The hospitality industry is still hurting quite badly and has quite a long recovery ahead of it to make it back to "normal".

What is the biggest challenge Proof has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Why is adaptation and "rolling with the punches" so vital to the success of a business like Proof?

The slowing of our sales has been one of the biggest challenges Proof Artisan Distillers has faced during this pandemic. Proof Artisan Distillers rely heavily on our outside sales for our success. When the bars, restaurants, hotels and other hospitality industries closed down we saw a large drop in our sales. Thankfully, with these locations opening back up we are starting to see a steady increase in sales. We thank everyone who

In this case, we were one of the few businesses in the area that could step up in the hand sanitizer production to help our community at the beginning of the pandemic. We had the equipment to distill and make the hand sanitizer following the W.H.O. (World Health Organization) guidelines.

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Take Care of Business Meet // Focus // Energize

How has Proof "bounced back" from the original wave of COVID-19? We have been able to shift our focus back from hand sanitizer to our spirits which is what we are all about. We are now back to planning events for this fall and looking forward to getting back to "normal". We are not out of the COVID-19 woods yet. How does Proof remain diligent in making sure customers, staff and the community is safe, healthy and smart during this time? We have not opened our tasting room for cocktails yet. However, we are talking about later this fall to opening back up. We remain open for off-sale and hand sanitizer sales. We are using our hand sanitizer to keep us and the community safe. When you enter Proof Artisan Distillers' tasting room please use the hand sanitizer by the door and keep a safe distance between you and any other customers who may be in there. As for cocktails please feel free to swing by your favorite bar or restaurant and ask about any of our award-winning spirits. We are here to support and keep our community safe during these uncertain times.

Element Fargo’s bright and modern meeting room is fullyequipped with a U-shaped, boardroom style table, two 75� LED TV screens, and a high-tech Crestron panel system that gives you the power of the entire meeting space at your fingertips. Contact Morgan Hanson for pricing and availability mhanson@elementfargo.com 701 478 0957

925 19th Avenue East West Fargo, ND 58078 701 478 5333 elementfargo.com


By Marisa Jackels Photos courtesy of GoodBulb 50 | AUGUST 2020 | FARGOMONTHLY.COM


Amidst the darkness of a global pandemic, people found creative ways to shine some light — in this case, literally.

s the pandemic took hold in early March, lighting up buildings in blue and green took on a new significance. The #LightItBlue campaign saw historic landmarks such as the Seattle space needle, Los Angeles Coliseum, Niagara Falls in New York, and over 400 other venues light up in blue in a nationwide show of support for healthcare and other frontline workers. Green light, known as the color of compassion, was used as a way to honor the victims of COVID-19; most noticeably in Kentucky, where Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear regularly shares photos of landmarks and residents’ homes shining in green. “Light has long been used as a way to show support for causes you care about in a bold, bright way,” said GoodBulb founder, Tom Enright. “As a lighting company, we love any opportunity to use light in a way that makes a positive impact.” As more and more people began purchasing blue and green lightbulbs

to show their support, Tom and the GoodBulb team saw an opportunity to provide support for those impacted by COVID-19. They announced that proceeds from their green and blue lightbulbs, which saw an uptick in sales due to the campaigns, would support COVID-19 relief efforts.

For Enright and the team at GoodBulb, it’s a part of being ‘more than a lightbulb company,’ he says. In addition to supporting COVID-19 relief efforts and community causes, the company regularly uses its lightbulb proceeds to provide solar lanterns to families who live without electricity around the world.

“Our mission is to offer good savings, support good causes, and provide good education,” Enright said. “In the midst of a pandemic, it is a privilege to continue supporting good causes as we battle COVID-19 together.”

“The root of our mission at GoodBulb is the mantra Be Good — the idea that we each have the power to make a positive impact in the world. This is the reason why we choose to give back, to support our local Fargo-Moorhead community, to provide solar lights to families who live without electricity, and, today, to support COVID-19 relief efforts,” Enright said. “This is all a part of living out that mission to Be Good.”

GoodBulb chose to support Convoy of Hope, a non-profit with a goal to provide 10 million meals to families across America that have been hit hardest by COVID-19. At the end of May, GoodBulb announced their donation of $2,500 to Convoy of Hope. “We are incredibly grateful for your desire to stand with us,” wrote Sarah Spickard, Corporate Relations Project Manager at Convoy of Hope. “We are only able to make a difference because of partners like you.”

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If years of Dakota Medical Foundation's ever-growing Giving Hearts Day has taught us anything, it's that we live in one of the most generous regions in the country. Working quickly to address community needs in the wake of COVID-19, Dakota Medical Foundation launched a new giving platform, Helping Hearts. 52 | AUGUST 2020 | FARGOMONTHLY.COM

Since 1962, Dakota Medical Foundation has been connecting people to opportunities to help others. So in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Dakota Medical Foundation (DMF) team established a nonprofit needs survey, a critical needs fund, education and training for nonprofits and a new website, DMFHelpingHearts.org. When the pandemic hit, DMF needed to quickly pivot and do something to help the community and the nearly 500 nonprofit organizations that are within their Giving Hearts Day framework. In just two quick weeks, they developed a crisis response platform specifically for COVID-19 relief, but also equipped to be switched on for any future crisis. COVID-19's presence has sent ripples into all spheres of life and business. And non-profits have especially been hit. There is always a financial need for charities. But as fundraising events have been canceled and economic hardships have shown themselves, nonprofits who depend on such donations are hurting. Galas and fundraising events are a primary way for many local organizations to


raise money, awareness and excitement around their cause. With the inability to gather together right now, those opportunities are lost. According to DMF's Nonprofit Survey Summary Report ran in April, 65 percent of charities have canceled a significant charity event and 49 percent of charities don’t have a plan to replace that lost revenue. We can only imagine those numbers have increased since the report was run in April. Not only are nonprofits seeing reduced donations and canceled events, but they are also seeing an increase in demand for their services and the need for more funds on hand. As more people are facing financial or health hardships, the critical needs nonprofits in our area are needed more than ever.

With their hands full with essential work, nonprofits are able to receive aid from Helping Hearts with little-to-no additional work. Utilizing the existing GivingHeartsDay. org site and donation functionality, the framework is already all there. All they need to do is make sure their messaging is relevant and on par with their current needs. With DMFHelpingHearts.org set up and running, the community was given a platform in which they could help. Oftentimes, many in the community want to help a good cause, they just don't know how or where or what is needed. With this easy to navigate platform, community members can see what types of gifts are needed and how they can fulfill them.

Through this platform, nonprofits can outline a clear message of their mission, but also tell how they have been impacted by COVID-19 and what your dollar can do to help them, specifically. Amber DeKrey, Director of Programs at Dakota Medical Foundation, shared that they want to make sure people give in a way that fulfills them too. Because the act of giving needs to be impactful for both the donor and the nonprofit. Showing how their dollars will help helps donors feel more confident in their donations. And for those who are fueled by physical or time donations, there are options for them as well. 55


DeKrey noted that one thing they are finding nonprofits really need right now is volunteers. And volunteering looks quite different in a pandemic. Nonprofits in need of volunteers have been on top of ensuring all their protocol and safety measures are top-notch. While it still should be addressed with caution, know that there are safe opportunities to get out there and make an impact. In addition to in-person options, many nonprofits are in need of remote volunteer help. As we all are depending on technology a lot more now, new systems and protocols are needed and many charities need help implementing such new systems. If you want to help from afar, don't hesitate to reach out and see where your skillsets can help out. From accounting to social media management, you never know what a nonprofit could be needing the most right now. "I think we can rethink what volunteering looks like right now. How can we think differently? Maybe now more than ever, charities need a voice and for you to be one of their biggest advocates and be an ambassador for communicating their mission to your network," said DeKrey. This shifting set of circumstances have allowed us to think outside of the box and think of alternative ways to make an impact, which is certainly a silver lining. "If you aren’t able to contribute financially, or you want to do even more to find purpose, I think volunteering is a huge thing and a great opportunity for people to be looking for," said DeKrey. People still need to feel connected right now and, through the Helping Hearts platform, they can find a charity to love and listed opportunities to lend a hand...financially, inperson or from afar. Further helping nonprofits, DMF pivoted their webinars for their High Impact Institute members to include relevant, critical topics. Leading in turbulent times, how to host a virtual event 56 | AUGUST 2020 | FARGOMONTHLY.COM


and what to do next were all topics discussed in these educational trainings. By surveying nonprofits, DMF was able to really understand the greatest needs and challenges of the nonprofits so that the curriculum could be better tailored and focused. In addition to launching the online giving and guidance platform, DMF decided to run a 19-day Helping Hearts Giving Campaign. Beginning on April 20 and running through May 8, this focused campaign wanted to rally the community together, shining a light on the stories, missions and urgent needs of local nonprofits. Just two months after Giving Hearts Day raised over $19.1 million, Dakota Medical Foundation was blown away by the amount of support they received with this additional giving campaign. In 19 days, over $1 million was raised for local charities through Helping Hearts. "We were so pleased and overjoyed with the generosity," said DeKrey. Through online donations and grants, DMF feels fortunate to have seen a rapid response in distributing emergency grants to critical needs nonprofits. Shortly after this first 19-day campaign, Helping Hearts teamed with Bell Bank, Inforum and WDAY for a second 19-day giving campaign called Play it Forward. Play It Forward was a charity golf event featuring Tom Hoge, Amy Olson, Josh Duhamel and Matt Cullen. The match was broadcast on May 31 and in the weeks leading up to it, money was donated to help North Country Food Bank, Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, The Village Family Service Center, The New Life Center and The Great Plains Food Bank. In total, both of these campaigns raised over $1.2 million for local nonprofits. Three major giving campaigns right in a row is ambitious, but our community has shown that we know no bounds when it comes to generosity. Echoing that sentiment, DeKrey said, "It’s neat to see everyone coming together in a time of need, and I think that’s exactly what our community and North Dakota and Western Minnesota do. It’s part of who we are. We help someone in the time of need."


Crisis as a Catalyst for Transformation BY Dr. Sue Mathison Catalyst Medical Center and Clinical Spa Founder PHOTO BY Hillary Ehlen

58 | AUGUST 2020 | FARGOMONTHLY.COM


Dr. Sue Mathison is the founder of Catalyst Medical Center and Clinical Spa. She is a Stanford educated, triple-board certified physician who has received numerous accolades for leadership and Top Doctor for her clinical skills. Dedicated to the community, she is involved in the Dakota Medical Foundation, TedXFargo, The Choice Financial Board and more!

The past few months have been an unprecedented struggle for all of us. Life as we knew it stopped abruptly in mid-March with the spread of coronavirus. Mid-dribble on the basketball court, the game was called, the outcome forever unknown. Monday never came, for classrooms were deserted, with homework sheets and midmorning snacks left behind. We lost hugs, handshakes, buffets, sports, concerts, graduations, lessons, jobs and many lives. We yearn for normalcy but know we are forever changed. As we look back with bittersweet eyes, hopefully, we can look forward with clearer vision. Radiation physicist Marie Curie once said, "Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less." Any trauma experienced can be a source of growth, or distress, and most often a combination of both. These categories struck me as I reflected: • Personal Health Transformation • Health Care Transformation • Societal Transformation

Personal Health

Some people used our time-out to optimize personal health. A furlough or working from home meant more homecooked meals and more time for exercise. Many of us wish that experts had gone beyond recommendations for handwashing and masks to remind people that we do have some control over our immune function. Healthy meals, exercise, meditation, loving connection and good sleep have profound impact on our immune resilience. Certain supplements such as Zinc, Vitamin D, N-Acetyl Cysteine, Copper, Selenium, Probiotics and Melatonin are biologically plausible to be helpful, but further research is pending to clarify this.

Health Care

Some hospital systems in hotbed locations were and are stressed to the breaking point. Health care workers deeply appreciate being recognized for their sacrifice and efforts. And there is still frustration with lack of adequate protection. We are all learning to live with dents in our faces due to pressure from tight masks. Masks are rationed and reprocessed when feasible.

I love seeing patients in-person, there are many visits that can be taken care of over video, saving time and mileage. I hope these visits are here to stay.

Society

The pandemic has shown us our weak spots. Tensions are high for many reasons. We know that persons of color have been disproportionately impacted but COVID-19. George Floyd's death in May was another heart-breaking reminder about the deadly undercurrent of racism that leads to less healthcare access for black Americans. Complex changes are inevitable. We struggle with personal freedoms vs community safety. In certain parts of the country, mask-wearers are ridiculed. In other parts, you are shamed for not wearing one. What's Next? Spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle wrote that "Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness." I pray that we have the strength and wisdom to use our trauma to transform in healthy and positive ways.

Problems with social distancing and mask refusal and even mask-shaming are also very frustrating for those on the front lines. I love seeing the billboards that remind us that masks are a symbol of protection and care for ourselves and others. One bright spot due to COVID-19 is increased access to tele-medicine. While

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Haven't you heard? Masks are the latest fashion staple! With Minnesota mandating mask-wearing and North Dakota heavily encouraging it, putting on a mask is a new habit we are all getting used to. Medical disposable masks are, of course, a great option. But for those of us who want some variety in our mask, here are some local stores and local makers to get stylish new masks from. *Disclaimer: These are not N95 Surgical Masks*

proper

315 Broadway N, Fargo proper-shops.com

olive street

Kittsona

shopolivestreet.com

kittsona.com

835 23rd Ave E #205, West Fargo

60 | AUGUST 2020 | FARGOMONTHLY.COM

23 8th St S, Fargo


Unglued

408 Broadway, Fargo ungluedmarket.com

AEROW Handmade aerowhandmade.com

Daily's Market 216 Broadway N, Fargo dailysmarket.com

Kindred People 300 Broadway N, Fargo

shopkindredpeople.com

Shirts From Fargo Order a customized mask to match your company or personal style!

303 Broadway, Fargo

shirtsfromfargo.com

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521 Handmade 521handmade.com

SCHEELS

1551 45th St S, Fargo 505 Center Ave, Moorhead scheels.com

leela & lavender

3265 45th St S #116, Fargo leelaandlavender.com

Affairs By Brittany 303 Broadway N, Fargo affairsbybrittany.com

Grateful Cratefulls 300 Sheyenne St. Ste. 130, West Fargo gratefulcratefulls.com


Profile for Spotlight

Fargo Monthly August 2020  

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