e're back to kick off the new year with our annual charity issue, but this year we took a different approach. In the past, we've featured a handful of local nonprofits participating in Giving Hearts Day to showcase a variety of great causes you can support. This time around, we wanted to share some information that will help guide you on how exactly you want to give. While we hope you, along with many local individuals and businesses, are able to donate on Giving Hearts Day 2023, we really just hope you find some way to give back to the community you call home.
I think what makes the annual charity issue such a great way to start off another year of magazines is that
it's filled with good. There's so much hope that surrounds charitable organizations and giving, so much that doing good, seeing good and being a part of something good— makes you feel good. There are hundreds of different articles, lists and guides on "good" ways to start your new year, and I'm sure you'll read a few (I'm sure I'll read a few). So, let's all add one more to our list of better practices in the new year: put kindness at the core of everything you do. Show a little extra kindness to your neighbor, your grocery store clerk, your barista, the stray cat on your street, the book that's collected dust, the house plant that has gotten a bit too wilted since Christmas and, most importantly, yourself! Sprinkle bits of kindness around you and you'll watch it become a downpour. I know
this sounds cliché, but what isn't when it comes to the new year? Best to dive in head first and come out better for it.
Wishing you a Happy New Year, and Happy Reading!Geneva Nodland Editor
SPOTLIGHT MEDIA'S OTHER PUBLICATIONS
At Design & Living Magazine, we love to share all of the fantastic local art, architecture, home decor, interior design and landscaping in the FMWF area with our readers.
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Bison Illustrated is your number one source for all of the behind-the-scenes action inside the North Dakota State University Athletic Department.
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Fargo INC! is our very successful business magazine which covers all things business in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
fargoinc.com facebook.com/fargobusiness Twitter: @fargoincmag LinkedIN: Fargo INC
Future Farmer is our farming publication which brings great tech-focused content to readers across North Dakota and Minnesota.
You may already be familiar with our Faces of Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo publication which we publish once per year in order to highlight the faces behind all of the great businesses in the community.
Are you overwhelmed trying to plan for your big day? You're not alone. We've done our best to provide all types of local resources, expert guidance, de-stressing tips and everything in between. Your wedding day is one of the mos important days of your life. Hopefully, this issue will help you prepare for that day so it's all about you.
Let’s take a look at a mix of businesses and individuals who have given back to the community in a variety of ways, through their Time, Treasure and Talent. While these aren’t even close to all of the people who give in the community, they are great examples of creative ways to do so! We hope you find some creative ways to give back—not just this Giving Hearts Day, but whenever you can use your Time, Treasure or Talent!
They have collected a variety of awards showcasing their reliability and quality, including:
• Best Auto Care
• Best Customer Service
• Best Workplace
• Best Autobody
• Best Auto Glass
• Best Auto Accessories (on more than one occasion)
• Matt was named Top Automotive Shop Operator in the Country in 2021 by Ratchet+Wrench Magazine
Nearly 100 team members are employed, with plans for that number to continue to grow through top-notch guest experiences, opportunities for
team members to grow and giving back to local communities.
A key value for the business is to be a pillar in the community, and living that value out is important to Matt himself. In 2021, Matt’s Automotive Service hosted a year-long food drive for the community. Matt has been involved with the food pantry for a few years and has even served on the board. After witnessing the kind of impact of something as simple as receiving food had on the people in the community, he saw an opportunity to give.
“We wanted to do something that impacted our community for the year, not just around the holidays. We
thought about it and decided our goal was to fill a semi [truck]. That semi equates to about 26,000 lbs of food, and we knew it was what we wanted to do. We provided a free full synthetic oil change and tire rotation for a bag full of nonperishable goods, and we achieved our goal of filling a semi in late December.”
Because his business can offer services (or, talents) like oil changes and tire rotations, Matt was able to utilize that to create an opportunity and incentive for people to donate items to fill the truck.
It is important to look at the best way to give, for both businesses and individuals, be it through their Time, Treasure or Talent.
Q: Why do you think this is important for everyone to consider the best route, and why is it important for your business?
A: Giving back to people whether it be your time, talent or finances is important as you never know the impact it can have on a person, family or community. By helping others, you are making the world and community a better place, and helping others by lifting them up and providing resources in a time of need. I can personally say that through the numerous things we have done as a company, seeing people's lives changed and seeing them become stronger has been awesome. It is also great when you have a culture of giving, as it becomes more powerful and the team gets involved and welcomes helping others.
- Matt Lachowitzer
Looking ahead, Matt’s Automotive Service is planning a few events for single parents and teachers in the summer/fall of 2023!
Learn more about the company and keep an eye out for upcoming charitable and community events on their website at mattsautoservicecenter.com 1234 1st Ave N, Moorhead, MN (218) 477-0696 Facebook | @MattsAutomotive
While the team at Thunder Coffee has been very active in giving back to the community for years, last year they launched a Giving Hearts Day blend of coffee, giving the proceeds to local nonprofits! Working with the team at the Dakota Medical Foundation (DMF), together they decided that creating the coffee roast would be “a natural progression” of the creative ways they’ve worked to give back.
“[Our goal was] to impact local dogooders in our community through the proceeds of this coffee,” Skyler said.
Some other examples of how Thunder Coffee has worked to uplift smaller nonprofits during previous Giving Hearts Day events include:
• Holding an in-person series called "Know Your Non Profit," and inviting nonprofits to the café for an after-hours Q&A. This allowed the community an opportunity to get an idea of who the organizations were and how donations impacted their mission.
• They offered a Giving Hearts Day
Drink, raising funds for more work with nonprofits.
As a birthday celebration each year, they invite baristas from all across the region to compete in pouring the most visually appealing foam design. They then donate the registration fees to a local nonprofit!
Thunder Coffee is constantly tapping into creativity to come up with unique ways to give back. Using their product and avenue of reaching customers (or, talents), they were able to give back.
important for everyone to consider the best route, and why is it important for your business?
A: We love coming together to support one another in whatever way we can. There are so many nonprofit organizations locally that are dedicated to making the Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo area the best it can be, and it's easy to find an organization that is doing great things that resonates with you and just jump in to give them a hand! We love the notion of neighbors helping neighbors, and love to be involved in supporting great causes.- Skyler Dutton
This year, they will be creating and selling the Giving Hearts Day roast again! Keep an eye out on their social media to see when that will be available. If you’re interested in buying beans, check out their website, (shipping available), and remember to visit their second location in Brewhalla upon opening early this year!
300 Sheyenne St. 190, West Fargo, ND Instagram | @thunder.coffeePast foam art celebrations! Past foam art celebrations! 2022 Giving Hearts Day blend Skylar's sons delivering over 300 lattes donated to teachers on their first day back!
Since 2015, Hatch has been hosting a Date Night event on Giving Hearts Day. When attendees register for the event, they receive the following:
• A free take-and-bake pizza from their partners at Papa Murphy's
• The choice of free beer, wine or soda as their beverage
Prior to this, the Hatch team internally votes on a charity to host at their business on Date Night so that attendees can visit with their representatives and have the opportunity to donate on the spot when they come to pick up their date night essentials. They also set up giving stations around their lobby.
“While a donation is certainly not required to participate in Date Night, it's always incredible to see the generous hearts of those that come through. We always offer an activity for the kiddos, too, so they can be part of the fun! Our team gets to see past clients, make new connections and feel like we're doing something special for the community we're so proud to be part of. It's truly nothing but generosity and joy all day,” Jasmine said.
With many community connections and resources (or, talent & treasure), Hatch hopes to fulfill their missions of connecting with the community
(internally and externally) and continuing to bring awareness around giving while providing a space for that to happen.
Q: Why do you think this is important for everyone to consider the best route, and why is it important for your business?
A: Giving isn't something that you do; it's something that you are. Embracing a culture of generosity— where people play for the person next to them—establishes a true win/win environment. If we want our business to support both our team members and community, then our DNA needs
to exude selflessness and service to others. And when we establish this ecosystem, we see an energy shift in the daily habits of our team. If the environment can show love and support to each other, we then have created a pretty special place to work.- Erik Hatch
Date Night 2023 is held by all teams, in Fargo, Bismarck and Detroit Lakes. Register for your free Date Night at hatchrealty. com/events!
The Barnesville Area Community Fund, formed in 1989 to “bring together people, ideas and resources to leverage these connections to transform lives in our community,” provides grants to local nonprofits, the school, scholarships, donations, low-interest business loans as well as a partner in fundraising initiatives. They have been able to give over $1.7 million, making a difference in the lives and projects in the community!
20 years, I wanted to be involved in any way I could to make a positive impact on the community our family lived in. I like the broad diversity of the impact the community fund makes— students, businesses and residents,” Jamie said.
In Jamie’s role as one of the 11 Advisory Board Members, she served as Treasurer and was also a member on the Executive Committee and Investment Committee, working closely with the funds and budgeting.
She, along with her team, makes sure that funds are allocated appropriately with direction from donors, and with the overhead goal of “preserving the value of the dollars held for future investment in the community.”
Upon her arrival in Barnesville, she found herself in a position to volunteer her time with the Giving Hearts Day Action Team. She used her skills (or, talent) in connecting with people to help create content for the projects.
“Without hesitation, [Jamie] was the first to raise her hand to be part of the Giving Hearts Day Action Team. Then, she was the first one to raise her hand
when we said we needed someone to help with marketing and social media posts. She called five different families to capture stories and photos, then having never used Canva, figured out how to do Facebook posts every couple of days, write press releases for the newspaper and put up and take down 25+ snowbank signs. Not to mention the fact that she has a middle management job requiring her to work 60+ hours a week and raises two twin boys! She is a rock star and we really, really couldn't have done it without her!”-Karen Lauer, Barnesville Area Fund
A: Each and every one of us has a story and are at different points in our life. We may be an individual or family who needs the financial resources of the fund and can only give of our time or we may be in a financial position where giving donations is more impactful than your time. We never know when we may end up on the receiving end of a charitable organization so giving what you can, when you can, really does make a difference.- Jamie Bucholz
This Giving Hearts Day proceeds donated will be invested in renovating and preserving the American Legion Post building, which was gifted to the City of Barnesville to be used as a community gathering space and to create memories for the community for many years to come.
If you’re looking to give back to the Barnesville Area Community Fund
“We have a team that does a great job in organizing the volunteer events, so you know exactly what you'll be doing, when and for how long. And, there is always something in the works,” Jamie said.
If you are looking to give through a financial donation, know that all donations stay local to the Barnesville community, covering a variety of needs for students, residents, nonprofits and business owners. Learn more at barnesvilleareacommunityfund.com
PO Box 461, Barnesville, MN Facebook |
Q: Why do you think this is important for everyone to consider the best route, and why is it important for your business?During Childcare Provider Appreciation Week, board members delivered plants to all local providers The new Outdoor Activity Court funded by 2022 Giving Hearts Day donations!
She began her career here with Midco as the Regional Sales Manager for the FWFM area and went on to become Director of Advertising Sales. Her role as part of the Midco Senior Leadership team allowed her to foster skills with her work community like building relationships and encouraging women’s business leadership. She has a multitude of accomplishments, involvement and volunteer time, including:
• Member of the Women in Cable Telecommunications
• Member of the Fargo chapter of the Power of 100
• Regular volunteer and past President of the Board of Directors for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley
• Volunteer for Hope Blooms
• Recent graduate of the 2019 Dakota Medical Foundation High Impact Board training
• Recognized as one of the 2020 Prairie Business Top 25 Women in Business
Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley (RMHC RRV) opens its doors and offers a home for families to stay in while their children receive medical care. The nonprofit
can support these families during difficult times through the time and work of the team and volunteers
“Like many families, our introduction to RMHC was through a need. Our niece needed medical care early in her life and our family stayed at a Ronald McDonald House while she was hospitalized. Our connection grew throughout the years and RMHC has been our family's charity of choice for quite some time,” Shauna said.
Both mother and daughter volunteer for the organization, they prepare meals for the families staying with the
RMHC of the RRV. Deanna brings a special joy from the kitchen by baking birthday treats for guests and office projects. Shauna took on the role of president and served on the Board of Directors for six years. Together they utilize their talents and give their time for something they're passionate about!
A: The Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo community is full of opportunities to help others. DMF has generated excitement to share abundance with others whether that is through time, talent, or financial giving. Everyone's input helps the community's greater good. Giving Hearts Day is a celebrated holiday in this area! It's festive, fun and bursting with generosity! My husband and I believe the blessing is in the gift and it fills our hearts to contribute.- Shauna Wimer
Giving back to the community is a good way to get to know the community and meet new people while also helping families in need. RMHC has provided volunteer opportunities that I can be involved with to help keep families close.- Deanna Nordling
This year, RMHC of the RRV is celebrating its 40th Anniversary and many years of supporting families who need it. They began with the ability to
house 6 families a night, and in 2018, built a new facility able to house 24. They also have partnered with Essentia Health Hospital, allowing families respite on-site.
The Sweetheart Ball, RHHC of the RRV’s annual gala, will be held Saturday, Feb 11! Tickets can be purchased at rmhcfargo.org
“It's heartwarming and an incredible experience. Get ready to be a part of wonderful loving support for other families,” Shauna said. “The house is energetic and engaging.”
4757 Agassiz Crossing S, Fargo, ND (701) 232-3980 Facebook | @RMHCRRV Twitter | @RMHCFargo Instagram | @rmhcfargoTELLWELL STORY CO. + STUDIO
“... We have become obsessed with the community and growth of the Downtown area and enjoy frequenting local businesses and events,” Lauryn said.
She enjoyed it so much, she opened a business right on Broadway downtown. Gatherings Collective is a curated thrift store, with the goal to bring more sustainability and unique fashion to the boutique scene downtown. After an internship in her final year of college, Lindsay started with the Red River Children's Advocacy Center (RRCAC), and eventually accepted her current position to help give back to the kids of the community.
“1 in 10 children experience sexual abuse by age 18. The mission of the Red River Children's Advocacy Center is to facilitate healing and justice for victims of sexual and physical abuse, neglect, and exploitation and to engage the community to protect and support children,” Lindsay said.
According to their website, "CAC stands for Children’s Advocacy Center. CACs are community-based, child-focused organizations that work alongside a multidisciplinary team to coordinate communities’ responses to incidents of child abuse with the goal of promoting healing and justice for victims and their families." Their services include coordinating care, supporting investigations, facilitating forensic interviews and providing emotional support to both the child and the non-offending family.
Lindsay has continued to evolve and grow in her role with the RRCAC to take on new tasks and projects to ensure their clients receive the best care and help possible. She is a mental health advocate. She helps families in coordinating mental health services for both the child and the non-offending caregivers and provides skill-based intervention and education to caregivers. She also provides education on the system and professionals for emotional support,
resources and referrals, and some case management for those nonoffending caregivers.
Since she is so close with her sister, Lauryn has been a volunteer in a variety of ways at the RRCAC throughout the years. Here are some examples of how she has given her time and talent.
• Offered face paintings for children at the RRCAC’s Child Abuse Prevention Event at Broadway Square.
• Aided in the design of new inclusivity posters and flyers for the RRCAC office, done to encourage all clients to feel welcome and accepted.
• Whenever blankets and toys are donated to Gatherings Collective for its inventory, Lauryn donates them to the RRCAC, as each client receives one during their sessions.
While this work is Linsday’s career, the passion for community and giving back that is shared by these sisters is clearly evident. Lauryn is able to use
The new inclusivity posters for the RRCAC, designed by Lauryn.
her creative skills and position with her business (or, talent), to work with Lindsay to support the mission and work of the RRCAC.
A: As a recent college graduate and new business owner, funds are really tight. Having the ability to spread the word about the RRCAC and use my knack for creativity and design to do small things that support the work they do. There is no wrong way to support giving back to a community, or supporting an organization that gives back to the community. Every organization has ways you can help, and if you don't know how you may be able to help outside of a monetary donation, all you have to do is reach out and they may be able to give you ideas.- Lauryn
I decided to become a social worker to make a difference in my community. Families who come to RRCAC are going through a very difficult time that can be so overwhelming and confusing. My goal when I come to work is to be a supportive person who can possibly take some of the overwhelming and confusing feelings away and guide families through their situation.- Lindsay
The RRCAC is solely funded through grants and donations. Families receive services at no cost to them. The RRCAC also meets a family's needs through small items, snacks and drinks, or sometimes gas or meal gift cards for those traveling long distances and spending long hours at the center—and Giving Hearts Day is the biggest fundraising day of the year for the organization in being able to provide what they do.
There will be the second annual family affair at the square on April 22nd, 2023 for families to have a fun day together with games, craft booths and more, as well as face painting from Lauryn again!
The RRCAC is a small but mighty group. They change the lives of those who go through their programs and support individuals and families long-term. You can donate non-monetary items from their wish list on their website the link at rrcac.org/how-you-canhelp/wish-list
100 4th St S 302, Fargo, ND (701) 234 4587 Facebook | @RedRiverCACLAURYN SCHNEIDER By Alexandre Cyusa Photo By Geneva Nodland
Have you met Coach Wilson?
Warm Greetings from the Land of 1,000 Hills, aka RWANDA.
I hope you are starting 2023 healthy and filled with high energy!
As we all make New Year resolutions, I wanted to connect with a member of our FM community who wears multiple hats and impacts the lives of leaders of tomorrow: our beloved youth. I have been fortunate to meet Coach Marc Wilson at Moorhead High School (MHS) as I have had the honor to be part of the MHS Soccer coaching staff since the Summer of 2021. I asked Coach Wilson to introduce himself:
"I am married to the incomparable Sunny Clark and have two daughters, 15 and 12, who consistently surprise and delight. I care a lot about my job teaching English at Horizon Middle School. I also love coaching soccer with the Moorhead High School boy's team and basketball at the middle school. My faith is an important part of me, and I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have lived in Moorhead for 11 years and before that, in New York City, Japan, Utah, Belgium and Indiana, where I grew up. I enjoy many hobbies, especially travel, eating, sports and embarrassing my children."
Coach Wilson is one of the welcoming faces to anyone entering Horizon Middle School in Moorhead or the Spud Soccer field at Moorhead High School.
Next time you see him, ask him about one of his many anecdotes about traveling the globe.
Until we meet again:
Where do you call home?
Home is a funny word and I’m never sure how to answer the question, “Where are you from?” Right now, home is definitely Moorhead, where I’ve lived for over 11 years, but I’ve been lucky to call a lot of different areas home. I was born in Strasbourg, France, though my family is American, and I grew up in West Lafayette,IN. I have also felt at home in Provo, UT; Belgium; Shikoku, Japan; Costa Mesa, CA; and New York, NY.
What is the story behind your passion for traveling the world?
I feel a bit awkward answering this question because I do feel like there is much of the world out there that I have not experienced and because I recognize that my opportunity to see some interesting and relatively farflung places in our world is the result of uncommon privilege.
As a kid, my dad brought us along on work trips that extended beyond the usual tourist trips into stays just long enough to begin to get the sense of rhythm of regular life in a foreign environment. Along with the famous sites, I had the opportunity to observe the mundane differences that can really color the way a place feels. I remember returning to America and awakening to the idea that the world did not have to be the way it was in Indiana.
As an adult, I have continued to carve out opportunities for myself and my
family to be in different places. I love to visit the top attractions, but what appeals most to me are the quiet moments where I can feel myself slipping into some adapted habits of everyday life in a new place. And, if I’m especially observant and attuned to the spot, sometimes I can get glimpses of what everyday life feels like for a local.
So why do I have a passion for traveling? I love being able to challenge and reevaluate my perspective on the world and how to live in it, and I think that immersing oneself in different contexts is a powerful (and privileged) way to do that.
What has been your experience taking on the two roles of teacher and coach?
I have always been an 8th grade English teacher first and a coach second, but I have loved coaching more than I ever thought I would. I don’t know that I’m a particularly skilled coach in terms of winning and losing, but I relish the opportunity to help my players have a powerful experience together. I love teaching English because the ability to communicate clearly can be such an empowering skill for young people. Sports is a very different kind of empowerment, but when the circumstances are right, the lessons learned and felt through team play can be just as empowering.
I love coaching at the entry level for our high school boys’ soccer team. Our team draws players with vastly
different backgrounds, both culturally and in terms of soccer ability. We have players who come to us with extensive club experience and knowledge of training methods and tactics, we have players who are exceptional athletes physically but have limited in their soccer training, and we have players who have played in parks with their buddies for years and can make the ball stick to their feet like it’s velcro but have never played an official game and don’t even know some basic rules. Needless to say, we are a hot mess at the beginning of the season. Seeing them figure each other out, learning to play to each other’s strengths and cover for each other’s weaknesses, learning to communicate constructively and positively and hopefully facilitating some of that process as the coach, is a real privilege. I think it’s also a beautiful metaphor for the way our community can embrace diversity.
What are some misconceptions about learning foreign languages?
I speak French reasonably fluently and have some small abilities in Japanese and Spanish. I think maybe some Americans who have been in the country for multiple generations believe that learning another language is impossibly difficult and not relevant to their lives. I surely would disagree with both of those. Learning another language (even poorly learning it) can provide another way to interpret the world. And learning even just a little bit of other languages can really facilitate relationships with our multilingual community members. I was encouraged in a training session to learn a phrase or two in the language of my students, and I’ve found that it can really strengthen my relationship with my students and players.
Can you share some of the work you do in the community? How can others get involved?
In addition to coaching, I feel constantly tugged to be more involved in the community as I learn
about my students’ lives, but I don’t make as much time as I should to volunteer. I do donate blood regularly and I would encourage anyone who qualifies to at least try it out. I also like to go with my family when we have a free afternoon to the Great Plains Food Bank. They are very organized and make it easy for us to have a good experience—I usually leave feeling like I have learned more than I have helped.
I also think a great way to get involved is by forming some connections through a group. For me, my faith community (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) provides me opportunities to come into contact with neighbors whose lives often differ significantly from mine. In these situations, these people can often be helpful and sometimes, I can help them.
As a Citizen of the World, what is the next problem you are trying to solve?
Ha—I don’t pretend that I can solve any problem beyond half of the problems I create! I do feel constantly anxious about the threats of climate change, racism and poverty, but I don’t have any novel ideas about solving them. I do believe in the power and worth of each person doing what they feel is best and right within their sphere of influence.
What is your vision for 2030 for the Fargo-Moorhead community?
I hope that we can more fully embrace the increasingly multicultural nature of our community. My vision is that, like our Moorhead soccer team, we will learn to see the value and strengths that our neighbors possess and feel enough generosity to support our neighbors in their weaknesses. When I have taken advantage of opportunities like this with folks with different backgrounds from me in our community, I’ve found rich rewards in perspective, knowledge, food and a greater sense of worth and wellbeing.
ARTS ENTER TAINMENT
Everyone's Favorite Frostival
Get ready for one of Fargo's mainstay events—the annual Frostival! From January 14 to February 25, take part in six weeks of events including sled races, snow golf and more! Head to page 82 to learn more!
Fight the Chilly Blues! Make your time spent inside a little bit more exciting with a craft kit from Unglued! Keep a look out for the official opening of their new location at Brewhalla coming soon, and head over to grab some supplies to get crafty!
A Flash Back to the Past
On January 28, get ready to travel back in time with Hairball! With over two hours of homage to 80s bands including AC/DC, KISS, Motley Crue, Queen, Journey and more, expect a night filled with loud music and good memories!
The Red River Valley is constantly blooming with new architecture, trend-setting designs and industryleading artists to help bring your home and living spaces to life. From the hottest new design trends to the newest spaces in town, consider this your local beat for all things home and living.
When: Saturday, January 14, through Saturday, February 25
Get ready for one of the biggest events of the year in the area. Over the next month, be on the lookout for skating, s'mores, races and more around town! Check out the full schedule of events at frostival.com
Dude Dad Live!
When: Friday, January 27 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Where: Sanctuary Events Center
Looking for a laugh? Come check out Taylor Calmus, better known as "Dude Dad," as he puts on a show that's sure to be a good time. The TV personality and viral sensation dives into the world of parenthood and its struggles.
Turn Up the City 2
When: Friday, February 3 Time: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Where: The Aquarium
"I'm always on the lookout for new musicians in the area. These artists are sure to put on a memorable show for everyone supporting them!"
GuildSomm: Blind Tasting Seminar
When: Tuesday, January 31 Time: 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Where: Cellar 624
"I've never been to a blind wine-tasting event before, so this is going to be a one-ofa-kind experience for me!"
Sports Winter Kickball Tournament
When: Saturday, February 4
Time: Starting at 11 a.m. Where: MB Johnson Park
"I haven't done kickball in years, so I'm looking forward to getting back into the sport at Stonewall Sports Fargo’s first-ever winter kickball tournament!"
Rink Reels: Skating and a Movie
When: Thursday, February 9, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Where: Broadway Square
Come on down to the Broadway Square skating rink for a jolly time, including a movie, hot chocolate and skating. Don't forget to bring a blanket!
The Wedding Show
When: Sunday, January 29 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Where: Delta Hotels by Marriott Fargo
Planning a wedding? It's bound to be stressful, but that doesn't mean that it has to be done alone. Stop by The Wedding Show to meet with people who want to help, whether it be catering, music or finding the perfect dress!
When: Sunday, February 12 from 2 p.m. (Children-Themed Show) and 8 p.m. (Adult-Themed Show) Where: TAK Music Venue
Whether you're looking to bring the whole family out on the town, or sneak away for a date night, check out this year's FrosTAKular! The event is complete with fan-favorite music from Disney and Broadway from The Frosty 6!
When: Saturday, February 4 Time: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Where: FARGODOME
"I haven't been to a Monster Jam show since I was five years old with my dad and childhood friends. I'm excited to relive those memories and see some action!"
Candlelight Trail Walk
When: January 31 Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Where: Viking Ship Park
"I've never been to the Candlelight Trail Walk before, but I'm excited to hear caroling from the FMCT around a fire and learn about constellations from astronomy groups in the area!"
IS FARGO’S LATEST RECORD LABEL SIGNEEBy Grant Ayers
Singer Gina Powers, lead of The Gina Powers Band, was originally born in San Francisco, CA. Despite doing a lot of traveling as a child, including attending 17 different schools throughout her childhood, all roads led her to Fargo, North Dakota.
Powers has been pursuing her passion for music for quite some time now. While it may have been a long journey to seeing fruitful success, it’s beginning to pay off for Powers and her band. She recently signed a record deal with Hughmont International, LLC, based out of Nashville, TN. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Powers to discuss her journey to a record deal, her recording process and much more.
Where do you do your recording?
When we record now, we go to Rogue Wave Studio, based out of Osage, MN. There, we’re able to work with the label to make sure that the music is up to the quality we want. I've also had the opportunity to work on tracks that were sent to me from Nashville!
What is your creative process like?
I write a song completely before I bring it to anybody. Then, I bring it to the band and they add fantastic skills and instrumentation to it. Generally, I'll be playing around on the piano or driving when I encounter a melody or chord progression that piques my inner interest to flesh something out. The sounds almost always come to me before the words. The sounds are what create the story for me.
Congratulations on your recent signing, by the way. That's a huge accomplishment.
Thank you, thank you. Tell me about what led you to the record deal. How did it happen?
I'm bound to the notion that there are laws of the universe and we get what we focus on in both wanted and unwanted ways. I had the impulse to follow an invitation. A student of mine named Andrew Knutson became a guitar player for a bit in my band before moving down to Nashville to pursue his dream of producing with a good friend and colleague of his. Andrew told me that I had a place to crash if I ever wanted to come and see Nashville. Months later, I made the trip with a friend and got an open mic slot. After my open mic slot, a bunch of people graciously stayed, clapped and supported me. That got me invited back for a songwriting round.
On the second trip back, it just so happened that Jerry Foster was there. Jerry Foster, for those that don’t know, partnered with Bill Rice and has won hundreds of ASCAP songwriting awards over the years. Jerry Foster said that
DID YOU KNOW?
The first songs that Powers sang and released under the new record label were actually created in Nashville, TN!Gina Powers, Lead Performer of The Gina Powers Band
I had a great voice and he liked my song, which was incredible to hear. All I could think to myself was “Wow, this is my bucket list moment. This little country music girl's dreams have come true.” That performance struck up a conversation the next day at the airport where he offered me the opportunity to record music. I wanted to just have fun, play my songs and see what happened, but it really happened that fast. You never know if that one key person is sitting in your audience, but there was in my case.
What song was your favorite to work on creating or the most fun to make in the process?
Every song that we do is its own thing. The song that was the most interesting and fun was “How's This Go,” which I originally wrote on the piano. There were real challenges because we had a band version that's on the EP, as well as a second version with different production that had some orchestral, more cinematic components added into it after recording.
After completing the song, I had these two different versions of the song and didn’t know which one to use. One of my good friends suggested that I make a music video for the alternate version and release it visually, which turned out to be a great idea. I held on to the video for about a year for a million different reasons, including being insecure about it, because I wasn't sure how the fans would respond to a different version and if they'd like it better or worse. Finally, I just exhaled, jumped in and released it. Not only did it get a lot of views, but it was a really good lesson for me to not be afraid. If you have the impulse to create this thing, and you've been given opportunities to make it a thing, then just let it happen. As far as a song, the circumstances were pretty amazing.
Do you kind of consider this a bit therapeutic for you?
Yes, absolutely. This is how I process my experience of being in the world.
“WE'VE PLAYED THE RED RIVER VALLEY FAIR A NUMBER OF TIMES AND WERE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO OPEN FOR AND ENTERTAIN TIM MCGRAW’S HUGE 13,000-PERSON CROWD. IT WAS PHENOMENAL.” - GINA POWERS
The Gina Powers Band’s first EP, ‘Departure’, was recorded in a bare-bones basement, in classic rising musician fashion. The lead guitar player, at the time, took it home and finished production in his own studio.
Do you have a preference between the two versions of the song?
I like them both for different reasons. I think my favorite version of any song is the live performance, simply because you can't replicate the energy exchange and cool feeling of chemistry that happens in an ensemble when you're making music together.
What are your future upcoming plans through the label?
Some of it is vague because one thing informs the next in this sort of deal. As of late, my band and I are hard at work on finishing the final songs for the upcoming album. We've released three great tunes as singles that we’re very proud of. So we're gonna have our first full album, which is exciting. There's going to be a mix of tunes written by the legendary Jerry Foster, as well as my own original music on the same album, which brings tears to my eyes.
This is an opportunity for us to put out a full debut album, and we want it to be the absolute best we can make and truly reflect the full scope of the artistry that I feel this band deserves. The goal is to release the album by the end of the year, but the truth is that we're married more to the result. We want to make sure it's the best product possible. So look for that coming out over the next few months. We're working really hard to put together the best show we can so that our fans can really enjoy seeing us live as much as listening to the music.
Do you have a timeline for when you'll be touring? Where would you like to perform?
I'm in this strange place where I'm used to doing shows six days a week. It feels really new to me to slow down and take a pause. To be honest with you, I've really enjoyed this downtime from live performances only to do some self-care, as well as nurture personal relationships, friendships and things that I've neglected due to busy schedules.
After the album is released and in radio play, the plan is to book as many shows as we can. There are all kinds of opportunities to do festivals in our region and we'd love to take advantage of those opportunities. As the festival run dies down, we'll aim to perform in Arizona, Texas, Tennessee, Indiana and more. I just want to go all over the world. I can't say that I know what's going to happen exactly, but I'm ready whenever. I don't know exactly what the new year of 2023 brings, but I'm okay with that.The Gina Powers band puts on an electric performance at Broadway Square in Downtown Fargo!
HEALTH, SPORTS, REC
10 in 12
This is being written prior to the FCS national championship game. However, win or lose, NDSU's 10th championship game birth in the last 12 years is absolutely amazing!
Congratulations to Cece Deebom!
Deebom has earned her scholarship with the Nebraska Cornhuskers, setting two state records and winning multiple state titles already her senior season.
Congratulations to the Local Gridiron Stars!
Congrats to all the local stars that are going on to play at the next level. In case you missed it, some notable commits are: Moorhead's Elinneus Davis (Washington), West Fargo Sheyenne's Karter Menz (Minnesota), Davies Oliver Lucht (NDSU), Davies' Brennan Palmer (NDSU), Shanley's Michael Rostberg (St. Thomas) and Fargo South's Landon Docken (UND).
Whether you are a local sports fanatic or an everyday Joe looking for a little fun or fitness, here are a couple of the things happening in the community
How did you come into ownership?
My husband and I moved here from Atlanta, GA back in March and I was the studio administrator of a very prominent studio in Atlanta. I've been teaching yoga for about five years and doing it full-time which means working for all kinds of different studios and basically saying yes to everything in order to make it work. So, when we moved here, the ultimate goal was to open some sort of space, whether it be a yoga studio, a wellness center—something.
It's more achievable to do that here in Fargo than it is to do that in Atlanta where you have to basically be a millionaire to make anything happen. I was already kind of thinking of going to the current owner and seeing if she would be interested in selling, but she actually came to me and asked if I would be interested in buying the business from her, not for any other reason than she was looking to transition. And the timing just worked.
Had you been taking classes at the studio?
Yes and I started teaching here in April. So, I reached out to her just as a potential teacher before we moved here in March and then started taking classes and teaching classes in April.
Was there anything that drew you to reach out about this space as opposed to the others in town?
Well, it's right downtown. And my husband and I live right around the corner. So, proximity-wise it appealed to me. And before I came to the area, I looked on the website and saw their social media and just felt like this was a good community here at the studio. I would have taught at other studios, and I was actually about to begin teaching at another one in town before Dani came to me. But as I was kind of plugging myself into the yoga community in Fargo, I just wanted to start with one spot and this one just jumped out at me.
What types of classes have you predominantly taught throughout your time?
Mostly basic classes or a better way to put it would be classes that cater to all levels of experience. I really enjoy teaching beginners yoga too. In my classes, generally, regardless of what the title of the class is, I like to move a little bit slower and I like to focus on the breath and really invite the breath to be what moves the person into the different asanas or the different poses. Yoga is so much more than the asanas, so i make an efffort to emphasize that in any class.
Have you ever owned a business before?
What has your experience with it been like so far?
It's really exciting. Of course, I have the nerves that I think anybody would have. I think it would be crazier to not have kind of some nerves about it. But I feel really confident because I have worked really hard over the last five years to steward the practice of yoga in my own life and for my students as a teacher. I feel like this is what I'm supposed to do. I feel like this is my calling to be an instructor. To have this opportunity to be the owner of a space and to cultivate the tradition and the practice of yoga for other teachers and other students makes me feel really at peace in my mind. So, it's more of a peaceful feeling going into ownership than it is fear.
How have you gone about integrating yourself into the Fargo-Moorhead community?
It has been really great. My husband actually works at Fargo Brewing. So we've been able to kind of plug in with that community. We've already met some really great people and they host a lot of great shows and
events that are fun to go to. We frequented the farmers market when it was going on and all of the community events that we can, especially over the summer. Those events have really given us an opportunity to see what the community is like and what the community responds to. And then teaching here has been really great as well.
The size of the community is really nice compared to Atlanta for that. We haven't even lived here a year but we can't really walk out the door without running into somebody that we've met. That has helped us get invites to other places and has helped us meet other business owners— especially the ones with shops downtown. Of course, it has been a difficult transition at times, moving halfway across the country when the only place my husband and I have ever lived is Atlanta. But we are really grateful to be here and for the opportunities that Fargo has already afforded to us.
How long have you been practicing yoga?
I've been practicing for probably 12ish years. I started really casually at first. I was in college and I've always been kind of hippie-dippie and bohemian and didn't really like to work out or anything. But I obviously needed some sort of physical activity and yoga kind of drew me in. I'd always kind of been interested in Hinduism. I wasn't raised in that culture or that tradition at all, but for some reason, it just always kind of drew me in. All of those things kind of came together when I was in college. I just started exploring that type of tradition and culture just because I was interested in it and so I very casually started practicing asanas. I would go to a few classes per week which were really heavily prop-supported. Then, I kind of stopped for a while. I'd practice on my own, but not much. I lived with a yoga instructor for a while when I was in college, so that was really helpful. I learned a lot from her.
And then, about five years and a half years ago, when I was in graduate school in Atlanta and teaching at Georgia State University, I just kind of felt like I was like running in circles and I wasn't really getting anywhere. I didn't really love being in my master's program. I didn't love being broke because I was in a master's program. I had just recently got married. And so I just didn't really know what to do. Then my husband was like, "Well, you've been practicing yoga for a long time you're interested in it, why don't you do a yoga teacher training." So, I just Googled 'yoga teacher trainings' near where we lived in Atlanta, and I found Peachtree Yoga Center and I applied for the teacher training program. And that's really where it kicked off. And I really established a daily practice and I just fell absolutely in love with it and was like, 'this is all I want to do.' So, once I established that practice in myself, and then was beginning the training and learning how to share the practice of yoga with others, it really sealed the deal that I wanted to teach and practice full-time. So after that initial training, the 200-hour training, I signed up for the 300-hour training. I did that for a year, quit my master's program and slowly but surely quit all the other little side jobs I was doing.
What did you study in undergraduate and what were you studying in your master's program?
My undergraduate degree is in English literature and environmental studies. After I graduated with my bachelor's, I started working at a grocery store in north Georgia and it was awful. But I just didn't really know what I wanted to do
with my English degree yet. Then, I had gotten together with my now husband and we were moving in together. So, I was moving to a different part of Georgia at that point, closer to Atlanta, and I got a job at a shoe store. I worked there for a while and then started working at an after school program as an art teacher. And then, after a couple of years there, I got asked to be the director of that program. I did that for about a year and a half and then I started my master's. At that same time, I began working as a writing tutor at some of the satellite campuses of Georgia State University. And then after about a year in the writing centers, I was approached to be a graduate teaching assistant. Then, I began teaching English 1101 and 1102 to the freshmen at Georgia State. I also drove for Uber and just kind of did whatever it took. My husband and I both are not afraid of hard work and we definitely worked hard to get where we are today.
What are some of your other passions and hobbies?
I like to craft and make anything with my hands, jewlery, that sort of thing. I like to read, obviously since I have nearly two degrees in English. I have a dog and we we like to go hiking and traveling with him when we can. I like to antique and shop for vintage clothes. And I like crocheting, knitting, you know, that kind of scope of activities.
What new thins are you looking to do with the studio now that you are the owner?
I don't know if change is necessarily the word I want to use. But I want to enhance things. I want there to be more
workshops for the teachers themselves to develop their personal practice and develop their practice of teaching. I want to develop the studio in such a way and supports the teachers so that we can show more students how powerful the practice and traditions of yoga are instead of just telling them if that makes sense.
I also really want to share the tradition of yoga with integrity. I want to offer more practices that go beyond the asanas or poses, and really highlight the multifaceted nature of Yoga itself.
Is there anything you'd like to change with the classes?
I'd like to offer you know, more meditation, just in and of itself. I'd like to offer more Pranayama or breathing classes, meditation, kirtan or chanting.I am also in the process of creating a teacher training curriculum so that more people can deepen their personal practice and potentially decide to also
The Water TrickBy Eric Sweeney
About the Author:
Eric Sweeney @pbd_ fitness has been the owner-operator/head coach of the company Power By Design Fitness at Metroflex Gym Fargo for six years now. He has a degree in Exercise Sicence from NDSU, is a certified speed coach CSAC and a certified nutrition coach PN1. Eric coaches multiple faces of fitness including your and adult athletics, group classes, combat sports, military prep, competition bodybuilding, power/ strength, functional movements and general population.
How to become the person who keeps their New Year’s resolutions
It’s that time of year again. That time that we say we look forward to, but secretly dread. No, it has nothing to do with Christmas music or social gatherings, it’s New Year's Resolutions. How long did you make it on your last resolution? Two days? Two weeks? Two months? Did you quit before you even started?
It’s okay. It happens to most of us. We make big goals, and our minds make them out to be so much bigger than they are—the fear alone is enough to cripple the average person before they even get started. Then we make the problem even worse by justifying it with false conclusions like, ``I'm just not the kind of person who can stick to a diet” or “the people who work out regularly aren't as busy as I am” or my least favorite, “I’m too old to change now, its too late for me”.
As a fitness coach, I hear these statements all the time. A large part of my job is getting people out of their own heads, and getting them to buy into the concrete fact that change is possible for them. This is step one for every single client I have ever had, and I’m going to give it to you for free. I am going to
give you the secret formula for how to become the person who keeps their New Year’s Resolutions.
Before we talk about what makes a person successful, let’s take a moment to look at what success actually is. Success is no more than the attainment of a goal, any goal.
If you set a goal to walk across the street, and you do it, you were successful. So it’s not fair to say that some people are successful and others are not because anytime you do what you set out to do, you are successful.
People who achieve success do not have more time, more skill or some magical DNA that the average person only dreams of. If there is one distinct characteristic that might set apart the people who regularly experience success from those who do not, it’s will power. A strong will power helps you stick to your goals despite temptations, obstacles or distractions. It's the ability to focus on the goal that's coming, rather than giving in to immediate gratification.
Therefore the first flex in chasing your goal is to strengthen your willpower. Period. It's the core
skill to build and master that lays a foundation for all other skills. So before you jump into your resolution with both feet, start by taking reps to tone up the will. When your will is strong, you start to notice how the things you once thought were not possible, are suddenly well within your reach.
I used to think that discipline was something that other people had, and I didn’t, but that is the wrong context for a word like discipline. Discipline is a practice, it’s a religion, speaking to my crowd, it’s a muscle.
The mistake most people make with their goals is that they chase the heavy weight first, only to learn that they’re ability is seriously lacking. This approach doesn’t build a muscle, it breaks it. When we see willpower as a muscle, just like any muscle in the body, it’s built with consistent reps over time. One rep doesn’t make a large difference, 10 reps one time doesn’t make a large difference, but 10 reps once a day for 4 weeks, that progress is quite visible. So here is how we get started.
Keep your dreams big and keep your goals small, simple and consistent. When I say keep your goals small, I mean small enough to carry in your pocket. Pluck the proverbial low hanging fruit as they say. You just have to get going, and it's much easier to convince yourself to take the first step when it’s a small one. If you want to increase your will power from virtually nonexistent to all powerful, start off with something easy and keep it simple.
The easiest goal to start with, whether or not your dream has to do with health and fitness, is to drink two glasses of water right away every morning. It doesn’t get much simpler than that right? But watch when you go to do this, notice how your mind and body which love the same old predictable routine may try to fight you every step of the way. Your body will say that it’s too tired. Your mind will say that it’s too busy. Your ego will say that it’s too hard. But you have the opportunity to flex your willpower and say, ‘No, we are doing this. It’s two glasses of water. It takes less than a minute and I am the one in charge here.’ Just like that, first thing in the morning, you’ve taken
a step towards a stronger will and a healthier body.
When a goal is small and simple, it’s easy to reach it consistently. So try the water goal, and do it every single morning until it becomes such a habit that you do it without even thinking. This is how we build habits, with small, simple, consistent reps over time. This is how we build momentum—this is how we become the person who keeps their resolutions and does what they say they are going to do. Let’s face it, there’s no point in setting a goal to lose 20lbs, or pay off your credit card debt, or go back to school if you don’t have the will to do something as easy as drinking two glasses of water first thing every morning.
We have an awful tendency of focusing on the big things that we have very little control over, that make us feel small and powerless, the things that are plastered on the news each night. But in truth, it’s the small things that we can do every day that add up to noticeable change in our lives. It's the little habits that will make or break you. Don't wish for massive success overnight, it will kill you. The small,
simple, consistent habits are what build the muscle capable of lifting heavier loads. If everyone in your family, neighborhood, community, society, the world worked to lift the heaviest load they were capable of, just imagine.
I want you to keep your dreams big, but keep your goals small. I want you to achieve success in everything you set out to do, and I want to be the first person to high five you when you cross that finish line. Let’s make the world a better place in 2023, by making ourselves better people.
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The Red River Valley is constantly blooming with new architecture, trend-setting designs and industryleading artists to help bring your home and living spaces to life. From the hottest new design trends to the newest spaces in town, consider this your local beat for all things home and living.
Unite by EPIC Companies
The Fargo City Commission has agreed to sell the property at 234 Main Ave to EPIC Companies in what will be a seven-story project they're calling Unite. This development, which is set to begin later in 2023 will feature both residential and commercial spaces as well as gathering places both indoors and outdoors to unite Fargo and Moorhead.
Bright Future for Downtown Moorhead
After Election Day, Moorhead residents are optimistic as plans for a new community center and library take a huge step in the right direction. The majority of Moorhead residents voted yes on a 0.5% city tax increase that would help fund new development downtown.
The Uber of Snow Plow Removal
Tired of shoveling your driveway, or just need an extra hand with all the snowfall? Fargo-Moorhead residents will be pleased to know there's an app for that! The Plowz and Mowz app works with around 40 independent contractors in F-M, all of which use professionalgrade snow removal equipment. To learn more, download the Plowz and Mowz app.
Anyone who has lived or visited the upper midwest knows that winter here isn’t something to take lightly, and the homes we live in are the unspoken heroes in our dayto-day lives. What’s the difference between a house and a home? I would argue that a house is just the physical aspect, while a home is a place for safety, nourishment, a place for family; a home is a house with purpose and meaning. Habitat for Humanity also believes in this, as its mission is to give people the opportunity to build a new life and give hope to communities. This project is about Kathy Benjamin and her inspiring story of not only a second chance, but how that ignited her own flame in helping recovering individuals in the community.
For most individuals, our experiences shape not only our reality but also our perception of the world and what “normal” looks like. For individuals recovering from addiction, that lifestyle is their normal, and oftentimes,
they just need to be shown what a new and healthy normal looks like and for a loving hand to be extended to them. Although there were many helping hands along the way, for Kathy Benjamin, that ultimate extended hand was Habitat for Humanity.
Before that door opened, however, many doors in life had closed for Benjamin due to her struggles with addiction. “Most of the reason why people use is because they're trying to get away from the pain that they’re dealing with,” she said. “And that's a huge reason why I used for so long.” Benjamin was a cross-addict, using anything from alcohol to opioids to methamphetamine, and spent time in and out of jail. For Benjamin, things got worse before they got better, but a few key wake-up calls that gave her a new outlook on life were the death of her sister, personal struggles with suicide and helpful programs from her tribe. Being in and out of foster care as a child gave Benjamin a dream that would stay with her and one day come to fruition: being a social worker.
“Because that's the life I had lived, that's what I wanted to do,” she said. “I had a really amazing social worker when I was younger; he saved me from a lot of different abusive homes, he believed me and he trusted me and I trusted him and he was just a phenomenal and inspirational person in my life.”
It was when Benjamin began moving up into a CSD admin role that she started to realize she had more potential than she let herself believe. This inspired her to go back to school, yet the voice of self-doubt still stood in her way. But just like self-doubt, believing in yourself is a learned behavior, and over time, Benjamin followed the voice of her motto: don't think, just do—and she did.
Benjamin went back to school full-time while also working full-time. With her dream to be a social worker, Benjamin applied for foster
care. Initially, she was denied because of her record, but again this gave her the inspiration to keep trying, and eventually, she was successful, earning her foster care license and getting connected to organizations where her passion for helping others could blossom. “If you have a dream, and somebody's going to tell you no, that doesn't mean you just give up and walk away,” she said. “That means you keep trying, because who you used to be and who you are now are two completely different people. And if you can somehow find a way to prove and show that to people, that's going to tell a bigger story than anything else.” For Benjamin, it did. And doors opened themselves to her, giving life to her purpose.
“From the beginning, I had to come back from evictions, I had to come back from bad credit and I had to come back from all of the negatives that were stacked against me,” Benjamin said. As she began to rebuild her life back and made the most of the second chances given, Benjamin applied for Habitat for Humanity a couple of times, striking gold the second time. It seemed she had finally found her silver lining.
Now, part of the pre-qualifying process for being selected by Habitat for Humanity is a walkthrough inspection of your current living situation to note what certain needs the candidate may have. “It was so funny because I had parts of my ceiling that were kind of caving in, but that was normal [for me],” Benjamin said. “I had things that weren't working, and I didn't think that was weird—that was normal.” Like she mentioned before, Benjamin tried to talk herself out of it, thinking she was crazy for needing a better living environment. But when the inspectors came in, she quickly realized that what she had deemed normal for so long was not suitable and she was the perfect candidate for a new home. Soon later she was selected, and the process of receiving a new home was underway.
Four Pieces of Advice that Helped Me
The first and most important piece of advice I have when you are trying to progress in anything in your life is to remain open-minded. You have to be open to suggestions from other people, the worst that’s going to happen is you are going to try it and it won’t work for you, but you still learned something.
Four Pieces of Advice that Helped Me
The only time you fail is when you stop trying. And anytime you start thinking about everything that could go wrong… stop thinking. Just do it. Again, the worst that will happen is it doesn’t work out and bam—another lesson. Most people look at their weaknesses as just that—a weakness—and that it is what is going to hold them back.
One of her favorite aspects of being selected for a Habitat for Humanity home is the courses one has to take to become prepared for homeownership. “I think it’s amazing because that's probably a huge piece that people struggle with when they get homes; I didn't have that kind of role model growing up,” she said. The courses included home and lawn care as well as finances and money management, which was the most helpful for Benjamin.
By just practicing what she learned from these courses, Benjamin was able to pay off her credit card debt, build her credit exponentially and even buy a car in cash. And now, Benjamin and her kids have a beautiful home that they can call theirs!
“Giving [my kids] a solid environment that's safe and a good neighborhood is amazing,” she said. “When you walk into the house,
Four Pieces of Advice that Helped Me
What I have found is if I can find the energy that drives my weakness, I can use that energy to drive my weakness into a strength. I feel that same way about pain, I have been through so many painful and traumatic situations, for a while there I did let them get to me (hence my addiction). After a while, I realized I had a tremendous amount of resiliency and that all that pain brought me so much experience.
it’s new, and that's something all of my kids deserve, and so do I. It's nice to walk into a home and be able to feel like you are enough, and you have something that nice that's yours. My kids can bring friends over and they're not embarrassed that this is their house.” Through her hard work and dedication, Benjamin is creating a new norm for her children and herself.
One huge element that Benjamin learned through working with Habitat for Humanity is that you’re not alone and there are people you can trust who want to see you succeed. “I realized that I was going through life all by myself this entire time,” she said. “When I got into my 12 Step support groups, I realized that you can do things by yourself— sure—but when I finally learned that I could start trusting people to help me, it was a lot different.” Then when Benjamin began working with Habitat for Humanity, they allowed her to be a part of the process. As per their motto, it’s not a handout but rather a hand-up. “It made me feel better knowing that I had to work for it—I still did a downpayment, I still invested my time into this house, I got to help build it and not just my house but other people's houses and I got to volunteer at the resource center. That felt really amazing.”
Today, Benjamin is extending her own handup to those in need, working closely with Achieve Recovery Homes CEO Ben Reiswig
4 Things I Recommend NOT To Do
When it comes to recovery, as attached and connected as you feel to the people of your past, you have to leave the past in the past. There is an amazing recovery community out there where you can build a new family. You won’t and shouldn’t ever stop loving those people from your past, but you have to love yourself enough to know that boundaries will keep you on the right path. It’s easy to slide down a hill of ice if you put even one foot on it.
For a new home, throw out all junk and anything you don't need before you get to the new home. It’s so much easier to unpack and organize your new space without the clutter. Don't decorate all the rooms at the same time; focus on one room at a time when it comes to decorating. Watch for sales and the online Facebook market. Don’t go broke trying to make a space how you want it. Be patient and search for decor ideas on break.
3 Things I Loved Most about working with Habitat for Humanity
I loved being involved in the building process. I also enjoy that I am still a part of the habitat community. Habitat is part of the giving back chain that I come from, they helped me and now I get to help others.
Four Pieces of Advice that Helped Me
there is no book in this world that can teach you how to get through what you have already survived. Your pain is your training; you are the book and you get to tell a story that others can relate to. That’s where I found the silver lining that helped me paint a career into something I’m passionate and knowledgeable about.
in building sober living homes for women in the community as well as providing care coordination at F5, another organization that helps people find a new life after addiction and prison. Working at F5 also allows Benjamin to work more with the Indigenous community she came from, which has been an opportunity to give back to the people who helped facilitate growth and recovery for her.
“My purpose is to help people like myself,” Benjamin said. “I have been through just about everything in life, from childhood to adulthood. Once I realized that I can sit down with just about anyone and relate to something tough they have gone through and show them how I got through it, I knew I was meant for helping.”
Know someone who may be a candidate for a Habitat Home? To learn more about qualifications and applications, visit lakeagassizhabitat.org/apply.
To learn more about F5, visit f5project.org
To learn more about Kathy Benjamin and Ben Reiswig’s mission at Achieve Recovery Homes, visit bismarcksoberliving.org
Sippin' the South
Kick off the new year with a venture into the tastes of the south at a local wine tasting! Hosted by Cellar 624, this tasting will walk you through six samples of toprated wines from the Southern Hemisphere, plus everything you need to know about them. Learn more at cellar624.com/events
New Year, New Food
Looking for something to work on in the new year? Eat your way through all of the new restaurants and bars in the area throughout the year! Check out our list of the restaurants new to the area in December's issue, head to fargomonthly.com/new-intown-2022
Love is in the Air Valentine's Day is right around the corner. No matter whom you're spending it with, enjoy it with delicious food & drink! Make your reservations early and check out the local specials!
In Sweden, the word fika translates to a coffee and cake break, but in Swedish culture, some consider it to be more of an essential concept: a time to take a break and share a little something with friends. So take a break with us friends, and read up on all of the latest food and drink buzz in the Fargo-Moorhead area. You might just find a new favorite fika spot.
Q: Where are you from? Does that have any influence on your career in the industry?
A: I grew up on a farm near Glyndon, Minnesota. While growing up, I appreciated good food and life on the farm, but I don't think that is what drove me to culinary. It came later.
Q: How did you learn to cook?
A: My love for cooking didn't start until I was about 20 years old, working in restaurants in Minneapolis. I worked front of house primarily and one day the kitchen was short of help so I volunteered. I quickly realized my passion was not front of house, but actually behind the scenes learning to balance flavors and work with fresh products to create art. I began to experiment more at home with new products and recipes.
Culinary School is where I really learned. The apprenticeship program was the perfect fit for me as it provided a very hands-on experience in many of parts of the industry.
As much as I "can" cook these days, there is always more to learn and challenges and cuisines to attempt and new products to try. That is the fun/
exciting part of this business for me.
Q: What degree or certifications do you have, and when and where did you receive those?
A: After graduating from Glyndon-Felton High School, I moved to Minneapolis to attend the University of Minnesota and ended up with a BA in Art History. During my time at college, I worked in many restaurants to make ends meet. It quickly became apparent that I loved my restaurant jobs and cooking.
Q: How did you start your current businesses?
A: It is very new. I started in early November of this year. After owning and operating a variety of restaurants and a catering company over the years, I decided it was time to slightly change my career path to allow for more balance in my own life. One of the reasons I started cooking was because of my love for nourishing my friends and family through food. After over 20 years of restaurants and catering, we nourished a lot of folks. While it was fast-paced and exciting, it was never really that personal. I feel like I'm going back to my roots and remembering the "why" of why I chose this culinary journey.
As a personal chef, I get to communicate directly with the families I serve. My goal is to provide them healthy, nutritious meals with quality ingredients that are creative and easy for them to heat and get on the table without spending hours in the kitchen.
Q: Do you have unique education, background or mentor experience that helped you to where you are now?
A: After graduating from college I moved to Colorado to attend the Colorado Mountain Culinary Institute. I went through a three-year apprenticeship program where we learned ALL facets of the industry. At the time I really loved the challenge, fast-paced and professionalism of the five diamond restaurants. I felt so lucky to be a part of such talented teams in the kitchen. I also spent time in a large banquet kitchen learning how to prepare for large parties and a stint in a breakfast cafe. Breakfast is still one of my favorite meals to cook. Eggs Benedict with real hollandaise all the way... yum!
My mentors would be Chef Kevin Clarke who is the director of the Culinary Institute and my spouse Eric Watson who I met in Colorado. He has been an
Chef's Choice Chef's Choice
Here is a dish Sara will make for one of her clients—a Gnocchi Parisienne with sweet potatoes, wild mushrooms, butter beans, kale and brown butter sauce! The perfect meal for these chilly January evenings.
inspiration since we met and is always studying new trends or going back to old-school ways to prepare items. We really enjoy re-inventing our career paths and trying new things.
Q: What dishes/foods/cooking styles do you specialize in?
A: This is a hard question. I love to prepare almost all cuisines. I am most comfortable preparing classic dishes with a modern twist. However, when given the chance to experiment with a new product or ingredient, I am all in!
Q: In your opinion, what makes a great meal? How do you try to bring that to people?
A: A great meal doesn't have to be a high-end steak or seafood item, although they are delicious and an absolute treat. A great meal to me can be simple, humble, etc. A lot of my cooking these days is comfort food, maybe because it is December. If I was asked this question in May, I might have had a different answer. Currently, I think slow-roasted and braised items make for a perfect meal. I love a buttery whipped potato or wild rice dish to go with it. A hearty salad that can be simply dressed with good olive oil and vinegar.
If I am dining out, I tend to look for something I wouldn't normally make for myself at home. If we are traveling, we search for a perfect restaurant to experience a cuisine we may not have available in the FM Community. We seem to always be drawn to Asian, Caribbean, Mexican or Pacific Rim. Lately, I'm on a quest for authentic German or Austrian cuisine.
Q: What would you say drives you as a chef?
A: I love thinking of food as art. Balance of flavors, preparation, fresh quality ingredients, spices and herbs—when it all comes together, a chef can create something amazing. I love the fact that there is always more to learn...this is an industry that truly is always evolving and changing, trends come and go and then come back again. I also love the art of plating,the visual excitement one experiences when a beautiful plate is presented to them (yes, I am a picture taker of beautiful food when dining in a restaurant).
BONUS Q: Sara recently started her journey as a Personal Chef for families in the community. Tell us about that venture.
A: After owning and operating restaurants and catering for 20-plus years and being a mom of four kids, I know how crazy life gets for busy families. My goal with this business is to simply provide a few good, easy-to-heat meals to a small group of clients each week. I work with each client to discuss dietary needs, likes/dislikes and how my service can make their life easier through nourishing good food.
For more information, you can email Sara at email@example.com or call 701-371-5740
We know at Fargo Monthly that raising a family is no easy task. That's why we keep our eyes peeled for useful information and resources to help you in your day to day.
Make the most out of your family's chilly winter days with the abundance of Frostival activities throughout January and February! There are a TON of family-fun events to choose from. Check out the full schedule on page 82!
It's easy to feel trapped inside by the cold, but did you know there are great resources to find local activities and events for the family (yes, even in the winter)? Check out the Facebook page, Kids and Family Activities (Fargo/Moorhead), for inspiration for your family outings!
Grab your sled and head to the hills with your family. Check out these sledding spots around town!
• Mickelson Sledding Hill, 901 Oak St N, Fargo, Monday-Friday 4-8 pm, Saturday & Sundays noon-8 pm
• Edgewood Chalet, 9 Golf Course Rd, Fargo, Monday-Friday 4-8 pm, Saturday & Sundays noon-8 pm
• Maplewood Park, 1504 17th Ave E, West Fargo, Monday-Friday 8 amdusk, Saturday & Sunday 9 am-dusk
• Rendezvous Park, 1055 32nd Ave W, West Fargo, Monday-Friday 8 amdusk, Saturday & Sunday 9 am-dusk
• Rivers Bend Park, 2548 1st St E, West Fargo, Monday-Friday 8 amdusk, Saturday & Sunday 9 am-dusk
• Horn Park, 3001 Rivershore Dr S, Moorhead, daily 10 am-10 pm
• Riverfront Park, 600 1 Ave N, Moorhead, daily 10 am-10 pm
• Riverview Estates Park, 3801 5th St S, daily 10 am-10 pm
A Look Inside
Fargo Air Museum
The Fargo Air Museum is where history and handson fun merge. Education is one of the most important parts of their mission, displayed through educational day camps for kids ages 6-18. But that's not it: between the two hangars, find aircraft displays ranging from a Wright Brothers' flyer to the MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft. In the Main Hangar, you can find yourself lost in a book at one of the midwest's largest aviation libraries or creating your own mini airfield! In Hangar 2, the Beck-Odegaard Wing, race your own airplane with the paper airplane-making station. There's always something new to learn and fun to be had at the Fargo Air Museum—check it out!
The Fargo Air Museum offers youth educational day camps almost every Saturday. Kids have hands-on experience building rockets, weather modules, robotics and more! Some camps have the unique opportunity to create an exhibit that will be put on display. Quarterly history nights are hosted, featuring a guest speaker with strong ties to aviation. Keep an eye out on Facebook at @fargo.airmuseumfor events for more activities throughout the year like Santa and Easter Bunny Fly-In's, car shows, hangar dances and more!By Geneva Nodland by Geneva Nodland
In 2001, the Fargo Air Museum opened with one hangar, primarily Warbirdfocused. In the years that followed, the types of aircraft grew more diverse with experimental and agricultural added to the collection. In early 2015, the museum expanded to include the Beck-Odegaard wing that is home to the restoration area and youth camp classrooms!
There is nothing like seeing the amazement in a child's eyes the first time they see a large aircraft up-close. The museum has many activities for every age range, from child to adult. The Fargo Air Museum is truly a hands-on museum with airplanes to climb inside, kids' play area, an airplane-making station, drones, flight simulators and more. The Fargo Air Museum is a gem in North Fargo that offers a place of community!Photo
Adults (12+): $12 Military/Veteran: $10 Student/Senior (65+): $10 Child (5-11): $8 Child (4 and under): FREE Museum Members: FREE Quarterly History Nights, After Hours (usually 6:30-8:30pm), Geared towards adults but many kids have attended and found the stories fascinating!
Museum members enjoy half-hour early admittance to the museum
Between the two hangars, there are many amenities. In the Main Hangar you can find four flight simulator bays with two sets of controls, a yoke and a side stick with the option of virtual reality. Choose from over 30 different aircraft and fly anywhere in the world with real-time weather and air traffic. Also in the Main Hangar, you can experience flying your own mini drone! The drone cage features obstacles both high and low to soar through. Not all airplanes are off-limits! Take a seat behind the controls of a real Polliwagen airplane and Huey Helicopter! And head home with a customized, authentic dog tag from the WWII-era dog tag machine. Check out
Wed every month, 10am-12pm, complimentary coffee and donuts for veterans!
You can spend your next birthday at the Fargo Air Museum! Cupcakes, pizza and the drone experience are all included for you, family and friends. In fact, the Main Hangar can be rented out for any party or graduation. To learn more about rentals or check on availability, please contact Isabella Goehring by calling 701356-5631 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fargo Air Museum 1609 19th Ave N Fargo, ND 58102 701-293-8043 fargoairmuseum.org facebook: @fargo.airmuseum Instagram: @fargoairmuseum
Tuesday-Saturday: 10am-5pm Sunday: 10am-1pm
Business is always booming in our region. Here are just a few of the happening that you should know about.
Coming Soon to South Fargo
The BLOC building proposal comes in at a staggering $30 million, as it aims to replace the dated strip mall on the 1600 block of South University Drive. The proposed five-story building includes a mix of apartments and commercial space, with construction planned to begin this year.
The Angel Match Program North Dakota recently unveiled $13.6 million program that will provide matching investments to "early-stage" businesses. Through the Angel Match Program, investments made by private entities into eligible businesses are eligible to be matched, up to a maximum of $250,000!
Business is Blooming Holland's Landscaping and Garden Center will be moving into the former Taco Shop building on the 400 block of South University Drive with a tentative launch this spring!
Coming to West Acres mall!
Two new businesses are both in the works to launch at West Acres Shopping Center. Windsor Fashions, a women's event and special occasion store, is expected to open in early 2023. Crafty Taps, a self-pour beer and wine business, is in earlier stages and expected to open later in the year.
Rising Dawn Ceramics
Our Desert Sun Mug by Kelsey of Rising Dawn Ceramics has been the most used mug in our cabinets ever. We met Kelsey at our 2021 Unglued Craft Fest where she completely sold out of her beautiful, functional ceramics and I have been a mega fan ever since. Read on to find out about how this local art teacher crafted up her ceramics business and what’s essential in making the best mug.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I spent my younger years in southern MN and I came to Fargo to attend MSUM. I decided to stick around because the community here felt like nothing I had experienced anywhere else. I've been in Fargo for nine years now!
I’m an art teacher at Davies High School in Fargo. Between teaching, pottery and hanging out with my husband and daughter, I’m never bored!
Describe what type of products you make under Rising Dawn.
I make simple and functional products. I like to use white glaze and pair it with raw clay. Everything I make is designed to be durable, functional and to be used on a daily basis, not just on special occasions.
Tell us how you got started with a handmade business.
and it just clicked. It felt like it was the right time to jump in and to try making that into a business. As it turns out that was an interesting year, but it all worked out!
You've also taught art—how has this influenced your business?
I'm constantly reminded that no matter what experience level you are at, you never stop learning. I have students come to me with questions about materials or processes and if I don’t know the answer we figure it out together. This directly leaks into the constant learning and adapting that I do within my business.
Where do you get your inspiration for what you create?By Ashley Morken, Unglued Photos Provided By Ashley Morken
During January of 2020, I was throwing on the wheel making some mugs for myself
A lot of inspiration comes directly from my daily life. When I'm in the kitchen and I think to myself about how I wish I had a nice way to store my salt on my counter, I realize I can’t be the only one that feels this way, so I make that product!
What is your personal favorite item you've crafted so far?
I’m currently very excited about a clever way that I figured out how to make napkin rings!
We are obsessed with your mugs and my daily coffee mug is one of yours. What makes the perfect coffee mug?
In my opinion, it has to have a comfortable handle! I try to keep to a three finger rule for the size and grip of my handles. If a mug isn't comfortable to hold, I don't think it will be chosen from the cupboard.
What is something people might find surprising about working with ceramics?
There is so much failure. This is probably the biggest challenge for my students and new learners. You have to accept that things will break and that it’s okay. You also have to develop a unique kind of resilience with pottery. Just keep trying and practicing!
What is one craft you haven't really dabbled in yet that you want to try some day?
Printmaking! It’s a class I didn't have time for in college and I know there are some cool relationships between printmaking and ceramics that I would love to try someday.
What is something you've enjoyed the most about doing this handcrafted business?
I love meeting customers at markets, participating in community events and seeing people light up when they look through my mugs to find the one that works for them.
What is the most challenging thing?
Burnout is real. Especially since I teach full time. I have had to learn that it’s okay to say no to orders and to take time off. I never want this art form to feel like a burden!
What is a word that best describes you? Resolute.
What advice would you have given yourself five years ago?
I would tell her that she is capable and worthy. Her art matters and people should see it. I definitely did not believe it at that time.
Where can people find your work?
You can find my work on my website! I also participate in the Red River Market in the summer as well as some of the Unglued Craft Fest events.
Instagram: @risingdawnceramics Website: risingdawnceramics.com
Get Thrifty Out with the old, in with the new! As we enter the new year, you might be looking to declutter or redesign! Shop sustainably & give back at the same time by visiting our local thrift stores! Head to page 100 for a list of local thrift stores & learn what local organizations they give back to!
It's Never Too Early
While it might seem unrealistic to start dreaming of summer days on the water, we have to do something to survive the winter! Stop by the FARGODOME for the Boat & Marine Products Show on January 27-29. Check out what could be your next ride for the waves at North Dakota’s largest boat show!
Put a Ring on it!
With the influx of engagement announcements over the holidays, comes plenty of planning for the soon-to-be newlyweds. Get started at The Wedding Show 2023 with guidance from the area's experts and more. Tickets are available at weddingshowfargo. com!
Maybe you're looking to burn some cash or do some retail therapy. Either way, you're in the right spot to find new places to shop and news on what's going on in our local retail world. Know of a shop opening up or one we missed? Let us know
@FargoMonthly on Facebook and Twitter!
Buying secondhand comes with a plethora of benefits, from the sustainability of reusing to the enjoyment of finding unique items, and even the excitement of being a part of something that already has a wealth of history. But, there’s another positive note to thrift shopping: many secondhand stores work with local organizations to support the community. So, whether you’re donating after your spring clean or shopping for something new to you, you can support your community in different ways! Let’s check out what our local thrift stores do and learn what causes you can support!
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Thrift Stores
here are eight locations of the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Thrift Stores around the state of North Dakota, each location supporting the mission of the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch program. The program’s mission is “to help at-risk children and their families succeed in the name of Christ.” What started on a small ranch near Mapleton, ND in 1952 transformed into one of the largest social service agencies in North Dakota—with big support being from their thrift stores! When you shop or donate at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Thrift Stores, you are helping to give children in our communities the tools to succeed. Learn more about the organization on its website!
1601 32nd Ave S, Fargo, ND (701) 297-4166
289 51st Ave S, Fargo, ND (701) 356-4848
2101 N University Dr, Fargo, ND (701) 356-4061
1001 4th Ave N, Fargo, ND (701) 280-2371
619 13th Ave E, West Fargo, ND (701) 356-5152
1500 Center Ave W, Dilworth, MN (218) 233-1266
Facebook: Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Thrift Store Instagram: @dbgr52
Learn what your favorite thrift stores are doing to give back!
hile Savers® is an international company with locations in the U.S., Canada and Australia, their locations partner with local nonprofit organizations, and our local Savers® is no different. The local FM store partners with the YWCA Cass Clay, the “largest emergency shelter for women and children escaping domestic violence, homelessness, and other crisis situations in North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota.” When you donate your items, the store takes them on behalf of the nonprofit, then they pay the nonprofit for the items, which in turn helps to fund the programs that serve the community.
1623 38th St SW, Fargo, ND (701) 277-1447 Facebook: @SaversFargo Instagram: @savers_thrift
Another bonus that comes with shopping at Savers® is that you can shop and do it in an environmentally conscious way. The store prides itself on allowing its shoppers and its customers to take part in reusing and recycling items in our community! Plus, every time you donate to Savers®, you get a 20% coupon to use on your purchase—who doesn’t want that?
New Life Center Thrift Store
ew Life Center, the overarching organization for the New Life Center Thrift Store, offers programming to help men in the community “move from homeless and hurting to whole and healthy.” The New Life Center Thrift Store supports and aids that mission. All profits from the thrift store go back into the program and services that the center provides. Those participating in the New Life Center program are provided with work opportunities to gain job experiences and skills. When you shop at the thrift store, you’re supporting things like the New Life Center emergency shelter, daily free community meals and a variety of programs offered. Learn more about those programs and about the center on their website fargonlc.org
221 19th St N, Fargo, ND (701) 235-4453 Facebook: @newlifethriftnd Instagram: @newlifecenterthrift
Did you know? You can drop off donation items all across the community at any of their donation bins. And, anyone who wants to help support the New Life Center can participate in the Adopt-a-Bin program. Volunteers then spend about one hour a week collecting and bringing the bins’ donations to take to the store. See how you can get involved at fargonlc.org/clothing-bins!
St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store The Arc Attic Treasures
t. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) Thrift Store in Fargo operates as the local organization, part of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. SVdP is a Catholic lay organization with a goal to “lead men and women to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering…” Through the work of its members, called Vincentians, they can work to meet their mission of “ending poverty through systemic change” and bringing individuals closer to god. By shopping at the SVdP thrift store, you can directly support the efforts of this organization. Learn more information about the history of SVdP and more at svdpfargo.org.
2796 5th Ave S Suite
B, Fargo, ND (701) 364-9404
he Arc provides positive and engaging opportunities to individuals in the community with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The Arc Attic Treasures thrift stores fund the many programs the Arc offers, like their Life Academy which provides leadership skills and tools, the Scholarship Program which offers learning and training beyond high school, the YES! I AM CREATIVE art classes and much more. The stores also offer a Retail Internship to work on training to meet their goals for those with I/DD and who are age 16 and older. When you shop at The Arc Attic Treasures, you support the programs that meet The Arc of Cass Clay’s mission of “providing advocacy, education and social opportunities for people with I/DD in our community!” Learn more about the program, the store and how you get involved on their website, arccassnd.org
255 N University Dr, Fargo, ND (701) 232-6641
3201 43rd St S, Fargo, ND (701) 364-9762
The Arc Attic Treasures
Goodwill Retail Store
he Goodwill Retail Store is part of Easter Seals Goodwill ND, an organization with a rich history, born of two separate organizations that came together to do more to serve more communities. In 1947, The North Dakota Chapter of the National Society for Crippled Children and Adults (changed to North Dakota Easter Seals in 1950, and now the over-branching organization is called Easterseals, Inc.) was founded in Jamestown, ND to offer services to children and adults with disabilities. In 1996, they merged with Goodwill Industries (an organization dedicated to serving people with “a range of barriers to employment including a lack of education, welfare dependency, a
St. Francis Thrift Store
t. Francis Thrift Store and Outreach directly support members of our community who are in need of assistance for anything from heating their homes and keeping their lights on to paying for their medications or keeping clothes on their families backs. According to a board member, since 2009, St. Francis Thrift Store has donated over one million dollars to meet the needs of people in the community. They are able to find these people who need help by receiving referrals from almost everywhere in the community, including The Salvation Army, the Women’s Care Center, the YWCA and all of the local churches (not just the catholic churches). Although the store used to be part of St. Vincent de Paul, they are an entirely different entity now in order to reach more in the community. They work with
criminal record or advanced age”) to become Easterseals Goodwill ND, Inc. It’s important to know the history of the organization to understand who and how its retail stores help support its mission. When you donate to their stores, you give items with life left in them a chance to be bought at a lower price for individuals in the community, and as you shop at Goodwill, you support a large variety of programs that help a wide range of people in the community that may have a barrier affecting their quality of life. Some examples of programs and services Goodwill supports are Residential and Independent Habilitation Services, Aging Services, Day Support Services and so much more. Learn more at esgwnd.org!
4325 13th Ave. S. Suite 1, Fargo, ND (701) 373-8393
1525 32nd Ave. S., Fargo, ND (701) 566-8511
all of these organizations to find the recipients of their funding, which all come from their thrift stores. When they receive donations for the store, they sort the items three different ways: they give clothing and household items away if any of their referrals need them, they stock their inventory at the store to sell and bring in financial donations and they also take anything that is unsellable or not needed, pack it into a semi-truck and ship that overseas to developing nations to be used where it can. Truly nothing goes to waste with their process. When you shop or donate to St. Francis Thrift Store you are directly helping a family keep their heat on this winter, make sure they have a dining room table to eat on and so much more!
1425 1st Ave S, Fargo, ND (701) 235-5944
To thank the community for the many years of support at their thrift store, St Francis Thrift Store will have an entire store-wide sale of 25% off for the entire month of January, and potentially during the month of February as well. Keep an eye out on their Facebook for details!
The Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity ReStore
s part of the local Habitat for Humanity organization, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore sells highquality, reused home goods, appliances and building materials.
The parent organization, Habitat for Humanity, is an international organization that works to get people into affordable and safe homes. They also are active with advocacy efforts that “focus on policy reform to remove systemic barriers preventing low-income and historically underserved families from accessing adequate, affordable shelter.” The area organization, Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity (LAHFH), works locally to bring that mission to life right in our community. When you shop at the ReStore, you are aiding in that mission to bring accessible and safe housing to our local community. Find anything from cabinets to plumbing fixtures to tools for your next DIY project! LAHFH has also served communities internationally by building and providing housing. Learn more about the local organization and the larger Habitat for Humanity organization at lakeagassizhabitat.org
210 11th Street N, Moorhead MN 218-284-5253
If you’re finishing up a building project, you can take part in the LAHFH Deconstruction Program. As part of this program, all materials will be removed from your site by LAHFH workers and quickly and carefully taken to the ReStore. You will save on labor and disposal fees and all materials that are salvaged serve as tax-deductible donations! Proceeds at the store will directly support Habitat homes built in the Cass Clay counties.
Jazzy & Mumbos Thrift Store
he first of its kind in the FM area, Jazzy & Mumbos Thrift Store has a similar inventory to the other thrift stores, but an entirely different mission—helping the area’s furry friends. This is a 100% volunteer-run, nonprofit thrift store that supports pet owners who are in need of assistance with their animals. They help with a percentage of the billing for unexpected expenses for veterinary care as well as food, shelter and, in some cases, assisting animals in need of finding a new home. Your donations to the store that will be sold will directly fund these expenses for local pet owners who need it, as will the profits from your shopping at the store. Learn more about the nonprofit store and what pets they are currently supporting at jazzynmumbosthriftstore.weebly.com
3214 US-10 Moorhead, MN (218) 477-1966
Facebook: @Jazzy & Mumbos Animal Aid Thrift Store
Since the store is fully volunteerrun, they are always in need of volunteers. You will get 50% off $10.00 or more as a full-time volunteer and 35% off $10.00 or more as a part-time volunteer. If you volunteer, you can bring your children and pets, as long as you watch and clean up after them!
When people embark on a new entrepreneurial adventure, no two paths are the same. Each trailblazer goes at their own pace with different circumstances and obstacles to overcome. We talked to a variety of up-and-coming entrepreneurs, each with their own unique story to tell.
Thomas Rasmussen started his first business doing things like custom woodworking, painting/staining and landscaping for people in his area when he was 16 years old. During college, Rasmussen spent his first summer helping build a house by working on the siding, grading, electrical work and more. Following that summer, Rasmussen began entering internships involving field inspections for public utilities as a Civil Engineer Intern. In his sophomore year of college, he began repairing turntables for fun.
He’s always loved music, and he continues to buy and sell vinyl records, with over 700 in his collection.
Shortly after launching Rasmussen Turntable Repair, he found an audience for the repair service, as he opened it to the public during his junior year of college. Now, he’s conducted turntable repair services for people in Winnipeg, Maine, Florida, The Philippines and more. He shared with us some of the tips he’s learned in launching a small business, what advice his mentors have given him and more.
“I LEARNED THAT ASKING QUESTIONS TO UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW IS THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO. THERE ARE MANY TIMES WHEN I HAVE ASKED A SMALL QUESTION THAT TURNED INTO A LIFE LESSON, BUSINESS CONNECTION, LIFELONG FRIEND OR PIECE OF INFORMATION TO HELP YOU AT SOME POINT DOWN THE LINE. I ALSO LEARNED THAT ONE OF THE BEST THINGS YOU CAN DO IN LIFE IS TO NEVER STOP LEARNING.”
OWNER OF RASMUSSEN TURNTABLE
KEEP A LIST OF WISE WORDS YOU’VE BEEN TOLD OVER THE YEARS AND ADD TO IT.
One of the earliest life lessons I had instilled in me was from my parents and it was to "never be afraid to ask questions, the worst you can be told is 'no'." This has always left me free to wonder about my world and how things I understand operate and to further understand how things work. More often than not, people are willing to answer your questions and offer up as much information as they know.
EVERY DECISION YOU MAKE HAS A CONSEQUENCE.
It is up to you to decide whether it will be good or bad based on your actions. I was often told this before making a decision as a kid and I find myself thinking of it more and more often. Every decision I make, whether big or small, will have some sort of outcome. It’s up to me to determine the best decision to make based on the most likely outcome. I have used this countless times to analyze and think further into situations and further calculate my actions to get the outcome I want.
NEVER BE AFRAID TO STRUGGLE.
When faced with a situation that I am struggling with, I know that I could immediately ask for advice from others or work to find a solution. I find struggling to be a good thing, as it builds character and has made me think harder to get to solutions. I always relate it to homework—you can teach someone a lesson but it won't be ingrained into their mind until they have the opportunity to practice the skill and solve the problem themselves. If they are given an answer immediately, they have no need to learn the lesson being taught.
WHAT YOU PERCEIVE IS YOUR REALITY.
That may not sound like much but it becomes a larger idea when you apply it to everyone. We see people different from one another. A good example of this is a crowd witnessing the same event, if asked to describe it, every person in the crowd would describe it differently in their own words, even upon seeing the exact same thing. This brought me a great understanding that nothing is the same from one person to the next through how they view and respond to things. I learned that not everything you see is the way you or others think it truly is.
YOU CAN'T FORCE A RELATIONSHIP.
This piece of advice was shared with me by an older friend in regard to creating and strengthening relationships with others. You need to find a common hobby or interest and build a relationship around it for a stronger bond. I have taken that advice to heart and always do my best to find common ground between people and build relationships around shared interests and ideas. It has brought me many connections over the years.
DID YOU KNOW?
NBC News once reached out to Rasmussen to ask about turntables and to help write a consumer guide for them. “I never dreamed that I would ever open for repair to the public, let alone have a writer from a national news source ask for my input and expertise,” Rasmussen said.
A Q&A WITH THOMAS RASMUSSEN
DID YOU KNOW?
Rasmussen has completed over 200 turntable repairs in the span of a few years, with those repairs being done on 100+ different models!
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE MOST IMPACTFUL STRUGGLES YOU HAD TO OVERCOME?
One of the biggest challenges I have encountered was overcoming the fear of what I didn’t know. When I first started, I repaired only one model type. When I opened Rasmussen Turntable Repair to the public, I started to get to know different models and brands. I was afraid, as it was out of my comfort zone for knowledge the engineering was different and the operation was controlled in a different manner. I researched to slowly understand different models and feel more comfortable working on them than I did in the early days.
Another struggle to overcome was the monetary cost of startup and the risk involved when working on higher-end turntables for customers. I would reinvest that money into more tools that I needed to do a wider variety of repairs. I started to take on turntables worth more as well. I knew that if I damaged a customer's turntable, I would be out the cost for repair or replacement of their turntable. Working on $300 turntables isn't terrible, but when you have $150 of profit so far and you're working on a $1000 turntable, it scares you a bit, as I knew the money would be coming from other places in the event of accidental damage. The good news is I have never damaged a customer's turntable so that initial fear never came true.
The last large struggle I had was teaching myself most of what I know. There were times when schematics were unclear or parts weren't labeled and I would have to take the best guess based on my gut and knowledge after spending hours researching. There were many times early on when I was fearful that I didn't have enough knowledge to do a certain repair and I would spend time researching as much as I could. Another hard challenge was teaching myself how to read schematics, troubleshoot small electronics, read various electronic specs and, overall, teach an entire area of knowledge surrounding something I ultimately knew nothing about when I first started.
HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT OVERCOMING THOSE CHALLENGES?
I did endless research online. A lot of it was learned through online courses, forums, videos, as well as old electronic books posted free online. Taking mechanical engineering courses for my full-time civil engineering job did help with the mechanical understanding of turntables.
DID YOU KNOW?
Rasmussen has over 700 vinyl records in his personal collection!
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS REGARDING RASMUSSEN TURNTABLE REPAIR?
My overall biggest accomplishment is to be able to fulfill my dream of wanting to put music out in the world. I always dreamed of being a rock star and playing in a band, but I guess I was gifted by being able to put music back out into the world, in a whole different way than I would have ever imagined.
Another one of my biggest accomplishments is that I hear from people all across the globe. I don't ship turntables, in or out, but have had customers call from all over the United States. It was fun for me as I started getting local calls in the same metro area, then calls from metro areas an hour or two away started to occur, then from Wisconsin and Iowa. Slowly they started to pour in from Montana, Winnipeg, Maine, California, Oregon, Florida, Arkansas and recently the Philippines. It has been exciting and rewarding to see the growth of my business name spread.
Lastly, another accomplishment in my eyes was larger companies starting to take note of me. Sumiko Audio moved its headquarters from California to Maple Grove, Minnesota recently and they wanted to hire me full-time as a repair tech. Rega started to hear of me and said that they would make me their local recommendation for any of their products needing repairs that are outside of their warranty period.
WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST MENTORS TO WHOM YOU CAN ATTRIBUTE SOME OF YOUR SUCCESSES?
Some of my biggest mentors are both of my parents, Andey and Kim Rasmussen. They give me endless support, push me to always be curious and have raised me to interact in the world I live in as much as I am able. My parents gave me the life skills I needed to be independent and push through hard times. I can't thank
them enough for all that they have given up to get me to where I am and for constantly picking my brain and keeping me curious and appreciative of my world.
My wife, Jamie Rasmussen, is another mentor that gives me constant support and is extremely understanding of the sacrifices of time it takes. My wife has always offered endless support and continues to do so. She has been the most patient woman there is between all the travel, money and time I have had to put into this. I am most grateful for her patience with the time as there are many hours a week when I will be unable to do things together due to repairs needing to be done.
Other mentors include Cheri and Keith Meyer, as they’ve always given me opportunities to be creative and promoted the idea of working for myself. Cheri and Keith have supported and believed in me through the years and have been a very supportive role model couple. Lastly, my close friends and past roommates have always shown support and patience with me, the audio gear and the lack of space throughout the years working on them.
Rasmussen’s side hustle took off more than he was ever expecting. While he expected to fix a turntable or two within the first year of business, he wouldn’t have ever guessed that he would have completed over 200 unique repairs in the span of a few years. While Rasmussen has made significant strides in both progress and knowledge in the music and repair industries, it’s evident that he’s willing to go the extra mile to better himself and his expertise.
As Rasmussen looked to expand his digital presence, he created a website by himself with online tools. Furthermore, he recently added an online Hi-Fi audio gear shop to his website. No matter where Rasmussen takes his business, it’s evident that he’s willing to learn whatever it takes to succeed.