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Chess Pieces


from the publisher


It is our honor once again to bring you LX Mankato, an artistic, one-of-a-kind, coffee table magazine. This is an exciting issue as we feature exquisite jewelry, runway trends for men and women and stories that will intrigue you and pull at your heart strings.

In this issue, we are thrilled to introduce our new distinctive jewelry line, Belle Étoile! On a national level, rock star Sting, and Trudie Styler share a bit of their Tuscan style summer home as they showcase two new wines to enjoy. Iconic photographer, Fadil Berisha, graces this issue’s pages with a rare peek behind the lens. Ellie Kay’s story, “Becoming a Giving Tree,” gives heartfelt charity and donation advice. It is inspired by the book, The Giving Tree, which celebrates its 40th birthday this year. On a community level, we feature the BackPack for Food Program, designed to help end local hunger for elementary students. We are also pleased to highlight the Mankato Citym Art Walking Sculpture Tour that features a variety of beautiful art. Be sure to visit us at Exclusively Diamonds. We enjoy hearing your stories and sharing in your special memories. We promise to make your experience at Exclusively Diamonds memorable and rewarding. We will continue to strive for cutting edge fashion in our jewelry while maintaining the high quality you have been accustomed to receiving. Above all, you are very important to us and we treasure your friendship and loyalty. Blessings, Sarah B. Person






Paulsen Architects IT’S IN THE DETAILS

Excellence in its earliest Greek meaning was tied to the superior fulfillment of purpose or function. Each environment designed by Paulsen Architects is a combination of the superior fulfillment of aesthetics, usability and environmental responsibility—all focused on positioning our clients for success.

BOLDNESS As the region’s most recognized and award-winning architectural firm, Paulsen Architects has been transforming the face of Southern Minnesota with excellence in design, innovation and customer service. We are committed to every building and environment’s success down to the smallest of details. The result is an extraordinary experience that exceeds expectations and truly bold designs that inspire.






Libations 15 Champagne: Fine Anytime

43 Sting’s ‘Message in a Bottle’

Cuisine 57

Holiday Favorites from a Personal Chef

Fashion 14 Belle Ĕtoile: Shine Like the Star You Are

27 The Long and Short of it: Women’s Fall 2011 47 The long and short of it: Men’s Fall 2011

Belle Ĕtoile: “Shine Like the Star You Are” Photography

19 Behind the Lens with Fadil Berisha


Sting’s ‘Message in a Bottle’


Behind the Lens with Fadil Berisha

Wealth 39 Holiday Giving the Smart Way

Community 61 Supporting Local Arts 63 Ending Hunger Locally... One Child at a Time

on the cover

Publisher sarah person Associate Publisher Briana Worke Editor Jon Roberts Art Director Chelsie Roberts Iconic photographer Fadil Berisha leads the photography industry with his imaginative fashion spreads, striking celebrity profiles and top-tier advertising campaigns. As the official photographer for The Miss Universe Organization, he captures Miss USA, our cover girl Alyssa Campanella, in an exquisite pose. “My work is about beautiful feelings inside a person. I feel when I am shooting, I’m actually inside pulling all of these great emotions out,” says Fadil.

Graphic Designer Julie Vaughan Graphic Designer miguel salgado

Lx: a coffeetable magazine Lx® magazine is published by Luxury Avenue, LLC, 500 N. Michigan Avenue, Ste. 300, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Lx® accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts and or photographs and assumes no liability for products or services advertised herein. Lx® reserves the right to edit, rewrite, refuse or reuse material, is not responsible for errors or omissions and may feature the same content on, as well as other mediums for any and all purposes. Copyright © 2011 Luxury Avenue, LLC. All rights reserved. The entire contents of Lx® are protected by copyright © and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the publisher. Reproduction in whole or in part or storage in any data retrieval system or any transmission by any means therefrom without prior written permission is prohibited. Lx® and Lx Magazine are trademarks™ of Luxury Avenue, LLC.




By Julie Vaughan A second-generation master jeweler with more than 30 years of experience, Cher Tae saw a need for a jewelry line capable of enhancing a woman’s ability to express her inner beauty. With that in mind, she launched the Belle Etoile (Bell Uh-twa) brand of uniquely timeless sterling silver jewelry in 2004. French for “beautiful star”, the Belle Etoile name traces back to the grandfather of the company’s vice president of Marketing, Carolyn Thamkul. A skilled stonecutter, whose business name translates into English as “having light”; Thamkul’s grandfather influenced his family’s dedication to quality craftsmanship by teaching his children and grandchildren to be


of magnificence in private as well as in public. Thamkul says; “Belle Etoile is intended to make people think differently about what jewelry can be. We wanted to make people look at a piece, and then look at it again, and then again and again, finding something new to appreciate each time.” And it works. The JCK Jeweler’s Choice Awards just named Belle Etoile’s “Anastacia” the best bracelet design in its price category for 2011. A French cuff with a style worthy of European royalty, “Anastacia’s” ultra-feminine appearance inspires conversations with its air of luxurious intensity. Similarly, Belle Etoile’s handpainted, basket woven “Cestina”, was named a finalist in the competition. Delicately detailed, “Cestina’s” intricately woven pattern vividly reflects the attention to detail afforded every Belle Etoile piece.




they could possibly be.

Adding a European ambiance, while tying together generations of jewelry craftsmanship and heritage, Tae’s choice to call the company Belle Etoile encompassed the perfect marriage of quality and design. As such, Tae strives to ensure each Belle Étoile piece is as radiant as the brightest stars in the heavens. Tae observes; “The mindset of fine jewelry and fashion jewelry are blending. Additionally, women are now purchasing fine pieces for themselves. They want something distinctive and high quality — yet attainable — to wear to a cocktail party or enhance an everyday outfit.” Additionally, with Belle Etoile, Tae designs the pieces to reflect the inner beauty of the wearer — to make a personal statement. To accomplish this, she infuses her work with subtleties only the wearer can appreciate. In much the same way as people are beautiful from the inside out, Tae’s Belle Etoile collections give the wearer a feeling

Within its collections, each hand-painted Belle Etoile item is an evocative fusion of vintage and modern styling. In the Italian Enamel collection for example, Belle Etoile’s meticulous contemporary design ethic is married to the brilliantly vibrant colors of the centuries old Italian Enamel process to create selections of unparalleled beauty. The labor-intensive cold Italian enamel procedure ensures saturated, consistent and resilient color. This process, when applied with Tae’s inspired design sense produces timelessly beautiful, openly provocative pieces. The classic sensibilities of Belle Etoile’s Royale collection succinctly parallel the little black dress every sophisticated woman has in her wardrobe. Graced with an exquisite array of silver swirls and vines, and set with enticing semiprecious stones, the Royale collection perfectly accessorizes everything from causal to formal attire. Highlighting a woman’s particular flair in much the same fashion as she personalizes her take on the little black dress; the Belle Etoile Royale collection is a singularly individual expression. The

Beauty Cestina

Bound collection’s single pearl, delicately contained within a silver cage, captures the elegance inherent to simplicity. As the softly iridescent glow of the pearl’s color peeks through the silver setting, it quietly radiates understated beauty. Offered with a pearl in classic white, gray, peacock green, or merlot burgundy, Belle Etoile’s distinctive attention to the singularity of the wearer is readily evident.

set in crescents of white cubic zirconium, then placed together. The genius of this piece is in the way three elements come together to form a single uniquely beautiful element.” Which also perfectly sums up the way Tae’s unique designs engender personal expression in a meaningful and wearable art collection. Whether you own the entire Belle Etoile collection, or a few pieces, it is always her goal to make you feel like the shining star.

Of the Element collection, Thamkul enthuses; “We have three different types of stones cut and

“ We wanted to push the boundaries of design. We wanted to make people look at a piece and then look at it again, then again and again. It is to always make people think differently, to think about what jewelry can be.”

-Carolyn Thamkul



Champagne: Fine Anytime


by William Anderson

he “Devil’s Wine,” as the monks who created it dubbed the volatile spirit, has become the staple of our celebrations, an object of affection and obsession for rappers, crucial for the christening of ships, a bartender’s secret weapon in scores of dazzling cocktails and has secured its place in our culture as the highlight of high society. In the world of spirits, champagne is a relative newcomer with a short history, but this effervescent elixir has had little trouble garnering popularity and status amongst vinophiles and cocktail connoisseurs worldwide. The Champagne region of France has been producing grapes and exquisite wines since the Romans first planted vineyards there in the fifth century, but it wasn’t until Benedictine monks living there accidentally created le vin du diable by introducing a small amount of sugar to the wine before corking. When bottles began exploding in their wine cellars, the monks began wearing heavy iron masks before checking on their fermentations to avoid injuries from exploding bottles. The legendary monk Dom Perignon is often credited with the discovery of champagne, but documentation of champagne and the fermenting practices it requires predate Monsieur Perignon by several decades. He did, however, pioneer a practice still in use today: a wire net used to secure the cork to the bottle to prevent the pressure from prematurely popping the top. His dedication to this spirit and pioneering methods helped foster its popularity and paved the way for sparkling winemakers around the world. In his honor, French winemaker Moët et Chandon created a champagne as legendary as the monk, and it has become one of the most prestigious and sought after champagnes in the world.



“Dom is popular mostly because of its rarity – the fact that it’s hard to get,” explains Beau Vondra, representative for a large food and spirits retailer. “They limit the amount that they make, and as result, a lot of high-end champagnes will only produce 500 to 900 cases per year. Supply and demand drives the price up.” The demand for luxury champagnes has grown exponentially in recent years. Vondra’s store has seen increased demand for Dom Perignon and Cristal, the vin de choix of rappers, movie stars, and celebrities. While some may balk at the price tag, Vonda would remind them that with it comes a rarity, an age, and a mastering of the art of champagne-making that is rivaled by none. Still, he notes that high end champagnes owe much to pop-culture for their popularity.

“It’s over-sexualized by movies and rap music,” he explains. “Nobody outside of the wine world knew about Cristal until people started rapping about it.” For consumers who might be in the market for something a bit more modestly priced, the champagne industry offers a wide variety of options from various vineyards, and a seemingly endless range of options based on taste and price. The Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia explains the range of sweet to dry champagnes: Doux is the sweetest of all champagnes with over 50 grams of sugar per liter, and scaling towards the dryer, less-sweetened end are demi-sec, sec, extra dry, brut (the most popular type of champagne with less than 15 grams of sugar per liter), extra brut, and brut natural (with less than 3 grams of sugar per liter). Tom Slattery, the general manager of a wine and spirits store, says that he gets asked questions about champagnes and sparkling wines more often than most products. “It’s one of the most misconceived products on the market, when really it’s just wine with a bubble,” Slattery explains. “The regionality of champagne is more important than the various styles. It is one of the most misunderstood products on the market, probably because of the generic use of the term.” Most American consumers refer to all sparkling wines as champagne, when in fact it is not true. Champagne, by law, is a term that can only be applied to wines produced in the Champagne region of France. Apart from serious vinophiles, though, the term is commonly accepted and understood. America, however, is certainly becoming a more prominent player in the sparkling wine industry, as John Thuringer, a fine wine specialist for Republic National Distributing Company explains. “What really put American sparkling wine on the map was Schramsberg,” he notes. “Nixon brought it on his trip to China in 1976. This marked the first time that an American President had used a non-French sparkling wine at an official White House function. The wine was such a hit that it has been used by every President since.” Nestled in the heart of Napa Valley, Schramsberg is a pioneer in the American sparkling wine industry and is a leading producer of fine sparkling wines worldwide.


Those less discerning about dryness, sweetness, or regionality may enjoy one of the many popular champagne-based cocktails that have been increasing in demand at bars and restaurants in recent years. Taking things a step further than your average mimosa, a Flirtini is a martini made with vodka, Cointreau, champagne, and pineapple juice. “People like the taste of champagne, but they view champagne only as a celebratory drink,” says Steve Spaniol, the insightful bartender well versed in the use of champagne. “It adds more of a texture. Champagne enhances fruit flavors and balances a light-bodied drink a lot better than adding rum or tequila.” Another popular use for champagne is in a bellini, or, “The Italian Margarita.” A delightful blend of frozen peach nectar, white wine, champagne, and rum, finished with a hearty swirl of sangria, a bellini is the perfect after-dinner cocktail. The sangria and the champagne balance well against the density of the peach nectar to create a light-bodied texture that is unusual in a blended cocktail. “It satisfies both men’s and women’s taste buds,” explains Nicole Webster, a banquet manager with much experience in mixology. “Champagne used to be such an exclusive drink, reserved for celebrations, but adding it as a mixer allows it to be casually enjoyed in an every-day fashion.” While cocktails like these strive to incorporate champagne into an average night out, many still consider champagne something to be consumed in celebration. You might not find the average American family sitting down with a bottle of brut over dinner, but weddings, birthdays, holidays and promotions offer the most popular opportunities to lift spirits with bubbling elixir. For these occasions, people will always turn to champagne to commemorate and celebrate; however, as Thuringer notes, bars and restaurants are onto something by adding champagne to featured cocktails. “The direction is there where there are so many affordable whites that it doesn’t have to be reserved for holidays and special events,” Thuringer says. “Champagne is fine anytime.”


Hearts on Fire


Behind the Lens With Fadil Berisha Interview by Chelsie Roberts

He’s one of the most influential and iconic photographers of this era. Upon talking to him about beauty it’s obvious to me that he gets it. Beauty that is; not just beauty in the classic visual sense, but the vibrant beauty that shines within his subjects. The kind that only they truly understand about themselves. Somehow he reaches into the subject’s heart, takes all of their inner beauty and uses it as his medium to create his artist’s color pallet. Then from there, he uses the hues, tones and shades to paint a picture with his camera. The way he communicates his art throught the viewfinder, to the lense, to the mirror and to the covers and pages of glossies and ad campaigns worldwide is simply stunning. Enjoy.


C: Let’s talk a little bit about you personally. What path led you to become an artist of photography? F. My family is from Albania. I was born in Kosovo. At age 8 or 9 we left Kosovo to go to Italy then to New York. I graduated from Lindon NJ High School and finished college at the Fashion Institute of Technology studying first fashion merchandising then showroom sales. I ended up working for a photographer and I became a stylist. I started this amazing shoot with two twin male models. She was not into shooting that day. She was in love with this guy and she was not focusing on the pictures at all. I was behind her getting all excited because every time the model would turn a certain way she’d miss the angle. I saw myself jumping and yelling and getting really upset with everything. All of a sudden I said to myself, you know she missed every angle. I can’t believe that this happened. I wish I had a camera. I would have taken the pictures myself. At that moment something lit up in my head. I went wow, could I be a photographer? Talk about finding yourself... In that moment it was like a light bulb. I said “Can I borrow your camera for one second?” I had never looked into a camera before. I never thought I would be a photographer. I’ll never forget this. I directed the model and I snapped the picture and found the power. The next day I packed my bags and moved back to New York and switched my courses to photography. I think it’s about your eye, not about the camera. You’re born with talent. I don’t think you can just become an artist.

One of my first models was Denise Richards at age 16 and I’ll never forget those big blue eyes of hers. It was Ricka Geheardt the same day in Jersey, then I started Diana Ross’s daughter, Tracy Ross and Troy Beyer, all these first faces, all from NY. Wilhelmina models contacted me and I started testing for Wilhemina. I’m still friends with the bookers there and work for them now as a client. It came all the way around. It’s the same as far as my studio goes in New York City, it’s funny how the world works. I was nervous to move back to New York because I was so famous in Jersey. I would come to NY and become like a little mouse and run back with my tail between my legs because I would meet the other artists and would feel not so great. I would want to go back again where I was more famous. It took a lot of nerve to come back to NY to actually make it here. The story is amazing because I went on the balcony of my studio and looked across the street and said, Oh my god my first studio was on this block right across the street. It was a small room and twenty years later I come back with three floors and I said to myself it is funny how the world works. I came back full circle and took a whole building.


After that I started to work in restaurants in New York waiting on tables and bartending. I started shooting all the waiters and waitresses. Everybody was an actor or model, so I started to book that way. Finally one day I said I can’t do this anymore. I went to work in New Jersey for photographers cleaning walls and floors and doing things to be around photography. That’s when I finally got my own small little room.

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C: You say that you didn’t feel as famous in New York compared to New Jersey Did other artists influence you? Did they push you to be better?


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Oh Absolutely, I think you can’t be scared you have to be able to ready for change. I wasn’t challenging myself anyway. I wanted to be as good as they were. You almost feel like “oh my God maybe I’m not good enough to be here, but then once you move in and start moving up the ladder you become like them, even better. That’s the great part of being in America. It’s a great story because I started shooting to make money. Either you work in a restaurant or you start shooting things like children and weddings. I always tell everyone it’s okay to do that. It’s probably the best thing to do because it makes you stronger for something else later. I shot the first large size model for Ford Models. America was not used to seeing large sized pretty. I remember someone saying to me “how do you see this as beautiful?” I said, look I’m not trying to make her look skinny I’m only seeing her beauty and bringing that out. Photographers made fun of me, a few of them said I can’t believe your shooting large size models. Those same photographers, quite a few of them ended up selling me their lights to pay their bills. In reality you can take a sixteen-year-old girl and make her look beautiful. She’s already beautiful, but can you take someone else, find the beauty within them and bring their beauty out.


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C: Your work stands out from other fashion photography. There’s aplayfulness and happinness from your personality that shines through when you are shooting. Would you agree? Absolutely. My work is about beautiful feelings inside a person. I feel that when I am shooting I’m actually inside pulling all of these great feelings out. I hate to see anything that is sad. I like to see beautiful things and make people feel good. That relates in the photos. It has to have feeling. If there is no emotion then there is no picture for me. Even if you look at the heroin chic time, it was a very sad time to see fashion for me. It just destroyed me because I don’t want to see life that way. It’s really sad and I think sometimes that probably comes from the artist of photography. The unhappiness, the darkness within them translates into the other person and that’s how they see it. That wasn’t who I was. We were trying to be fashionable in those times. It was a fashion thing. I tried to do it and it never worked. I would do heroin chic and do it too pretty. It defeated it’s purpose.


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F: It has to take a turn because you have to understand in this world, who has the money but the older women? The older woman certainly doesn’t want to see a young 16 year old on a runway with a dress because she can’t be realistic. It won’t look the same. She wants to see an older woman that has kept herself well. She can relate to her. She’ll buy that dress. I think the Rolex campaign that’s exactly how the job came through. I get the chance to shoot a campaign for Rolex and they give me a watch that was worth $85,000.00 and they asked me, “How would you sell this watch? I thought about it for a week and I’m thinking very few young girls will have the ability to buy an 85,000.00 dollar watch. We must find a beautiful older woman that’s well kept, that looks young, thinks young. Even the watch itself was kind of funky. It had beautiful classic diamonds then it had a rubber band with diamond studs in it. It was kind of cool and hip, so I’m thinking that even the older woman has be really young thinking. Right away I thought of our famous beautiful Carmen. I went back to them and I said okay I came up with this woman she’s an older woman. They said we really adore you but we don’t want to look old we already have that clientele. I said but she’s not old she’s only 15… in her mind. (He laughs) so once we put her picture up it was like okay, she’s really cool looking. Lets try her out. It became one of their biggest campaigns. It became so successful that she got a second year. We shot the young girls just in case but she beat them and got it. It became an inspirational campaign all over the world not just for the older people but also for young people. The young people were saying look at her we’re not afraid to get older. The older ones were saying it’s about time. One of their friends called them and said the last thing I needed was another watch. I bought the watch just because you used that beautiful older woman and that’s when they gave me a contract

o for young people.”

C: Do you think that our society has seen so much of younger and the more standard form of beauty that it’s going to start taking a turn?

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C: You work with the Miss Universe organization to photograph the title holders. What is it like to work with the pageant queens? Maybe it’s been 10 to 12 years I think I’ve been with miss Universe. I was working in Puerto Rico for a few years and the fashion there wasn’t that big at that time but I somehow got mistaken to go there for a job they hired me thinking I was Spanish because of my name. I got to Puerto Rico and it’s El Nuevo Dia one of the biggest newspapers. They had a fashion section in their newspaper once a year. They booked me for a two-week shoot. I ended up becoming really good friends with them and working with them for years. In 2002 Miss Puerto Rico Denise Quiñones won Miss Universe. They called me immediately to do their cover. I had never really thought about pageant stuff. I said you know this girl is so pretty why should we make her so boring, too commercial? She gorgeous. Lets make her a little more high fashion. No no no they said we’re very conservative nothing too sexy. I said, come on this girl is so beautiful this is a fashion magazine. We’ll do the safe stuff and can I do some for myself, a little bit more edgy?


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I will never forget the picture. The stylist had brought all dark clothing. I didn’t want dark clothing and that’s where my training as a stylist really came in handy. I saw this huge lime colored lizard belt and I wrapped it around her front and it became the top of the dress and did the hair really wild on top. Everyone went oh my God that’s miss universe? Apparently those photos went back to miss universe and they saw a whole new look. They called me and said can you do more of that stuff your doing for yourself? We shot her again and the rest was history they invited me to work for them. Then they gave me the next challenge. They said you are doing the winners so beautifully that now all the other states want your work. We don’t know if it’s possible but we have two days to shoot 51 girls can we do it? I said let’s try. The first girl showed up the way they were trained with bright red lips, quaffed hair, gloves on. It was very tacky. I remember oh no no no this cannot happen. I said can I just re-change her? We took the makeup down, stood her against the wall took the gloves off and messed up her hair. This gorgeous sexy animal came out of that picture. Paula Shugart came later and said are we going anywhere with this? She went to the first picture and literally went, wait a minute that’s the same girl from before and after? You got the job. She said, Fadil, it’s not about yes, you’re talented, but what’s important to me is when the girls are leaving that they’re flying. They feel so beautiful that even if they have no chance to make it they think they do. They’re giving it their best shot to win. That’s more important to me that anything else. It’s been that job since, recreating and changing the look, making them more modern. They used to make fun of it. Now I’m like, keep laughing these girls are getting campaigns, they’re getting cover girl. That was my ultimate challenge to have them respected in fashion. They’re getting that respect now.



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You were featured in an exhibit BeautyCULTure in LA. How did you get involved ? I think it was with the Met. They had this beauty thing and they had asked me for Carmen’s Pictures. Look at the good deed that was done. I took this woman from love and did the campaign and everything is coming back to me because of her beautiful face. I was invited to participate in this exhibit in Los Angeles. Actually out of all of the photographers they chose my picture of her and promoted the whole event. All through Los Angeles were banners with my name and her picture. I just held a wonderful lecture. Beverly Johnson came up and said beautiful words after the show. Many people at the lecture said, “we’re so thankful you are doing this because no one else is.” CNN also did a piece on me all of that thanks to Carmen. It was a brave thing to do choosing her for the campaign, but you know what? When you feel something in your heart it’s always good to go for it.


What’s new? Do you have any plans or projects in the works?

Those are amazing words. Would you say that she’s your favorite subject?

I really feel that these older models have become such a great part of our lives in fashion. I want to keep them forever and respect their talent. With Carmen I’m doing a book on her and the last 20 years we’ve been working together. She’s in her 80’th birthday this year. I’ve done quite a few campaigns with her. She really loves working with me. She did a show with Barbara Walters on longevity and looking beautiful. It was her and Paul Newman a year before he passed away. I remember them asking her how is it to work with Fadil? She said, when I work with Fadil it’s like a beautiful dance between us and it’s two energies together. It’s really beautiful the way she worded it.

Carmen Dell’Orefice on the Cover of Vogue. Conde Nast February 1954

You know what it is for me, the excitement when you put a model in front of me. I go into a trance and it’s amazing. It’s almost like two cobra’s. We’re moving around and we’re creating this energy. She has so much talent, so much emotion that it makes you crazy. I wish that every model could learn from her and make a photographer that excited to shoot more and more. 8 26


The long and short of it

27 2011 Women’s Fall

Gucci’s Natty Cinematic Glamour Godfrey Deeny Glamour in all its opulent, seductive and giddy glory was the heady message of the latest Gucci collection staged in Milan Wednesday, Feb. 23, the opening day of the Italian season. Bedecked in colorful fedora hats, sporting super snazzy crocodile boots and strutting out in goat hair jackets, the models in this show represented ladies that demanded, indeed craved, attention. And forget about somber, sober color palette, as Gucci’s creative director Frida Giannini whipped up a heady concoction of bold turquoises, Imperial Roman purples and shiny emerald greens.

Men’s Story

“I wanted something cinematic; glamour not in a predictable, boring way, but with real mystery. With the style of the ‘40’s and the energy of the ‘70s,” a newly tanned Giannini said post show, mentioning Anjelica Huston and Brigitte Bardot as inspiration. Best of all, Giannini really put the Gucci atelier into overdrive, particularly with a stunning mink and fox gray coat of


Designer Spotlight

exceptional technical dexterity that had editors scribbling in their note pads. Plus the show, the first major collection staged in Continental Europe for the fall 2011 season, announced a bold new silhouette, maxi coats, further elongated by being paired with micro belts, mega flared trousers and exaggerated masculine collars. Audacious shapes for audacious women. 28

Gucci Designer Spotlight

Men’s Runway Giannini’s bright mix continued in some natty new bags, especially a revamped Bardot, first launched in 1975, which features a spur closure snap and artily dyed middle section.

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Significantly, the collection was also the first that mined the modernist DNA of Gucci, one that Giannini’s most noted predecessor, Tom Ford, who was evicted as a designer some six years ago, riffed in frequently. Semi-sheer evening looks, bold fox boleros and racy satin cocktails all recalled Ford’s time with Gucci. Two editors tweeting behind this reviewer and three experienced editors all commented on the similarities with Giannini’s

Men’s Ru

famous predecessor. Giannini gave all these elements a far more feminine touch, and made them very much her own. Moreover, in the wake

of the ultimately tepid reviews by serious critics of Ford’s own first women’s signature collection in

September, shown in New York to a highly restricted group of fashion insiders none of whom were allowed to photograph the clothes, this collection was ultimately a significant success for Giannin. Why? Because she recuperated the glamour of Gucci on her own terms. This was a crafty statement of gutsy modern dressing, a


Designer Spotlight

commercially savvy understanding of what women want to buy and a great statement about the independence of women and their right to wear racy, sexy and alluring fashion.


Badgley Mischka



Zac Posen Tommy Hilfiger

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Carolina Herrera



Carolina Herrera

Men’s Runway

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The best moments

last forever

Tacori B

Sterling Silver charms from $25

1660 Tullamore Street • Mankato, MN 507.345.1658 •




Dusty’s Cellar


Become a Giving Tree Holiday giving the smart way

Written by: Ellie Kay

Giving Tree In

the best-selling children’s book, "The Giving Tree", the story begins, “Once there was a tree ... and she loved a little boy." (Shel Silverstein, Harper Collins, 2002). In this story, the boy would daily come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches or slide down her trunk ... and the tree was happy. As the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree kept giving and giving until she gave her apples, her branches and her trunk in order to provide the boy with wealth, a home and a boat. Although she gave all she had, in the end the tree was happy to give. This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. The two central themes in this book are: lavish giving and loving acceptance. Shel Silverstein leaves some meaning of the book open to interpretation as it ends with nothing left of the tree but a stump.


“You can put giving into practice in ways that are both generous and tax smart.” "The Giving Tree" is a story that recently celebrated its 40th birthday and it is a story that keeps on giving. My grandma Laudeman read this book to me when we visited her home in Indiana. I was compelled by the idea of providing for those in need, so at the ripe old age of seven, I decided to do something dramatic and started my own business. My mom took me to the store and we bought chocolate bars that were on sale. I then sold them door to door to the neighbors we knew for a profit. I figured there was value in home delivered chocolate, and I was right. I earned $10 in two weeks. When I went to Sunday school the next week, I thought of The Giving Tree. I took a new, crisp $1 bill and gave it to a fund that would feed starving children in Africa. Something magical happened when I put that dollar in the donation box. I got a tingle of excitement and realized thatthe sweetest dollar I ever made was the one I could give away. I believe that providence sometimes blesses those who have the ability to generate wealth and who have strong philanthropic desires to spread their affluence in a meaningful way. You can put giving into practice in ways that are both generous and tax smart.

Giving T

Donations to the Local Community Just as I tasted the sweet euphoria of philanthropy by donating money as a child in Sunday School, you also may be someone who is plugged into a local church, synagogue or non-profit that runs kids programs in the summers, provides food and clothing to orphanages, and sends money to victims of natural disasters. Like The Giving Tree happily contributed her apples to others, you could also help by givng employment opportunities to people in your community that need a helping hand. For example, you may want to donate your outdated suits to so that women who are struggling financially can have proper clothing to get a job interview. Or, consider giving clothing to a consignment shop that benefits AIDS research or the Humane Society. Be sure to save tax receipts for all donations to any non-profit organization.

Don’t Fund Overhead or Fund Raising During the holidays there are many people and organizations asking for donations. When The Giving Tree gave, she was selective in her donations, she gave directly to meet the boy’s needs. You should do the same. You don’t want your donated dollars going to pay fat salaries, fancy overhead, or excessive fundraising expenses. The Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance offers guidance to donors on making informed giving decisions through their charity evaluations, and the quarterly “Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide.” You can access this information by going to




“Something magical happened when I put that dollar in the donation box, I got a tingle of excitement and realized that the sweetest dollar I ever made was the one I could give away.� 41


“One of the challenges of those who are wealthy is how to pass along a legacy of philanthropy to their children.” Starting Your Own “Foundation”

Kid Philanthropists

One of the benefits of being well off is that you can set up a means of helping others that is simple and it doesn’t require all the paperwork of a full blown foundation. Here's an idea, if you are fortunate enough to have a large gain from a stock or mutual fund that you have held for over a year, consider using it to become what is essentially your own “foundation.” For example, if you own $5,000 worth of stock that you bought years ago for only $1,000, then you can donate the stock by setting up a Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund account (call 1-800682-4438 or go to ) By doing this, you get an immediate $5,000 tax deduction and save having to pay taxes on the $4,000 gain. In the years to come, as that $5,000 grows, you can instruct the company that manages your “foundation” where they should donate the proceeds. Besides Fidelity, there are also charitable gift funds available thorough Vanguard at 1-888-383-4483 or or Schwab at 1-800-746-6216 or

The Giving Tree story didn’t stop with my Grandma reading it to me, I also read the story to my children and they learned the value of philanthropy. For example, my daughter goes to college in downtown Chicago and doesn’t have to worry about tuition or room and board expenses. But she gets tweeted a “word for the day” from Sprinkles Cupcakes in order to get a free cupcake every day. She often gets her free treat and then gives it to a homeless person on her way back to campus. One of the challenges of those who are wealthy is how to pass along a legacy of philanthropy to their children. Your kids may be affluent, but you don’t want them to be uncaring to those in need. One option is to allow your children to manage a donation in a predetermined amount that you set aside for this purpose. They get to research a variety of non-profit organizations and decide which one will receive their donation. Then donate the amount in your child’s name. You get the tax benefit, your child gets the thank you note—you both become Giving Trees.•


Sting’s ‘Message in a Bottle’ By Julie Vaughan Photos submitted

With A lifestyle attuned to the environment, rock star Sting and wife Trudie Styler; have created wine with notes of flavor Proven worthy of the title “superstar” for his music, both as a solo artist and as leader of the band “The Police”, Sting is now earning kudos for his devotion to a product of the land upon which rests his summer home. From the Chianti region of Tuscany, Sting and his wife Trudie Styler, enhance fine dining experiences in the U.S. and much of Europe with their wines, Casino delle Vie and Sister Moon. The Toscana IGT reds were released in June of 2011, on the couple’s Palagio label.

Casino delle Vie’s loose translation, “Little house by the road,” is named for their Italian estate, Tenuta Il Palagio, located near the ancient village of Figline Valdarno, about 25 km southeast of Florence. Purchased by Sting in 1996, the Palagio dates back to the middle of the 14th century and has boasted an agricultural tradition from the very beginning of its existence. Of the wines Trudie says, “With ten percent of the profit going to the environmental charities we support, we’re using nature’s bounty to give something back to the earth to help preserve it


for generations to come. And, we’re doing with something that tastes wonderful!” One of many charitable organizations receiving funding from the Palagio’s products is Sting and Trudie’s Rainforest Foundation International. Founded by the pair in 1989, the Rainforest Foundation supports the indigenous inhabitants of the world’s rainforests. The Foundation helps the people protect their environment and fulfill their rights to land, life and livelihood. In so doing, the Rainforest Foundation also helps secure the lands for future generations, while enabling them to sustain their lifestyles. The same concern is lavished upon the lands surrounding the Palagio. Estate manager Paolo Rossi’s family has been associated with the property throughout the last century. Fittingly, his devotion and love towards the soil is immeasurable. Rossi and his family are singularly dedicated to sustainably producing superior oils, honey and wine on the 900-acre estate. Keeping the process natural and earth-friendly, they have instituted a biodynamic method of cultivating wines. Succinctly put, the biodynamic method is organic farming in accordance with the dynamic forces in nature, many of which are not yet fully understood by science. Working creatively

with these subtle energies, biodynamic growers significantly enhance the health of their farms, as well as the quality and flavor of their produce. Following practices such as coordinating his harvests with the phases of the moon, Palagio’s viticulturalist, Alan York applies his forty-plus years of experience with biodynamic methods to produce premier quality fruit. York, president of the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association of North America, also serves as a consultant to wine growers in North America, South America, and South Africa. Once York’s work has borne its fruit (so to speak), winemaker Paolo Caciorgna blends the estate’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other outstanding grapes into liquid masterpieces. Of his work, Caciorgna sagely references music; “Wine is like a beautiful composition, like an opera a tenor has to perform. While the notes on the chart are always the same — the result, while frequently different, is always exciting. Every day, I work to become a good interpreter of the grapes; grapes that with great care and sensibility are cultivated to sing all of the instruments, both antique and modern.” Sister Moon, named for Sting’s hauntingly beautiful song, is composed of Sangiovese fruit, blended with Cabernet Sau-

“… With what we hope is typical Italian hospitality, we throw open our doors to you and trust you will take away memories of Palagio as precious as our own.”

-Trudie Styler 44

“… With 10% of profits going to the environmental charities we support, I feel that we’re using nature’s bounty to give something back to the earth too, and so help preserve its future for generations to come. And it all tastes great!” -Trudie Styler


vignon and Merlot berries. Caciorgna ages it for 18 months in new French barriques. Wine Spectator, upon scoring Sister Moon 93/100, eloquently stated; “Sister Moon is a polished and beautiful wine, delivering blueberry, light toasty oak and currant characteristics before turning lightly smoky and spicy. The wine is full and very silky, with a long, long finish.” “The light and flavorful varietals produced at the Palagio reflect a serene ambiance of relaxation and a much-needed escape to the slower Tuscan lifestyle. In these wines, with what we hope is typical Italian hospitality, we throw open our doors to you and trust you will take away memories of Palagio as precious as our own.” says Trudie. While the literal translation of Casino delle Vie relates to the land, an interpretative translation centers on “the madness of life.” As such, Casino delle Vie’s label features a photograph of the acrobat Karl Carsony balancing himself upside down — with one finger in a bottle. Carsony, a renowned acrobat, performed richly celebrated feats of strength and balance in the 1940s and 1950s, both in Las Vegas and around the world. In the label’s photograph, he was balanced atop the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas. On the bottle, the image’s message is intended to say while life may leave you feeling upside down, a glass of wine can things around. About 8,000 bottles of each varietal are produced. The wines are distributed in 30 of the 50 United States and parts of Europe as well. Available for sale at most major wine and spirit establishments, one can also acquire them directly at the Tenuta II Palagio. And now we know what Sting was writing about when he penned “Fields Of Gold”.



Women’s Runway

The long and short of it Men’s

Fall 2011


Gucci’s New Celtic Dandy Godfrey Deeny Hirsute yet refined, polished but still raffish and even a tad louche, Gucci unveiled a new modern dandy, in its Fall menswear show in Milan. The famed Florentine brand looked north to Scotland for inspiration.

“I had in my mind Rod Stewart, someone so vain, so precise in his look. That’s why I call this collection ‘Modern Dandy,’” Gucci’s creative director Frida Giannini said backstage after the show.

Women’s There wasn’t a slip of tartan on the runway, yet the

legendary Scottish rocker’s easy rascal look was all

over the catwalk – from his giant ‘70s era lapels to his mop-top hairstyle. The models were so shaggy

haired, they looked like they had been given hair extensions, a suggestion Giannini was keen to deny.

Not that this collection as anything other than


Designer Spotlight

luxurious, like the ostrich skin putty gray trench coats and alligator blazer – ideal for accepting a Grammy award – to the uproarious beaver trench and Mongolian lamb coat.

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Gucci Designer Spotlight



But this fall 2011 collection’s most iconoclastic moment was the whole new suit Giannini sent out. Milan has been dominated with low crotch but tight leg pants and narrow jackets for a half decade now, but Gucci proposed flared trousers, paired with nipped at the waist, wide lapel jackets, for a smart reinterpretation of the classic playboy rocker suit.

Giannini also tapped into several big Milan trends

Women’s the return of mohair New Wave sweaters, albeit

with horizontal blocks of color and the almost-atthe-ankle great coat.

Under her reign, Gucci has been all about riffing on the brand’s craftsmanship heritage and she played a couple of strong, fresh chords with the first masculine bamboo bag - the house’s defining object, though with a blackened handle to keep it gutsy. Also on display were great new weekend


Designer Spotlight

bags, boasting a new double GG after the label’s founder Guccio Gucci. Though this logo came with the two Gs separated and not intertwined as they were in the locked double G symbol, seen on the gray carpet that was this show’s catwalk. Though maybe the logo should have read HH, for “Hip Highlander.”


Dior Homme



Botegga Veneta


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Women’s Runway


Belle Etoile Ad



by Chef Karen Sherman The overall lifestyle today is so harried and schedules are so full that there’s little time to kick back, relax or enjoy some “me” time, much less prepare a meal; which is why I chose to become a personal chef: to provide affordable fine dining and healthy eating without my clients having to leave home. It sounds like a new concept, but the USPCA (United States Personal Chef Association) has been around for fifteen years, and I have been a member for the past ten. It’s a fresh service: you can go the refridgerator and select from five days’ worth of entrees and sides to heat up in just 20 minutes. Because I do the shopping and make up the menus, I can adjust when my clients have special dietary needs. I love using fresh herbs when I cook. My cooking is simple: I utilize fresh ingredients, create flavorful combinations and keep it all from being terribly time consuming. Having lived on the East Coast and South Florida, I picked up ideas from the area and the people for whom I worked, capitalizing on the availability of fresh fish or wild game. Before long, the holidays will be here and entertaining will bring us together and food will be the glue. Our fondest memories tend to center around food, and we all certainly have our favorites. I hope the creative process of producing a wonderful meal and the delight of spending time with family and friends makes the holidays all the more enjoyable for you. Let the entertaining begin! ur love affair with food begins when we graduate to solid foods and we learn to appreciate the incredible taste, smell and appearance of food. Certainly, we need food for nutrition, but it’s placement during holidays and entertaining demonstrates how food is used for celebration, consolation and congratulation. I watched seeds sown and plants harvested on the Iowa farm where I grew up, so from an early age I had the sense of where food comes from and the labor involved. Growing up I had always enjoyed cooking, but I decided I wanted to delve deeper and attended a culinary school in Minneapolis for two years. Minneapolis is a real haven for foodies: new, different, traditional and comfort foods abound.

Here are a few of my favorite holiday pleasers: Prime Rib Roast with Mustard & Black Pepper (Serves 6) 4-5 lb Prime Rib of Beef 4 cloves of garlic, cut into slivers ¼ C soy cause and 4 T coarsely ground pepper Sauce: ¼ C Dijon mustard 1 T soy sauce 1 C beef stock 1 T cracked pepper ¼ T rosemary


To prepare the roast, cut incisions at even intervals in the surface of the meat and insert the slivers of garlic. Place the meat in the roasting pan. Combine the mustard and the soy sauce and spread mixture over the roast. Top with the pepper. Let the roast sit at room temperature for up to 3 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roast the meat until a meat thermometer inserted in the center of the roast reads 120 degrees F for rare, about 1 ½ hours. Remove from the oven and let the roast rest on the carving board, covered with aluminum foil, for about 15 minutes. To make the sauce, combine the mustard, soy sauce, beef stock and pepper in a small pan with a whisk and heat through. Or, pour the stock into the degreased drippings in the roasting pan and stir to free any browned bits. Whisk in the mustard, soy sauce and pepper. Sweet & White Potato Gratin (Serves 12) 6 C heavy cream

6 cloves garlic, smashed with flat of a knife salt, freshly ground pepper and ground nutmeg to taste 6 large russet potatoes 6 large yams Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a saucepan, bring the cream and garlic to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the garlic and season the cream with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. The mixture should be a little salty, as the potatoes are very bland and will absorb the cream and salt. While the cream is simmering, peel and slice the potatoes and yams ¼ inch thick. Layer the potatoes and the yams in overlapping rows in a deep baking dish or lasagna pan. Pour the warm cream over the potatoes and yams. The cream should just cover the potatoes; if not, add a little bit more. Bake until the potatoes and yams are tender, about 45 minutes. Peach & Blackberry Galette (Serves 8) 2 ½ all purpose flour 1 tsp salt 8 oz chilled butter

½ C ice water 1 ½ lbs fresh or frozen peaches ½ lb fresh or frozen blackberries ½ tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp fresh lemon juice ¼ C sugar, plus 2 tsp sugar 3 T flour 1 T heavy cream ½ C apricot jam, warmed In the bowl of the food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the flour and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles course meal, about 15 seconds. With the machine running, add the water in a slow, steady stream: process until the dough just holds together. Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap, and flatten into a disk; wrap well. Chill at least 1 hour in the refridgerator. Place a baking sheet upside down on the center shelf in oven; preheat to 400 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to ¼ inch thickness. Transfer to a 9” rectangular or square tart pan with removable bottom; press in bottom and up sides with a 2” overhang on the sides. In a large bowl, stir together the peaches, blackberries, lemon juice, ¼ C surgar, flour and cinnamon. Transfer to tart shell and arrange fruit in an even layer. Fold the overhanging dough on top of the fruit. Brush dough with cream and sprinkle with the remaining 2T of sugar. Place pan on top of baking sheet in oven. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Brush filling with apricot jam.




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By Briana Worke As the public walks the streets within the City Centers of Mankato and North Mankato there is an urban, artistic feel as 25 sculptures are on display. What the public might not know is that the sculptures are part of the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour that is comprised of all styles, types, materials and sizes from a broad range of regional, national and international artists. CityArt launched its first Walking Sculpture Tour last May in collaboration with the City

Center partnership and Twin Rivers Council for the Arts. The response has been overwhelming and CityArt is pleased to have secured guaranteed funding for the next five years. Currently the 25 sculptures on the Walking Tour are on loan from artists around the world and stay on display for one year. All artwork is for sale or lease. Sculptures on display are a variety of works, ranging from two-feet high to larger-thanlife-size in mediums including

LEFT: Bird in the Hand, Sell Price: $14,500, Martin Eichinger | Portland OR Bird in the Hand speaks to the commitment of partnership, as a graceful ballerina is allowed the freedom of her dance because her strong, yet humble partner holds her steady in flight. BELOW: Wonderment, Sell Price: $10,000, Nicholas Legeros | Minneapolis, MN This sculpture of my niece and nephew, Katie and Johnny Brogan, was created to stand beside the reflecting pond in the Rose Shrub Garden at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. As the figures peer into the water, the expressions on their faces exude a sense of wonder.


bronze, marble, found materials and more. Each sculpture along with the artist’s comments is displayed on a Kasota Stone pedestal, weighing between 2,200 to 4,400 pounds. The Greater Mankato community as well as visitors are encouraged to participate in the Walking Tour and vote for their favorite. The “People’s Choice Award” sculpture will be purchased by the City Center Partnership and remain in the community, on permanent display in the City Center. In addition to the People’s Choice Award, there is also a jury committee of art specialists from Minnesota State University, Mankato, Bethany Lutheran College and Gustavus Adophus College that will award cash prizes to artists for first – third places and honorable mention. “The business and community support for this effort has been tremendous and will reap huge rewards for the City Center,” Tami Paulsen, co-chair of the City Art committee said. “Projects of this size and scope cannot happen without the generosity and encouragement of the Greater Mankato community and businesses.”

The Vertices Sell Price: $18,000 Chris Kilbane | Esko MN When the Face and the Edge meet, where will you be?

Seedling III Sell Price: $10,000 Glenn Williams | Madison WI The work explores the formal relationship between opposing forces such as natural versus artificial, dynamic versus static, while attempting to create an ambiguous narrative between these disparate elements. Harmony Sell Price: $14,000 Yupin Pramotepipopn | Thailand Aqua-Resin Harmony is part of my symbolic of Peace series. The aesthetic line and shape of these knots is very attractive to my visual and mental state to continue creating this body of work. I interpret peace from a Thai phase “Puk- Mai- Tri” which means bonding relationship between people, cultures, countries, etc.


By Briana Worke

A teacher from Eagle Lake Elementary sent a student to the nurse’s office complaining of a stomachache. After evaluating the student and asking several questions the student confessed that his stomach hurt because it hadn’t been his turn to eat that weekend.

To hear stories of childhood hunger from teachers, principals and support staff in our local elementary schools is difficult. There are data trends that indicate that childhood hunger is on the rise. Principals speak about the anxiety that often surfaces on Fridays

and before long breaks due to students not knowing when they will have their next meal. Exclusively Diamonds is a proud supporter of the BackPack Food Program, an initiative from Feeding Our Communities Partners (FOCP), which is a partner agency of the Greater Mankato Area United Way. Owner of Exclusively Diamonds, Sarah Person, is on the Board of Directors and is passionate about supporting such an important non63 profit organization in the community.

The BackPack Food Program focuses on ending weekend hunger of elementary-aged children. The program was launched in March 2010 with 40 students as a pilot program at Franklin Elementary School. This past school year the program expanded to three elementary schools. Over 274 volunteers donated 1,106 hours of time to provide hunger relief for 230 elementary school children. Last year, 38,546 meals were provided through generous donations. Yet, there are still almost 500 kids waiting to be enrolled in the program, which includes one in six students in Blue Earth County. More than 450 students are enrolled in the BackPack Food Program at four local elementary schools for the 201112 school year. The goal is to expand the BackPack Food Program to service all elementary schools in Mankato, Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial, St. Clair and Maple River public school districts. This would provide 930 students with 195,000 meals each school year. In Blue Earth County alone, 12.7% of residents are food insecure, which breaks down to 7,580 people. Thirty-five percent of the food insecure population lives above the income threshold and does not qualify for assistance programs such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) or

Free and Reduced Price School Lunch. Never before has the need for FOCP and the BackPack Food Program been so great. The BackPack Food Program supplies food for hungry students to put their minds back on learning. Nourished students are more engaged in the classroom, which can lead to better developmental success for youth in our area. Teachers are reporting that the BackPack Food Program has improved concentration and energy levels for students. Parents are reporting that the program has made a difference in the well being of their children. Supporting the BackPack Food Program is very rewarding. Less than a dollar a day can make a difference in a child’s life for the full school year, which includes 210 meals and 105 snacks. Sponsoring a child for a full year costs $360. Sponsoring a child for a half school year costs $180. Sponsoring a child for a quarter school year costs $90. Sponsoring a child for a month costs $30. One parent of a student enrolled in the BackPack Food Program at Kennedy Elementary said, “This program is a blessing. I wish it had been available for me when I was younger.” For more information or to donate visit www. 64

Sterling silver charms from $25

1660 Tullamore Street • Mankato, MN 507.345.1658







LX Mankato Fall 2011  

2011 Fall/Winter LX Mankato - Exclusively Diamonds