Page 1

Dec 2011 (8pgs) covers 11/12/11 3:04 PM Page 1



Winter Festivities Larita’s Treats Oh So Great to Eat!

Lights at Kennedy through the eyes of Hindman

music, history & arts around the Fort Dodge area

Dec 2011 (8pgs) covers 11/12/11 3:04 PM Page 2

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Dec 2011 (8pgs) covers 11/12/11 3:04 PM Page 3

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Dec 2011 (8pgs) covers 11/12/11 3:04 PM Page 4

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contents dEcEmBEr 2011

in EvEry issUE 2 4 20 26 48

Editor’s Speak Things to do Scene About Town Book Picks Parting Shot


LocaL coLor 9

Class Notes: Meet Howard Haas by Kati Smith


ICCC Spotlight: Jacie Simon by Kati Smith


Volunteer: Kelly Hindman Involved with Lights at Kennedy by Robert Wolf


Faith Matters: Johnston Teaching Sunday School for 40 Years by Robert Wolf

FEaTUrE arTicLE 28

Looks a lot like Christmas by Kathleen Koch

ThE good LiFE 33

Culinary Corner: Holiday Treats at Larita’s Cakes ‘N More by Kathleen Koch


Health Wise: Healthy Holidays by Jesse Helling


Home Style: “Sprucing” up the Holidays by Jesse Helling


Money Matters: Manage Your Money Carefully this Holiday Season courtesy of Edward Jones

on ThE covEr (L-R): Jeanette Lawrence (viola), Laura Cooper (cello) and Bill Sergeant (violin) of the Fort Dodge Symphony. Photo by Hans Madsen

Fort Dodge Today

December 2011


editor’s spEak

kathleenkoch kathleen

From the News Editor Tis the Season of Holiday Celebration The month of December is coming up fast and I love every bit about it. The smell of Christmas trees, baked goodies and hot cocoa, lights, decorations, the shopping and wrapping of gifts, and my favorite during this time is Christmas music. I love putting some holiday music on while decorating the house. Listening to “Frosty the Snowman,” “Jingle Bells,” “The Little Drummer Boy,” “White Christmas” and many more fun tunes always puts me in the festive mood. One of my favorite songs during this time of year is “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas.” It’s a silly, fun song that is a little off the path of Christmas carols but sometimes that is what the holiday season is all about. The contents of this December issue can help make your holiday season festive and enjoyable. Here is a quick look: – Winter festivities of music, history and arts around the Fort Dodge area. – Christmas on where to buy, how to maintain and keep it fresh through the whole season. – Talking about holiday treats to eat with Larita at Larita’s Cakes ‘N More. – Kelly Hindman helping out with the Lights at Kennedy. – How to maintain a healthy lifestyle with all the different holiday treats and temptations. – Meet Kati Smith, new writer for Class Notes and ICCC Spotlight. – Amelia Presler has the 20 best book picks of 2011. There are plenty of holiday things to do in the Fort Dodge area. So take some time to enjoy the festive surroundings with your family and friends. I hope this holiday season brings lots of joy, peace, love, fun, laughter and who knows maybe you will get a hipopotamus for Christmas.

pUBLicaTion inFormaTion Managing Editor Barbara Wallace Hughes

News Editor Kathleen Koch

Direct inquiries to:

713 Central Ave. Fort Dodge, IA 50501

Sales Manager Becky O’Brien

Art Director Reggie Cygan

Publisher Larry D. Bushman

Advertising 574-4418 Fax 573-2148 Editorial 576-7722

Advertising Director David Jakeman

Volume 22 Issue 8 If your address has changed since your last issue call (800) 622-6613 ext. 404.

The Fort Dodge Today Magazine is published monthly by The Messenger, with all rights reserved, Copyright, 2011. 2

Fort Dodge Today

December 2011

Circulation Director Grant Gibbons

contributors Amelia "Amy" Presler is an avid reader who just happens to work at the best place in town for book lovers – the Fort Dodge Public Library. The best part of her job is meeting the public and having access to all the latest titles and sharing her love of books with others. When not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking, painting and spending time with her family and friends. She is a native of Fort Dodge and is the youngest of 10 children and has three of her own. She believes that you can judge a book by its cover (literally!) and avoids those that have hats, shoes, feet, fences, swords, gardens, cakes, tableware, Adirondack chairs and cats on them. Robert Wolf has lived in Fort Dodge since 1964. He has written for Fort Dodge Today magazine since 2002 and for The Messenger since 1993. He’s the author of “Fossils of Iowa” and “Iowa’s State Parks.” A member of the Author’s Guild, his hobbies include fossil collecting and photography.

Kati Smith is an Iowa Central Community College student who is working on her degree in English education. She was born and raised in Fort Dodge where she discovered her passions for writing, photography, and music. She is an editor for Iowa Central’s newspaper, plays the saxophone in the concert band, and sings for the concert choir. She likes to spend her free time reading, going on adventures, traveling, writing and attempting to play music. She is an avid believer in following your heart, so take a chance and do what you love!

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Fort Dodge Today

December 2011









December 2011 Joyce Blunk: Assemblages


contact Rita Carlson at


and Paintings Exhibit being

Preschool storytime, Fort

352-2612 or

FDSH varsity girls and boys

shown at the Blanden

Dodge Public Library, 10 a.m. or go to

bowling vs. Ankeny,

Memorial Art Museum

and 2 p.m.

Ridgewood Lanes,

through January 2012.

Fort Dodge, 3:00 p.m.



POET biorefining is hosting a

FDSH jv/varsity boys

special screening of

swimming vs. Ankeny,

“Freedom,” from the

FDSH pool, 6 p.m.

filmmakers of the Sundance

1 Farm News Ag Show, ICCC, Career Education Building, Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., free breakfast Thursday only 7:30 to 9 a.m.

Award Winning film “FUEL,” every hour on the hour from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., ICCC Career


Education Building, Room

FDSH girls and boys varsity

111. For more information,

basketball vs. Des Moines East, FDSH gym, 6:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.

Admission and parking are free. For more information


contact Dana Lantz at (800)

St. Edmond jv/varsity girls and

622-6613, ext 451 or

boys basketball vs. Hampton-

Dumont, 4:30 p.m.

Weekly Specials

Monday: $7.99 All You Can Eat Broaster Chicken

809 Central Ave., Fort Dodge 515-955-5333 Wednesday: Any Sandwich or Salad $5

Tuesday: $2 Sliders, Domestic Beers, and Margaritas

Thursday: 2 for 1 Martinis, $10 Buckets of domestic beer $5 Pitchers of Bud Light Sunday: Brunch Buffet 10am - 2pm 4

Fort Dodge Today

December 2011








December 2011 3-4


Holy Trinity Parish, Corpus


Lights at Kennedy, John F.

Designing Your Own Silk Art:

Christi, 7 p.m.

Preschool Storytime,

Memorial Kennedy Park

A Workshop with Pam

Fort Dodge Public Library,

Sanders, 10 a.m.- to 5 p.m. at

10 a.m.

campgrounds, sponsored by Fort Dodge Sertoma Club, 6 to 9:30 p.m., $5 per vehicle admission.

Blanden Memorial Art Museum. 8 Preschool Storytime,


Fort Dodge Public Library,

Colorful and Creative

10 a.m. and 2 p.m. 4

Christmas Cookies/Candies Walk, Trinity United

Fort Dodge Area

Methodist Church,

Symphony presents


838 N. 25th St.

“Holiday Favorites” at the

Diabetes Class, Daniel


Phillips Middle School, 3 p.m.

Pharmacy, 1115 Central Ave.,

Saturday Morning at the

$6 - $10 admission.

free, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

9 a.m. until gone.

Blanden for kids ages 6-10, 10 a.m. to noon. 6 Free blood pressure 3 Sonshine Singers present,

screening, Crossroads Mall, 8 to 9:30 a.m.

“Christmas with Sonshine” at



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For appointment call 515-227-8654 515-227-8654

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B Bring r i n g tthis his a ad d & rreceive eceive 2 20% 0% o off f f a 1 hhr. r. m massage assage

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G Gift i f t Certificates C e r t i f i c a t e s Available Available Fort Dodge Today

December 2011









December 2011 7

Fort Dodge Sertoma Club,



St. Edmond K -2

6 to 9:30 p.m.,

Saturday Morning at the

FDSH varsity girls and boys

Christmas concert,

$5 per vehicle admission.

Blanden will be held for kids

bowling vs. Marshalltown,

in grades 5th-8th, noon.

Ridgewood Lanes, 3:30 p.m.

St. Edmond, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. 9 St. Edmond j.v./varsity girls


and boys basketball vs. Bishop

St. Edmond varsity girls and

Garrigan, St. Edmond,

boys basketball vs. Webster

6:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.

City, St. Edmond, 6:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.



FDSH girls and boys varsity

St. Edmond Christmas


basketball vs. West Des

concert, St. Edmond.

FDSH varsity wrestling vs.

Moines Valley, FDSH gym,

at 3:00 p.m.

Des Moines East, FDSH gym,

6:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.

7:30 p.m. 11


FDSH holiday concert featur-

FDSH girls and boys varsity


ing orchestra, band and choir,

basketball vs. Des Moines

Lights at Kennedy, John F.

FDSH gym and Gail

Lincoln, FDSH gym, 6:15 p.m

Kennedy Memorial Park

Niceswanger Little Theater,

and 7:45 p.m.

campgrounds, sponsored by

2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

recycled • reimagined

Remarkable! where old things come to become something else!

DIY Workshops! Thursdays 7 - 9pm

Thursdays 10am - 9pm • Fridays 10am - 6pm • Saturdays 10am - 3pm 521 Central Avenue, Fort Dodge •


Fort Dodge Today

December 2011








December 2011

16-17 Lights at Kennedy, John F. Kennedy Memorial Park campgrounds, sponsored by



Methodist Church.

Hawkeye Community Theatre,

Hawkeye Community Theatre,

A reception with

521 North 12th Street,

521 North 12th Street,

refreshments will take place at

Fort Dodge

Fort Dodgepresents a

presents a Christmas rock

2 p.m., a carol sing-along at

Christmas rock musical called

musical called “Joy,” 7 p.m.

“Joy,” 7 p.m.

2:30 p.m. and the concert at 3 p.m.



Saturday Morning at the

FDSH girls and boys varsity

Blanden will be held for kids

basketball vs. Waukee, FDSH

in grades 5th-8th, 12 p.m.

gym, 6:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.

Fort Dodge Sertoma Club,


6 to 9:30 p.m.,

Hawkeye Community Theatre, 521 North 12th Street,

$5 per vehicle admission.

Fort Dodge presents a Christmas rock musical called “Joy,” 2 p.m.

16 St. Edmond varsity girls and boys basketball vs. Algona, St. Edmond, 6:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.

17 FDSH varsity wrestling invitational, FDSH gym, 11 a.m.

18 Fort Dodge Choral Society presents “Christmas


Memories,” First United

Christmas Day

AT THE BLANDEN “The New Deal” exhibit opens Nov. 26 and runs through Mar. 31, 2012 “Assemblages and Paintings” exhibit by Joyce Blunk runs through Jan. 12, 2012. “Asian, European & American Art” works of art from the Permanent Collection “Innovative and Imaginitive Cultures” works of art from the Permanent Collection One~of~a~Kind Gift Shop: New items available just in time for holiday shopping. Hours are Tuesday - Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday. The Blanden is located at 920 3rd Ave. S. For information, phone 573-2316. Fort Dodge Today

December 2011


6 to pm 0 K Kennedy e n n e d y PPark ark C Campground ampground • 1 1415 415 N Nelson elson A Avenue v e n u e • FFort ort D Dodge odge 9:3 LLights ights d display isplay w will ill b bee o open pen O ONLY NLY d during u r i n g tthe he eevenings venings o off D December ecember 3 3-4, -4, 9 9-11 -11 & 1 16-18. 6-18.

D Drive r i v e tthrough h r o u g h tthe h e ccampgrounds ampgrounds a att K Kennedy e n n e d y PPark ark a and n d eenjoy n j o y tthe he C Christmas hristmas llighting ighting d displays isplays p provided rovided b byy vvarious a r i o u s organizations o r g a n i z a t i o n s and a n d businesses. businesses.

Lights at Kennedy sponsored by the Fort Dodge Sertoma Club

2150 South 22nd Street • Fort Dodge 955-2781 • 1-800-582-4379


Plastic Containers Metal Cans, Foil Glass-Clear or Brown Newsprint & Inserts Corrugated Cardboard Junk Mail

Magazines & Cereal Boxes Boxes Brown Paper Bags Plastic Bags


Styrofoam Window Glass Aerosol Cans Light Bulbs Motor Oil Containers

We accept clean used clothing of any size 8

Fort Dodge Today

December 2011

kati localcoLor katismith

photographs by Kati Smith

Class Notes

Meet Howard Haas

What makes you so interested in photography? The thing was, I loved art but I couldn’t draw. I found that if I could learn the technical side of photography and learn how to be creative with a camera, I can enjoy art just like any other artist. So, what made you decide to teach photography? The opportunity was available and so I jumped on it. It was a little daring but as it turns out, I love to teach photography just as much. What inspired you to be a photographer?

Howard Haas looks on after checking the settings on a camera during a class.

Where do you work and what does your job include?

How long have you been working as a photography teacher?

I teach photography at Iowa Central Community College. Specifically, the classes I teach are Photography 1, 2, 3 and 4, Set and Prop Design, Business in Photography, and Marketing in Photography.

I’ve been a photography teacher for four years, all at Iowa Central. Where are you from? I am a Fort Dodge native.

Well, it just started out as a hobby. It soon became a vocation which enabled me to make a living doing something I love. Photography is such a neat opportunity to do something you love to do while making a living. It’s a good thing to find a way to do both of those things. What inspired you to be a teacher? The challenge with teaching photography is totally different than the challenge of being a photographer.

Meet Howard Haas continued next page. Fort Dodge Today

December 2011


cl a s s no t es

Meet Howard Haas continued from page 9.

Follow us and become a fan on Facebook at “Iowa Central Community College”

For answers to any of your questions or to schedule a campus visit, please contact

Fort Dodge Today

As a teacher, you have to try to express the techniques and the foundation of photography that you learned as a photographer, while incorporating your own creativity and artistic views, as well as letting your students incorporate theirs. It’s an interesting mix. Do you have any advice to anyone who wants to go into photography?

515-576-7201 or 800-362-2793


Haas, who once owned his own studio for many years, assists Teresa McLoughlin during class.

December 2011

I truly believe that there has never been a better chance than now with photography with all of the training and technology available.

kati localcoLor katismith

ICCC Student Spotlight Jacie Simon

photograph by Kati Smith

Jacie Simon practices the French horn as part of her involvement in the music program at Iowa Central Community College.

The Iowa Central Community College music department offers a wide array of classes, including concert band, concert choir, music theory, sight singing and ear training. Jacie Simon, a Rockwell City-Lytton graduate, is one of the many students at Iowa Central to take advantage of the music department in order to pursue a music major. More specifically, a music education major. Simon chose Iowa Central Community College for a number of reasons. Not only was it less expensive and close to home, but the small campus size and small classes had an

impact on Simon’s decision as well. Iowa Central also has an excellent music department, one in which Simon is very much involved. “I’m involved in concert choir, concert band, encore singers, vocal jazz, jazz band, and brass ensemble,” said Simon. “It’s pretty hectic, but I love every minute of it.” Simon said she hopes to take her talents to The University of Northern Iowa next fall to pursue her dreams of getting her bachelor’s in vocal music education K-12.

“I want to be a vocal teacher, either for high school or get my master’s and teach at the collegiate level,” said Simon. “I enjoy music and I want to be able to spark the passion and love for music that I received from my music instructors growing up.” Although Simon’s music instructors had a major influence on her dedication to music, Simon’s parents are her biggest inspirations. “My mom and dad have always made sure that I made time for music and that I pushed myself to always better myself as a musician.”

Fort Dodge Today

December 2011


robert localcoLor robertwolf

photographs by Regina Smith

Kelly Hindman involved with

Lights at Kennedy Kelly Hindman sees Lights at Kennedy as a great way for a family to get out of the house, away from the television and computer, and enjoy the holiday season. Of course, Hindman might be a little prejudiced. He’s one of the Noon Sertoma volunteers who put on the electrified annual Christmas display at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park. Lights at Kennedy has been one of Noon Sertoma’s biggest fundraisers for more than a decade, and Hindman, who as been a Sertoman for three years, is in charge of the social media aspect of the event. The evolution of Lights at Kennedy began, he said, with another Sertoma club. “My understanding is somebody had seen a club in another state that had done something similar to this, and we kind of pirated the idea and made it our own,” Hindman said. “It has really been a success. “Matt Crosgrove with Webster County Conservation invited us to use the campground for the park out there. It seemed like a natural setting. There is already a roadway and things there. It worked out perfectly because there are electrical boxes at all the camping stations, so we had electricity, and it’s a fairly easy place for people to get in and out of even in the winter.”


Fort Dodge Today

December 2011

A display from Lights at Kennedy last year.

The Sertoma members take on different roles.

course, Santa Claus is there every night.”

“Like anything you do for 11 times it becomes more and more organized so in a sense part of it becomes less work,” he said. “We share the work in the club. We assign people to contact certain businesses about setting up displays. It takes manpower during the event, to have people out there to take people’s money, to take ballots from people. We have people standing around throughout the displays to make sure the displays work okay. Of

The role of Santa is spread among the members. “I’ve stood there with Santa several nights and I don’t know if it gets more enjoyable than watching kids faces light up when they see Santa and get a candy cane and Santa visits with them, and they see all the Christmas lights,” Hindman said. “The essence of Lights at Kennedy is that businesses of Fort Dodge volunteer, they don’t pay us a fee nor

do we charge them a fee. They just come out and set up their own displays, and a lot of them are very neat and interactive, and have really come quite a ways, as have all Christmas lights in the past decade. There’s so many neat things they can do with them,” Hindman said. “We end up with about 30 businesses each year.” The club fills in the spaces between displays with their own decorations collected over the years. “We try to do some creative things ourselves as a club to dress up the park.” “We charge $5 a car. It makes no difference how many are in a car.” People are given ballots to vote for the best display. At the end of the threeweek run the ballots are counted and the first place business wins $500, with $300 going to the second and $200 to the third. Winning businesses are encouraged to donate the award to their favorite charity and some donate it back to the Noon Sertoma. Nonprofit organizations that win are welcome to keep the funds Hindman said.

up something new and innovative each year.

to work in the park on Saturdays and evenings.

Last year, the club began selling advance tickets and is doing so again this year because some people want to give the tickets out, or they just want to contribute if they are not able to come out to the display Hindman said.

“The other one we do a lot of people don’t know about is our backpack Buddies Program,” he said. “We feed about 150 hungry kids in Fort Dodge. People would be amazed at how many kids go hungry on the weekend.” Each Friday throughout the school year needy kids are given backpacks of food and healthy snacks for the weekend. Hindman said it is kind of alarming how much of a need there is for the program in the community.

“I stay involved with Lights because I think it is one of the neat projects we do for the community. It’s something unique that other people aren’t doing,” he said. “I don’t know very many people who don’t like the holidays. They like the Christmas spirit.” The Noon Sertoma has other major projects as well. “Our big project is the Veterans Memorial Park on the backside of Kennedy Park on National Ave. We have a beautiful park we put in there. It honors our military heroes past and present.” Members continue

Hindman, who is an Iowa State Trooper and Fort Dodge City Council member, spoke at Noon Sertoma before he joined the organization. “Because of my work with the state patrol and other things I’d been asked to speak there several times,” he said. “They are a uniquely fun group.”

“It’s a very successful event for us fundraising wise.” The event draws between 1,000 and 1,500 vehicles. Members begin setting up in November and all the displays are finally taken down before the campground opens in the spring. If businesses need help setting up their displays, members will help. “It’s kind of a labor of love for the businesses, too, and they seem to really like it. It’s their way to get into the holiday spirit.” “We let them use their own creativity,” Hindman said. Some businesses use the same popular displays while others put

Fort Dodge businesses volunteer and put up their own displays.

Lights at Kennedy continued next page. Fort Dodge Today

December 2011


“I’ve always enjoyed their meetings so I checked into their program and ended up signing up. I always felt like I should belong to some service club and we have a lot of options here in Fort Dodge.” Hindman is finishing his first two-year term as Ward 4 councilman. In addition, he served on a committee to raise funds for the local trail system. Hindman also serves on the board of directors for the Citizens Community Credit Union.

All his activities have been great learning experiences, Hindman said. “I found it great just finding out how my city works, and how the financial industries work.” “I’m an incredibly upbeat and positive person. I just think you have to look at life that way. There are a million things to complain about if you just want to complain. Fort Dodge isn’t perfect but there are a lot of really really great things going on if you just stop and look around.”

He has been active in the Special Olympics and is a leader for Fort Dodge Polar Plunge, where emergency personnel take a plunge into Badger Lake in the fall to raise money for the Special Olympics. “The very first year I had to knock the ice out of the lake so we could jump in,” he said.

About Kelly Hindman

photograph by Robert Wolf

vo l un te er

Lights at Kennedy continued from page 13.

A native of Dayton, Kelly Hindman, 48, moved to Fort Dodge in 1986 when he was hired by the Fort Dodge Police Department. In 1988, he was hired by the Iowa State Patrol and has been a state trooper for 23 years. A lieutenant in the patrol, he is the District 7 commander. He and his wife Tina have been married 23 years and they have two sons and a daughter. Tina Hindman is a legal assistant for attorney William Thatcher. Kelly Hindman is an avid golfer and a sports fanatic. “I’ve never been much of a TV watcher.”

Lights at Kennedy 6:00 to 9:30 p.m., Dec. 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, weather permitting.

Lights at Kennedy was an idea borrowed from another community that has come into its own in Fort Dodge with the Noon Sertoma Club.


Fort Dodge Today

December 2011

For more information, contact Lights of Kennedy chairman Jason Kolacia 570-4708 or any Noon Sertoma member

For F o r the the s p e c i a l child special child 8 - 1 1 years 8-11 years

S Santa a n t a ccan a n find find a l l the all t h e ttop op ttoys o y s ffor o r ggood ood ggirls irls & b boys! oys! s fo t f i G y bab

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December 2011


robert localcoLor robertwolf

photographs by Robert Wolf

f a i th

Faith Matters: Johnston teaches Sunday school for 40 Years come up with their own ideas. The teachers are given quite a bit of freedom in their teaching. “Each teacher comes with their own ideas,” Johnston said. In catechism, the students learn from Luther’s Small Catechism. It is a prerequisite to confirmation. Crosstown is for the younger students through the fourth grade and involves: a meal, music, recess, a lesson and

Carol Johnston has been Sunday school superintendent at Good Shepherd Lutheran since 2002.

crafts. It is held every Wednesday evening. The name is derived from a program the class originally used.

Carol Johnston has been teaching

with the Christmas program.

Sunday school since the 12th grade, 40

“They needed volunteers to help teach,

years ago. She became Sunday school

so I volunteered and I guess I never left

superintendent at Good Shepherd

it,” she said.

Lutheran Church in 2002. “Every church I’ve belonged to I’ve been a

Sunday school is held in the church

Sunday school teacher,”

basement following the Sunday

she said.

morning service. In Sunday school, the teachers give more lessons and


In addition to being the superintendent

teach more about Jesus. “They have

Johnston also teaches Sunday school,

craft ideas they can go by,” she said.

catechism and Crosstown. Her other

Johnston orders materials if the

activities at the church include helping

teachers request but others like to

Fort Dodge Today

December 2011

“Crosstown is off the cuff, there is not a set program for that,” Johnston said. Johnston said she never throws anything away. She donates the old school books to the missions and to other smaller churches who cannot afford them even if the churches are not Lutheran. “In this society that we have today a lot of people and a lot of kids don’t get the churching and the religious aspect of Jesus and God, and we try to teach that,” Johnston said. Johnston said she enjoys working with

the students. “Sometimes you will think they are not listening, and they will answer a question,” she said. To keep their attention she looks for things they like to do. It’s boring for a child to sit and listen to a lesson so they try to use colored pictures. “You’ve got to think like a child,” she said. In addition, the classes have painted murals on the walls of the church basement. The students also collect food for the Lord’s Cupboard. The Crosstown, catechism and Sunday school classes have a contest to see which class can bring in the most food. “The one who brings the most food for the class gets to have a pizza party,” Johnston said.

They needed volunteers to help teach so I volunteered and I guess I never left it.

Crosstown is for children through the fourth grade.

~ Carol Johnston

Johnston continued next page.

Her faith has always been a strong part of her life. “I try to put that into my kids and hopefully my kids will put it into their kids,” she said. Johnston’s daughter, Michelle Hammersland, also volunteers teaching Sunday school, vacation Bible school, Crosstown, catechism and crafts. “It’s kind of a back and forth thing. If I need her she helps me and if she needs me I help her,” Hammersland said. Her daughter ,Taylor Hammersland, is starting to volunteer now as well.

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Fort Dodge Today

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Johnston continued from page 17. weekend accompanying students to a junior high youth program in

f a i th

Des Moines put on by the Iowa District West. “One of these days my goal is to make quilts for the homeless but I haven’t had time to do that yet,” Johnston said. “She is very dedicated. I’m glad she does it and I hope she does it for the

Johnston has involved her children and grandchildren in volunteering. Shown, from left, are Michelle Hammersland, Taylor Hammersland and Carol Johnston There are 12 teachers. “I do have a

“We combined classes and grades just

hard time finding teachers. Parents just

to have enough teachers.” Anyone can

do not want to volunteer like they used

be a teacher she said.

to,” Johnston said.

Once a year Johnston spends a

next 20 years,” said Brad Niemeyer, Good Shepherd youth director.

About Carol Johnston Carol Johnston, 58, has lived most of her life in Fort Dodge since the age of 7, except when she and her husband Jack Johnston lived in Story City for less than two years. Johnston works in the office at Oberg Freight Com. The couple have been married 19 years and have four children and nine grandchildren. Jack Johnston works for Decker Truck Line. Carol Johnston also volunteers for Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts. “My free time is pretty much grandkids and volunteering,” she said. Her mom also makes costumes for high school and Iowa Central Community College plays, Michelle Hammersland said. “I do a lot of sewing and mending for people,” said Johnston. “I made the angel costumes for the Christmas program. I just don’t like to sit. I’ve got to keep doing something,” she said.

Christmas and New Year’s Masses

Saturday, Dec. 24: Corpus Christi 5:00 pm and 10:00 pm Sacred Heart 5:00 pm and 9:00 pm St. Matthew, Clare 5:00 pm

Sunday, Dec. 25: Corpus Christi 9:00 am Christ the King, Dayton 8:00 am Our Lady of Good Counsel, Moorland 10:00 am Sacred Heart 10:00 am Spanish Mass Sacred Heart 12:00 noon Saturday, Dec. 31: Normal Saturday evening Mass times Corpus Christi 4:15 pm Sacred Heart 5:00 pm Christ the King, Dayton 5:00 pm


Fort Dodge Today

December 2011

Carol Johnston

Sunday, Jan. 1 Normal Sunday Mass times Corpus Christi 7:30, 9:30 am & 7:30 pm Sacred Heart 8:00, 10:30 am St. Matthew, Clare 8:00 am OLGC, Moorland 10:00 am

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Fort Dodge Today

December 2011


scEnE aboutTown

Photos by CU photographers Nicole Hagar and Susan Moore

Dueling Pianos at Willow Ridge

Missy Carlson and Raquell Benegas at Dueling Pianos dinner show at WIllow Ridge.

Jim Moenck and Bruce Zemke at Dueling Pianos.


Fort Dodge Today

December 2011

Lonnie and Toni Wallace at Dueling Pianos.

Doug and Nancy Jenson celebrate their 32nd wedding anniversary at Dueling Pianos.

Visiting Artist

To see more pictures, order prints or upload photos of your own ...

A visiting artisit, Dr. Carmon Slater, gave a talk and slide presentation at the Blanden Memorial Art Museum.

Out and About dog in training

Wellness Education

submitted photo Reine Powers meets Jerry Mathers, star of ‘Leave it to Beaver,’ while attending a wellness education event presented by Trinity Healthy Living.

photo by Becky O’Brien Shawn is a 4-month old leader dog in training for the sight-impaired dog in training at the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility. She is sponsored by Todd & Sargent, Inc. of Ames, and is being rained at the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility. Fort Dodge Today

December 2011


scEnE aboutTown

Photos by CU photographers Nicole Hagar and Susan Moore

Food and Beverage Expo

Amanda Smith and Leah Wilson of the Scentsy booth display their products.

Laura and Tyler Sandstrom of Miry Clary Pottery show off their pottery at the Food and Beverage Expo.

Teri and Dave Jackson at their booth with XOCAI Healthy Chocolate. Brian Gibson of River Valley Orchard Winery pours samples available from the winery.

Young Professionals Annual Halloween Bash

Chad and Misty Hade with Nate and Julie Gibson attending the Young Professionals Annual Halloween Bash. 22

Fort Dodge Today

December 2011

Jerry and Nancy Richman, Pat and Tabitha Sheran, and Sarah and Matt Cosgrove at the YP Halloween party.

Bridal Spectacular

Amie Kallansrud and Paula Brain with Silpada at the Bridal Spectacular.

Dan Garst of Party Productions at the Bridal Spectacular.

Barb Vonsak represents her business, Perfectly Done by Barb at the Bridal Spectacular.

Dean Vinchattle and Laura Condon on In-Your-Ear Mobile Sound at the Bridal Spectacular. Sara and Lauryn Resenscheild attend the Bridal Spectacular.

Fort Dodge Today

December 2011


C e n t e r Center S t a g e Stage The Cellar The C ellar

“A Tradition of Fine Dining”

The Cellar Restaurant and Lounge is committed to bringing you quality food and friendly service. Your meal will be prepared and served with the utmost care and attention. The Cellar has been highly recognized for the excellence of their steaks. They offer two sizes of Filet, the most tender of the steak offerings; two sizes of Ribeye, the most flavorful; and a sixteen ounce New York Strip, which can satisfy the heartiest of appetites. On Friday and Saturday evenings Prime Rib is featured. The Cellar’s Prime Rib is uniquely prepared in a hickory smoker.

116 Kenyon Road, Fort Dodge, 515-576-2290


Fort Dodge Today

December 2011

Seafood options offered at The Cellar include salmon with a delightful dill sauce, jumbo shrimp which can be batter fried or charbroiled, mahi mahi and tilapia. Diners will also find an extensive variety of pork, pasta, chicken, salads, sandwiches and chef prepared specials on the menu. The Cellar’s regular menu includes 17 dinners for $10 or less.

The Cellar Restaurant and Lounge has served Fort Dodge and the surrounding area for over 20 years. They have won the Readers’ Choice Award for the “Best Steak” every year for four years. Over the last three years, The Cellar has also received Readers’ Choice Awards for the “Best Prime Rib”, the “Best Servers” and the “Best Atmosphere”. Bring your family and friends to relax in our friendly atmosphere and enjoy the tradition of fine dining. Your satisfaction is The Cellar’s number one IA priority!

Hours are Monday through Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. We are located in the Budget Host Inn on the northeast corner of U.S. Highways 169 and Business 20 at 116 Kenyon Road. For information or directions call 515-576-2290 or check out our menu and photos on Facebook at Be our Friend!

Fort Dodge Today

December 2011


C e n t e r Center S t a g e Stage The Cellar The C ellar

“A Tradition of Fine Dining”

The Cellar Restaurant and Lounge is committed to bringing you quality food and friendly service. Your meal will be prepared and served with the utmost care and attention. The Cellar has been highly recognized for the excellence of their steaks. They offer two sizes of Filet, the most tender of the steak offerings; two sizes of Ribeye, the most flavorful; and a sixteen ounce New York Strip, which can satisfy the heartiest of appetites. On Friday and Saturday evenings Prime Rib is featured. The Cellar’s Prime Rib is uniquely prepared in a hickory smoker.

116 Kenyon Road, Fort Dodge, 515-576-2290


Fort Dodge Today

December 2011

Seafood options offered at The Cellar include salmon with a delightful dill sauce, jumbo shrimp which can be batter fried or charbroiled, mahi mahi and tilapia. Diners will also find an extensive variety of pork, pasta, chicken, salads, sandwiches and chef prepared specials on the menu. The Cellar’s regular menu includes 17 dinners for $10 or less.

The Cellar Restaurant and Lounge has served Fort Dodge and the surrounding area for over 20 years. They have won the Readers’ Choice Award for the “Best Steak” every year for four years. Over the last three years, The Cellar has also received Readers’ Choice Awards for the “Best Prime Rib”, the “Best Servers” and the “Best Atmosphere”. Bring your family and friends to relax in our friendly atmosphere and enjoy the tradition of fine dining. Your satisfaction is The Cellar’s number one IA priority!

Hours are Monday through Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. We are located in the Budget Host Inn on the northeast corner of U.S. Highways 169 and Business 20 at 116 Kenyon Road. For information or directions call 515-576-2290 or check out our menu and photos on Facebook at Be our Friend!

Fort Dodge Today

December 2011


provided by amypresler amy

of s k o o B t s e 20 B









On Canaan’s Side by Sebastian Barry

Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch

The Stranger’s Child by Alan Hollinghurst


Fort Dodge Today

December 2011

The Submission by Amy Waldman

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenide

Nightwoods by Charles Frazier















The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley

Faith by Jennifer Haigh

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Room by Emma Donoghue

The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman

Reamde by Neal Stephenson

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman Fort Dodge Today

December 2011


news editor coverfeature kathleenkoch, kathleen

Looks a Lot Like Christmas Winter festivities of music, history and arts abound around the Fort Dodge area.

There are events happening throughout Fort Dodge that involve music, history, theater and art in December.

The leaves have blown away, leaving the trees bare and naked, snowflakes are falling from the sky, fireplaces are getting fired up and smells of chestnuts roasting are wafting through the air. It is winter time now, and that means the holiday season has arrived.

Fort Dodge Area Symphony Fort Dodge Area Symphony is presenting “Holiday Favorites” this season. The program will feature Christmas classics and will close with the traditional audience sing-a-long of the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ from Handel’s ‘Messiah.’ The concert will be led by guest conductor, Mike Golemo from Iowa State University. “This is my first time conducting the Fort Dodge Symphony and I’m absolutely thrilled to work with the all the people involved. It is going to be a spectacular event for families to attend,” said Golemo. “We have a stunning soloist, Jocelyn Ascherl. Her community should be very proud of her performance in this holiday production.”

Jeanette Lawrence, Laura Cooper and Bill Sergeant of the Fort Dodge Symphony.

photograph by Hans Madsen

Ascherl, is a Fort Dodge native and a student at Iowa State University.

“I was so excited and thrilled that the Fort Dodge Symphony asked me to come sing for the Holiday Favorites show. It is such an honor to be a part of this event in my hometown,” Ascherl said. Symphony performers for “Holiday Favorites” include Jeanette Lawrence, playing the viola; Bill Sergeant, playing the violin; and Laura Cooper on cello. “This year’s concert has a good mix of old favorites and what are sure to become new favorites,” said Cooper. “Dr. Golemo chose a great program, and I have really enjoyed working with him. I’m also very much looking forward to working with our soloist, Jocelyn Ascherl, and to ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,’ with narrator Scott Johnston. With all the variety on the program, everyone is sure to find something he or she likes.” The performance will be held at 3 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Phillips Middle School auditorium. Concert tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for students and available at the Phillips Middle School door. Ringland- Smeltzer House The Ringland-Smeltzer House will have its Christmas open house this year with help of the volunteer committees who plan, prepare and decorate the house. The house will be decorated in garland, lights, ribbons, bows, wreaths,

Christmas story continued page 30.


Fort Dodge Today

December 2011

Fort Dodge Choral Society Members Left column, front to back: Bruce Perry, conductor, Sac City; Alec Pendry, Fort Dodge; Larry Purcell, Fort Dodge; Aliese Hoesel, Fort Dodge; Stephanie Hill, Webster City; Carroll Lang, Fort Dodge; Cheryl Kuhlman, Fort Dodge; Marie Bargsten, Fort Dodge; Diane Vavak, Rockwell City; Gloria Zahrobsky, Fort Dodge; Lynda Mumm, Fort Dodge; Helen Patterson, Fort Dodge; Joanne Astor, Fort Dodge. Center column, front to back: Doug Hill, Fort Dodge; Mark Gustafson, Fort Dodge; Sean O'Connor, Fort Dodge; April Ashby, Manson; Julie Larson (left), Fort Dodge; Karin Yungclas (right), Webster City; James Chesnutt, Fort Dodge; Angela Dencklau, Vincent; Elissa Savov, Fort Dodge; Callie Beggerly, Fort Dodge; Pat Hill, Fort Dodge; Ruth Bennett, Fort Dodge; Janice Loving, Manson. Right column, front to back: Michelle Havlik-Jergens, pianist, Webster City; Mark Andrew, Webster City; Aaron Kuhlman, Fort Dodge; Ryan Bowman, Humboldt; Sandee Bonner, Vincent; Liz Johnson, Fort Dodge; Alan Yungclas, Webster City; Becky Warren, Algona; Greg Kienzle, Webster City; Roberta Bochtler, Storm Lake; Nancy Shelton, Webster City; May Helvik (right), Fort Dodge; Caroline Prochaska (left), Fort Dodge.

photograph submitted by Bruce Perry

Fort Dodge Today

December 2011


c ov er f eat ur e

Christmas continued from page 28.

Christmas trees and much more making it glow during the Christmas open house from 2 to 5 p.m. Dec. 11. “We have to thank the people that volunteer their time and effort to help get this house ready for our Christmas open house. I hope that we will have many visitors this year come to the decorated historic house, it’s a beautiful home,” Bill Griffel, president of the Ann Smeltzer Charitable Trust, said. The house was built in 1903 for George Ringland. It is representative of Fort Dodge’s Gilded Age and the Jacobethan Revival style of architecture. It is maintained by a trust provided by Ringland’s granddaughter, Ann Smeltzer, the last member of the family to occupy the home The trust was established in 2000. Smeltzer was a lifelong resident of Fort Dodge and a strong supporter of cultural events in Fort Dodge and helped many young artists throughout her life. She was also a supporter of the environment through donations to organizations in Iowa and around the world. The Ringland-Smeltzer home is available to the public for their use in hosting parties, musical gatherings, meetings, etc. For more information on renting the Ringland-Smeltzer please go to to make reservations.


Fort Dodge Today

December 2011

Hawkeye Community Theatre Hawkeye Community Theatre is putting on “Joy,” a rock musical that tells what happens when a group of high school seniors arrive to prepare for an annual Nativity play only to find, no director, no script and no set. The show must go on, so it’s up to the high school kids to make it work. “It is going to be a fun theatrical production put on by the high school kids with great characters,” said Dave Stokesbary, who is directing his first musical production. “I picked ‘Joy’ because it is a little more about rock during the holiday season and I thought the kids in the production would have a lot of fun with it. You’ll just have to come see what they come up with to entertain us.” The production of “Joy” has an energetic group of talented area students for the December Hawkeye show. Cain Junkman serves as the accompanist to some entertaining vocals sung by Janessa Laupp, Jamila Shig-Hon, Jazzmin and Monica Hughes, Allysen Martin, Miranda Dencklau, Robert Wede, Dakota Demery, Daniel Peet, Jordyn Peterson, Dynastacius “Dragon” Collins, Xavier Skaggs, Jay Laupp and Cal Solverson. “Joy” will be presented at 7 p.m. Dec. 16 and 17, and at 2 p.m. on Dec. 18. Concert tickets are $10 and available at the Hawkeye Community Theatre door.

Money and proceeds all go to the scholarship fund for kids interested in the arts. Fort Dodge Choral Society The Fort Dodge Choral Society is presenting “Christmas Memories,” a concert celebrating Christmases past with songs of “Silent Night,” “Wee Three Kings,” “Away n the Manger,” and many more. “Christmas concerts are always one of my favorites to perform,” said Bruce Perry, conductor of the Fort Dodge Choral Society. “This concert selection is of classical to modern music with great selection of sing-a-long carols lead by Sheryl Kuhlman and Beverly Poduska. Great for family and friends to come together for some hot cider, treats and caroling.” Events will be held Dec. 18 at First United Methodist Church. There will be a reception and refreshments served beginning at 2 p.m., carol sing-a-long starts at 2:30 p.m. and the concert starts at 3 p.m. Concert tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for senior citizens and all students are free. Tickets are available at the First United Methodist Church door.

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Fort Dodge Today

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culinarycorner kathleenkoch, news editor kathleen

photographs by Kathleen Koch

Holiday Treats at

A plate full of various goodies from Larita’s Cakes ‘N More. Holiday treats one oh-so-great to eat.

sugar high. When I was little I remem-

took one weekend in the beginning of

Scents of nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger-

ber our house looked like the Keebler

December to make all of her holiday

bread, vanilla and much more wafting

elves took over the kitchen. There were

goodies to share with our family and

through the air, bringing smiles to many

so many tins of cookies, fudge and

friends well into the new year. When I

faces and maybe just a little bit of a

many more treats. My mom, the elf,

went to Larita's Cakes 'N More all

Holiday Treats continued next page.

Fort Dodge Today

December 2011


c ul i nar y c or n er

Holiday Treats continued from page 33.

Decorated frosted cookies for Christmas are the biggest hit during this time," said Larita. Larita's Cakes N' More frosting is one of a kind from Larita. It is "her secret potion" made along with a secret family cookie recipe that is more than 63 years old. But Larita's favorite recipe to make during the holiday season is her mother's fudge. It is a milk chocolate mixture with pecans, it is a time consuming recipe but well worth it.

Treats from Larita’s Cakes ‘N More that taste as good as they look .

"I like to have treats taste the way I like to eat them, the gooier the better,"

those memories came flooding back

she said.

to me. Larita's Cakes 'N More has been in business for 30 years in the Fort Dodge area and one of the busiest times of the

Some of the faster, easier treats to whip up during the holiday season she said are cupcakes, chex mix, or puppy chow

year for her is Christmas. Larita started out by taking classes for baking when she was younger just to figure out how to frost a cake and make it look good. One thing lead to another through classes, teaching kids she babysat how to make cookies, and then one day she was asked why don't you make this into a business and she did. "Christmas is on of the biggest holidays

Locally famous for the frosting that covers cakes and cookies is actually a family secret recipe.


Fort Dodge Today

December 2011

that I deal with for all the different type of bars, handpainted candies, cupcakes, detail decorated cakes and cookies.

A selection of holiday cookies from Larita’s Cakes ‘N More.

that wasn't called for. Sometimes screw ups can work to your advantage, always taste your creation, good or bad,” said Larita.

Holiday suckers are also available from Larita’s Cakes ‘N More. mix, even better if the puppy chow is

“Just have fun with who you are with,

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Fort Dodge Today

December 2011


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Fort Dodge Today

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Fort Dodge Today

December 2011


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Fort Dodge Today

December 2011

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Fort Dodge Today

December 2011


HealthWise jessehelling jesse

Healthy Holidays

The holidays.

For many, Christmas is accompanied by avalanche of artery-clogging confections: mountains of cookies, cakes and candies, not to mention trays of turkey, stuffing and potatoes. With every holiday party serving up seemingly endless spreads of tasty treats, health-consciousness can take a back seat. However, enjoying the holidays does not have to be a strain on the heart or the waistline, according to Julie Clark, a dietician at Trinity Regional Medical Center’s Diabetes Center. Clark offers several tips for surviving the season and greeting 2012 in a fit, healthy manner. Exercise The easiest way to burn Christmas calories is through exercise. The scheduling pressures of the holidays can pre-empt a persons’ usual fitness regimen. But even if you don’t have time to fit in your usual three hours in the gym, an abridged version is OK, Clark said. “Anything you do is better than nothing,” she said.


Fort Dodge Today

December 2011

Clark advises people to incorporate exercise into their family traditions. “Go for a walk after dinner,” she said. “Or, bundle up and go run around in the snow.” Drink water It’s refreshing, has no calories and is nearly free.

“That’s particularly useful as coffee and alcohol are more likely to be consumed,” Clark said. Eat smart Vegetables–even if doused in ranch dressing or other dips are healthier snacks on which to munch that candy or Christmas cookies.

At a holiday gathering, water can be a health-conscious reveler’s best friend, according to Clark.

“Load up with veggies,” Clark said.

“Sip a glass at parties,” she said. “Water can help fill you up before a meal and keep you hydrated.”

“One way to make sure that there’s a healthy option at any party is to bring a nutritious entree or appetizer,” Clark said. “If you eat more of what you prepare, you can know exactly what has gone into it,” she said. Contributing to the spread might help endear you to your host, too.

Live for the present

...even if you don’t have time to fit in your usual three hours in the gym, an abridged version is OK.

Julie Clark, dietician at Trinity Regional Medical Center’s Diabetes Center

Slow down

Walk away

It takes 20 minutes for your brain and your stomach to both register that you’re full.

Food is seemingly everywhere during the holidays and the closer you are, the more likely you are to eat it.

“That’s a long time,” Clark said. “You can fit a couple trips to the serving table into that time.”

Solution: step away from the serving tray.

As a result, overeating and its accompanying bellyache are common. The simplest solution is all in the timing.

“Get away from the table,” Clark said. “Remove yourself, physically.”

If you’re mingling at a party, stake out a spot that’s well away from the hors d’oeuvres.

The New Years’ resolution: a license to gorge. Making that mental promise to lose 10 pounds after the holidays turns festivities into one last chance to go overboard, Clark said. This thinking, however, is a poor move healthwise.

“If you gain 10 pounds over the holidays, you have that much more to lose,” Clark said. Making the task more difficult down the road means that a person is more likely to get discouraged and give up, thus setting the cycle for more weight gain and more strain on one’s health. So, sensible indulgences – say, half a piece of pie instead of half a pie – are the watchword, according to Clark.

Additionally, if you’re preparing food for the holiday, resist the urge to scrape the mixing bowl or lick the spoon. “People can pack an entire meal’s worth of calories into that kind of nibbling,” Clark said.

“Wait at least 20 minutes between trips to the buffet,” Clark said. “Though it sounds a bit silly, even slow, careful chewing of food can be helpful,” she said. “Take time to talk and enjoy everyone’s company.”

Fort Dodge Today

December 2011


jesse homestyle jessehelling

“Sprucing” up the Holidays Few decorations are more evocative than a Christmas tree.

trees too dense for larger ornaments. Needle retention is good to excellent. White pine has very little aroma, but, conversely, is reported to result in fewer allergic reactions than do some of the more aromatic species.

Live, fresh cut trees can serve as a total package – wrapping up the sight and smell of the holiday. More than 35 million live Christmas trees are sold in the United States annually.

Scotch pine

Since 2000, Riverside Trees, 2424 Poplar Ave. south of Fort Dodge, has provided Christmas trees to north central Iowa. Jerry Vanvacter, owner of the Christmas tree farm, said that he’ll offer hundreds of trees for sale this year, beginning the day after Thanksgiving.

White pine

Scotch or Scots pine is an introduced species which has been widely planted for the purpose of producing Christmas trees. It is an extremely hardy species which is adaptable to a wide variety of soils and sites. As a Christmas tree, it is known for its dark green foliage and stiff branches which are well suited for decorating with both light and heavy ornaments. It has excellent needle retention characteristics

White pine “We draw customers from as far as Mason City and Des Moines,” he said.


Unlike some tree farms, Riverside Trees does the cutting for the customer, Vanvacter said.

White pine is considered to be the largest pine in the United States. In colonial times, white pines above 24 inches in diameter were reserved for England to be used as ships masts.

The farm offers white pine, Scotch pine, blue spruce and Fraser fir trees, which are among the most popular species available, according to the National Christmas Tree Association, which provides information and tips on selecting the right tree you your home, including the following:

Needles are soft, flexible and bluishgreen to silver green in color and are regularly arranged in bundles of five. Needles are 2 to 5 inches long and are usually shed at the end of the second growing season. For Christmas trees, sheared trees are preferred, although some people feel shearing results in

Fort Dodge Today

December 2011

Scotch pine

and holds up well throughout harvest, shipping and display. As a Christmas tree, Scotch pine is probably the most commonly used species in the United States. Because of its ease of planting, generally high planting survival and favorable response to plantation culture it has been widely planted throughout much of the eastern United States and Canada. For several years it was the favorite species of large eastern wholesale growers because of its excellent harvesting and shipping qualities. It is also a preferred species for many choose and cut growers in much of the eastern and central United States. As a Christmas tree, Scotch pine is known for its excellent needle retention and good keepability. It resists drying and if permitted to become dry does not drop its needles. Blue spruce Colorado blue spruce, or blue spruce, is an attractive tree often used for Christmas trees or as ornamentals, particularly in the eastern United States and Europe. Needles are 1 to 1 1/2 inches long on lower branches but somewhat shorter on upper branches. They are 4-sided and have a very sharp point on the end. It is this point which gives the species its name “pungens,” from the Latin word for sharp– as in puncture wound. Needles are generally dull bluish-gray to silvery blue and emit a resinous odor when crushed. Blue spruce is finding increasing popularity as a Christmas tree as a result of

broad circular base, and are usually dark green on the upper surface and lighter on the lower surface. The combination of form, needle retention, dark blue-green color, pleasant scent and excellent shipping characteristics has led to Fraser fir being a most popular Christmas tree species. According to Vanvacter, all species of trees can last until mid-January with the proper care.

Blue spruce its symmetrical form and attractive blue foliage. The species has an excellent natural shape and requires little shearing. Additionally, needle retention is among the best for the spruces. Its popularity as an ornamental leads many consumers to use blue spruce as a living Christmas tree, to be planted after the holiday season.

“Specifically, making sure the tree is well-watered is of utmost importance,” he said. “Make sure there’s a fresh cut on the bottom of the trunk,” he said. “That’s what helps draw water in.”

Fraser fir Fraser fir and balsam fir are quite similar, although the geographic ranges of the two species do not overlap. Fraser fir is a uniformly pyramid-shaped tree which reaches a maximum height of about 80 feet and a diameter of 1.5 feet. Strong branches are turned slightly upward which gives the tree a compact appearance. Needles are flattened, dark green with a medial groove on the upper side and two broad silverywhite bands on the lower surface. Needles are 1/2 to 1 inch long, have a

Fraser fir

Fort Dodge Today

December 2011


MoneyMatters courtesy of edwardjones edward

Manage Your Money Carefully This Holiday Season As you know, the holiday season can be joyous, hectic, celebratory — and expensive. And while you certainly enjoy hosting family gatherings and giving presents to your loved ones, you’ll find these things even more pleasurable if they don’t add a lot more weight to your debt load. And that’s why you’ll want to follow some smart money-management techniques over the next few weeks. To begin with, try to establish realistic budgets for both your entertaining and your gift giving. When you host family and friends, don’t go overboard on your expenditures. Your guests will still appreciate your efforts, which, with a little creativity, can create a welcoming and fun experience for everyone. As a guiding principal, keep in mind these words attributed to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the famous German poet and philosopher: “What you can do without, do without.” Set a budget and stick to it. And the same rule applies to your gifting. You don’t need to find the most expensive presents, or overwhelm recipients with the sheer volume of your

gifts. This is especially true if you, like so many people, have been affected by the tough economy. Everyone you know will understand that gifts don’t have to be lavish to be meaningful. Furthermore, by sticking to a budget, you won’t be tempted to dip into your long-term investments to pay for fabulous parties or mountains of gifts. It’s never a good idea to tap long-term investments for short-term needs, but can be especially bad when your investment prices are down, as they may well be this year. So, if you want to stick to a budget but you don’t want to raid your investments, how can you pay for your holiday season expenses? If you can spread out your purchases, you may be able to pay for them from your normal cash flow. But if that’s not possible, you might want to consider “plastic” — your credit card. Using your credit card does not, by itself, need to amount to a financial setback, especially if you’ve chosen a card that offers favorable terms and you’ve already shown the discipline not to over-use that card. Just try to minimize your credit card

Making Sense of Investing

William D. Kent,AAMS Financial Advisor 46

Fort Dodge Today

December 2011

1411 1st Ave. South Fort Dodge, IA 50501 515-576-2771 • 800-927-3401 Member SIPC

usage over the holidays and pay off your card as soon as you can. Of course, you can make your holiday season much easier, financially speaking, if you’ve set up a holiday fund to cover your various expenses. While it’s too late to set up such a fund this year, why not get an early start on the 2012 holiday season? All you need to do is put away some money each month into an easily accessible account, separate from your everyday accounts. You don’t have to put in a great deal, but you do need to be consistent, which is why you may want to have the money moved automatically, once a month, from your checking or savings account to your holiday fund. When next year’s holiday season rolls around, you might be pleasantly surprised by how much you’ve accumulated. But for now, following some commonsense money management practices can help you get through the holiday season in financial shape — and that type of result can get your new year off to a positive start. Copyright © 2011 Edward Jones. All rights reserved. Member SIPC.

• Mutual Funds • Stocks • IRAs/Roth IRAs • Annuities •Tax-Free Bonds • CDs • Retirement Planning

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Fort Dodge Today

December 2011



“O, wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?�

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley


Fort Dodge Today

December 2011

Dec 2011 (8pgs) covers 11/12/11 3:04 PM Page 5

Community Orchard Merry Christmas to All!

LUNCH DAILY 11 am - 2 pm

Remember to Order Your “All Iowa” Gift Baskets Hours: Mon-Sat 8 am - 5 pm • Sunday 10 am - 5 pm N.W. Corner of Airport (2237 160th St.) • Fort Dodge, IA 515-573-8212 • (888) 573-8212 • email:

Dec 2011 (8pgs) covers 11/12/11 3:04 PM Page 6

Warm wishes for a Christmas season full of good cheer!

From all of us at United Bank of Iowa Fort Dodge 1608 1st Ave. S. 515-576-5111 Member FDIC

Dec 2011 (8pgs) covers 11/12/11 3:04 PM Page 7

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PRSRT STD US Postage Paid Fort Dodge, IA Permit No. 10


A TimeFor Angels 2011 Service Of Remembrance Sunday, December 4 • 1:30 p.m. St. Olaf Lutheran Church 239 No 11th St., Fort Dodge

The holidays are a difficult time for those who have lost someone loved. The staff of Gunderson Funeral Home invites you to attend our annual


Time For Angels”

a service of remembrance in honor of those who have died and in support of those who still live.

The program will feature music and an inspirational message of hope from the

Rev. David Grindberg & Monsignor Kevin McCoy

The program will be followed by a presentation of an angel ornament to each family to take home and place on their tree for their own family gathering. We hope you, your family and friends will join us. Please call us with any questions or to request your own angel ornament for your family.

1615 North 15th Street • Fort Dodge • 576-7128

December 2011 Today Magazine  

A monthly magazine with lifstyle features.

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