St. Louis Park community notes
School life becomes a musical
The Benilde-St. Margaret’s drama department will present this year’s junior high production, “Junior High the Musical,” March 1-3.
This production was written by Benilde-St. Margaret’s Choir Director Nancy Stockhaus and her nephew, Dylan Lamb. It depicts a typical day in the life of junior high students.
Show times are 7 p.m. Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2, and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 3. Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for students and seniors and free for children age 5 and under. Tickets may be purchased at BSMschool.org/dramatickets.
Info: 952–915–4358, ext. 2495.
SLP teachers nominated
Two St. Louis Park teachers are among 135 candidates for Minnesota Teacher of the Year.
St. Louis Park teachers Meredith Homans and Arika Mareck have accepted nominations for the award.
The candidates have completed the required materials to become eligible for the honor. The number of candidates is the highest for the Teacher of the Year program since 2005.
This year’s program will name the 49th Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Candidates include pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers, from public or private schools.
The 2013 Minnesota Teacher of the Year will be announced Sunday, May 5, at the Marriott Minneapolis Northwest in Brooklyn Park. In coming weeks, a 25-member panel of community leaders will name a group of semifinalists and then finalists.
Education Minnesota organizes the Minnesota Teacher of the Year program.
Aldergate hosts ‘Oklahoma!’
Aldersgate United Methodist’s Theatre of the Spirit is moving into its 23rd year with a production of “Oklahoma!”
This faith-based community theatre includes members from many areas around the metro, including St. Louis Park, Edina, Eden Prairie, Plymouth, Minnetonka, Minneapolis and Hopkins.
Performances of “Oklahoma!” will be 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28; 7 p.m. Friday, March 1; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, March 2; and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the church, 3801 Wooddale Ave. S. in St. Louis Park.
“Oklahoma!” was Richard Rodger’s and Oscar Hammerstein’s first collaboration. Some critics credit the play with setting the standard for musical theater storytelling with the integration of music, design, dance and story. Choreographer and dancer Agnes de Mille melded dance with storytelling and emotion in an unusual way.
Based on Lynn Rigg’s play, “Green Grow the Lilies,” the Broadway production ran for 2,243 performances, finally closing May 29, 1948. It has been revived many times on Broadway and in the West End of London.
There is no admission charge for the productions. Offering will be taken. A spaghetti dinner is offered for $7 for adults or $5 for children ages 4-12 after the Sunday show.
Coyote expert to speak
A session on human-wildlife conflicts, including conflicts with coyotes, is coming to St. Louis Park next month, which will also include a public forum on coyotes.
Lynsey White Dasher’s experience with coyotes includes completing research and data analysis for The Cook County Coyote project in Chicago — the largest study of urban coyotes in the country. She has also published an analysis of coyote attacks on people throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Dasher will speak at a forum for St. Louis Park residents 7 p.m. Thursday, March 7, in Council Chambers at City Hall, 5005 Minnetonka Blvd. The forum will look at ways residents can effectively and safely deal with urban coyotes, including hazing techniques and tips for keeping coyotes out of yards and away from pets.
Empty Bowls returns for 13th year March 7
In an effort to fight against hunger and to recognize that March is Hunger Awareness month, the St. Louis Park Emergency Program is conducting its 13th annual Empty Bowls event Thursday, March 7, at the St. Louis Park Recreation Center.
Empty Bowls is a fundraiser for STEP and all funds raised go toward the efforts to meet the growing hunger needs of the community.
STEP responds to people in crisis who have basic needs, such as food, clothing, transportation and housing. Each STEP client meets with a social worker during every visit. Out of 10 St. Louis Park residents visit the food shelf each month.
For a donation at Empty Bowls, a simple meal of soup and bread is offered. There is live entertainment.
STEP encourages all participants to take home a bowl handcrafted by local artists, students and residents to remind them of the empty bowls in their community. For an added convenience, Soup to Go is also being offered for those people who would like to participate but do not have time to sit down for a meal.
Empty Bowls began nationally in 1990 as a grassroots project of two high school art teachers in Michigan. Due to the low volume of food they were receiving during their food drives, as well as the dwindling interest in the community, they created a way to add excitement and energy to a worthwhile cause.
Their students were asked to make ceramic bowls to be used at a luncheon for the school staff. Guests were invited to choose a bowl, were fed a simple meal of soup and bread and were encouraged to make a donation to the local food shelf. Everyone was given their bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in their community and throughout the world.
Jennifer Ortale, St. Louis Park’s Empty Bowls chair, said, “I am thrilled to be part of such an outstanding group of community leaders, volunteers and donors coming together to support STEP for such a fun and worthwhile cause.”
The event will take place on two floors of the St. Louis Park Recreation Center, 3700 Monterey Drive. Lunch is served 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dinner is served 4–7 p.m.
Info: Ortale, 612-770-1199 or email@example.com.
Sholom resident wins Spirit of Aging award
Aging Services of Minnesota honored Evie Shore, 87, with its prestigious “2013 Spirit of Aging Award” during its 2013 Institute and Meeting in early February.
Shore, a resident of Sholom’s Knollwood Place Apartments on the Ackerberg Family Sholom West Campus in St. Louis Park, introduced Sholom residents to a world of learning when she founded The Academy at Sholom in 2005.
Shore, a retired teacher, moved from Boston to become a Sholom resident eight years ago. Since then, she made it her mission to research learning and brain health.
She found that older adults are more engaged and healthier in both mind and body when they continue learning. Shore’s curriculum includes courses from history and current events to reading books and writing magazine articles.
According to one Sholom resident and student of The Academy, “I had no idea I could write. But I found that I can write, and it has brought joy to my life.”
The program has now been expanded to the Shaller Family Sholom East Camus in St. Paul, and an “At Your Service Manual” outlines a program that could be replicated by other organizations.
TowerLight Childcare opens
Located in the same St. Louis Park facility as TowerLight on Wooddale Senior Living, TowerLight Childcare has opened.
The service provides a 65,000 square-foot intergenerational daycare experience.
“There is an abundance of sociological research demonstrating the tremendous value and mutual benefits for seniors and young children sharing the same space and activities,” said Annie Westall, housing manager for Ebenezer Management Services. “At TowerLight Childcare, we will see the rewards of enhancing the skills, learning, emotional stability and socialization of both our seniors and our youngest TowerLight members. Plus, these poignant relationships also will help to strengthen the ties to the broader community.”
TowerLight Childcare features a large outdoor playground area and activity rooms, including space for arts and crafts, for TowerLight’s intergenerational residents. Activities include story time, outdoor playtime, arts and crafts, games and parties.
“As children and seniors share memories, play games and create together, an unmistakable bond forms that transcends generations,” Westall said. “Children learn to think beyond their small worlds. Seniors feel a new sense of purpose. For kids who don’t live near their own grandparents, this connection can be especially meaningful.”
The daycare and daily intergenerational programming will be managed by Ebenezer Management Services, a part of Fairview Health Services and a partner with Greco Real Estate Development on the TowerLight project.
“Intergenerational models provide many positive benefits for young kids and seniors, including physical and emotional health,” said Arnie Gregory, principal at Graco Real Estate Development. “We are pleased to offer an inspiring environment where both the young of age and the aging in place can support each other and enhance each other’s quality of life.”
World Trade Center responder discusses experiences
The St. Louis Park Senior Program is sponsoring “9-11 World Trade Center: A First Responder’s Story” 1-3 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, with a registration deadline Wednesday, March 13.
Dan Murphy, a retired New York Police Department detective and sergeant, will recall his experiences at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, and in the days and weeks afterward during a presentation at Lenox Community Center, 6715 Minnetonka Blvd.
He will show unique photos of the devastation at the site and the rescue and recovery efforts and tell of the extraordinary acts of bravery and selflessness.
Members of the senior program receive discounts on fees.