Thank you, Southwest

Editor’s note: I am so appreciative of all the readers who sent in special notes for our annual “Thank You” feature. They include so many stories of inspiring acts of kindness. I’m very thankful for the strong community support of the Southwest Journal. Your kind words, notes of encouragement, story tips and feedback make our jobs here at the newspaper very satisfying and rewarding. We wish you all a wonderful 2011!

— Sarah McKenzie

Linden Hills leaders

A heartfelt thank you to Linden Hills Neighborhood Council (LHiNC)’s outgoing boardmembers Keiko Veasey, Kelly Keagan, Linea Palmisano and David Jones.

Their years of service have helped Linden Hills in many ways large and small, from the zero waste Festival to tree plantings to the neighborhood newsletter that lands on our front steps and things too numerous to mention. And a thank you to LH park man Nelson Evenrud, in particular for his efforts on getting our pool back!

Bruce Manning, Linden Hills


Love for Linden Hills friends

A heart filled with gratitude for all my dear friends in “my village” of Linden Hills who have made my 14 years among you such an absolute joy. Though my new home will be far up the North Shore, I will be returning to “my village” as often as possible to stock up on hugs and news! Not goodbye … I’ll see you all again soon.

Deborah Morse-Kahn, Silver Bay


Heroic helpers

Four years ago my husband, Robert Gerloff, suffered a severe stroke. Since that time he has been unable to drive, and because I work far from our Linden Hills home, I can’t always help.

Enter a remarkable group of people, many of them neighbors, who have driven Rob to speech therapy and reading classes through the years.

We send our deepest thanks to Eric Hanson, Faith Adams, Marc Burgett, and Claire and Jerry Ritter for their kindness, steadfastness, and reliability over these many months. Yours is not a high-profile volunteer job, but it’s an important one all the same.
We are humbled by your quiet goodness.

Lynette Lamb and Robert Gerloff, Linden Hills


An incredible doctor

I want to thank Dr. Sue Grant, for always making my children feel special. She would wave from her living room window every morning as my children walked to the bus stop. If she did not see one of the children on any particular morning, a phone call was sure to follow, checking on the health and well-being of that child. She would enjoy spontaneous visits from my children and they would always leave with a small momento. Recently, my daughter wore one of those momentos to the celebration of Dr. Grant’s life.

Here’s to you, Dr. Grant. You are a true inspiration. A woman, who graduated from both college and medical school with highest honors, lived only to help others. She used her medical knowledge to comfort and heal all the families she served. May I remember your generosity and continue your traditions on our neighborhood block. You will truly be missed.

Barb Everhart, Tangletown


Uptown’s champions

I would like to acknowledge the hard work of the Uptown Association Board of Directors, staff, interns, and volunteers for building the capacity of the organization. The organization started several years ago with a goal of creating a better sense of community in the business district, improving communication, developing and implementing a marketing strategy, and building organizational capacity.

We have accomplished that and are now well positioned to improve the Uptown business district in 2011 and 2012. Through their hard work, patience, and vision, we got there. I would also like to offer a special thank you to Maude Lovelle, our executive director, and Megan Orr, our associate director for their dedication to Uptown, our organization, and their work.

Thatcher Imboden, President,
Uptown Association


A wonderful yoga teacher

Maybe it was when Myra Rucker quoted both Elvis and Ernest Hemingway in the same one-hour yoga class at the Blaisdell YMCA.

Maybe it was when she wore an angel costume on Halloween, and executed a perfect chaturanga (yoga pushup) without losing her halo. Or perhaps it was her Fourth of July Patriotic Yoga blowout, complete with musings on the nature of freedom and Ray Charles’ version of “America” as a soundtrack. 

For these and many other reasons, the members of the Blaisdell YMCA know that the one thing to expect from Myra’s classes is that something unexpected will happen. 

We appreciate her warmth, gentleness, compassionate instruction and wide-ranging musical and literary references. Even more, we always smile when we hear her frequent admonition to “turn the corners of your mouth up to the ceiling!” Thanks, Myra, for strengthening our bodies and helping to lighten our souls.

Julie Kendrick


A friendly face at Kowalski’s

We would like to nominate Kim Cizl of Kowalski’s on Lyndale. We have known her ever since we were little girls, and she made sure that we always got cookies when we came in.

We always loved to see her with green makeup and a witch costume at the Boo Bash on Halloween. Now that we are too old for cookies (sigh), she is still very nice to us when we come in after school. It’s fun to able to walk to a neighborhood market, and it’s really fun to see someone who is always friendly and nice, like Kim.

Emma and Mary Katherine Fiala,
(ages 15 and 12), Tangletown


A compassionate couple

To Jeff and Diane Rossi: Thanks for checking on things while we are out of town, caring for our sick cat and all the numerous projects that Jeff helped us

with this year. You two are the best!

Chris and Brenda Seidl, East Harriet


Valued friends of Washburn

I would like to extend a sincere thank you to all for the amazing support you have given to the Washburn High School community throughout the past three years.

Our athletic teams have had such incredible support not only at our homecoming games but throughout all the seasons (including the 2009 boys basketball state championship).

The sea of orange and blue throughout the city has been a physical reminder of Miller Pride. We have painted our building, added a beautiful new sign, changed our entrance for access for all who enter, and opened the auditorium to showcase our exciting new fine arts department. Musicals, social justice theater, vocal music and band concerts, special events are now expected and supported by our community. We have become an International Baccalaureate (IB) school, while we continue to offer Advanced Placement (AP), and Engineering (PLTW) courses for all students, including honors for all students in the 9th and 10th grades.

We have expanded the media center collection and increased our technology for staff and students. These developments and improvements would not have been possible without the dedication of our staff, families and students.

Thank you for coming into our school, sharing not only your financial support and but your belief that ALL students deserve an excellent education. Our staff at Washburn is committed to making this a reality. I am in my fourth year as the principal of Washburn High School and will continue to accept the challenge of ensuring excellence and equity for all students.

Carol Markham-Cousins,
Principal of Washburn High School


A remarkable block

A thank you to the greatest neighbors in the world! Thank you to all the neighbors in the 4900 block of Queen Avenue South. These are the best neighbors a person could have.

Thank you for all the lawn mowing, yard work, snow shoveling, get well wishes and good food since being confined to the hospital for 60 days in 2010.

Al & Jennifer Stuber, Fulton


An amazing neighbor

Lynnell Mickelson is an AMAZINGLY great neighbor and community advocate. We love the annual contact lists that she updates and compiles for us. Lynnell’s political commentaries are always welcome and interesting. Our boulevard is a better place because of Lynnell and her wonderful family.

Thank you, Lynnell!

The Hinke-Reinhold Family, Linden Hills


Love for the library

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to thank our neighbors who supported us as we raised funds for the Washburn Library.

Many thanks to Bruce Bermel of the C. Chase Company for his generous donation of the use of the Boulevard Commons Building for the Friends of the Washburn Library’s book sale in early December. The sale was a huge success, due in large part to the use of this wonderful space.

Thanks to Diamond Lake Rentals for their tables and Kowalski’s for shopping bags used during the sale.

Community members donated — and bought — hundreds of books! Proceeds from this sale will go to support programs at the Washburn Library.

Chris Quinn, Kenny


Grateful for Kingfield friends

Every year I read about the special “Thank You” section and think, ‘I should do that.’ Every year the deadline comes before I get it done. Not this year!

I have lived in my house in the Kingfield neighborhood for 17 years. My neighbors are not just neighbors, but friends who get together for birthdays, barbeques and holidays. They have done so much for me over the years. I cannot list them all, but will mention some of the highlights.

I have always purchased a live Christmas tree for the holidays. I love the smell and it was a family tradition. One year when I was in graduate school, I mentioned that for the first time ever I was too exhausted to get a tree. The Saturday before Christmas my doorbell rang. Behind the door with the Downings with a Christmas tree in the stand with lights and ornaments.

In December 2007, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

After surgery and during my recovery every Tuesday, I went to the Browns for “Taco Tuesday.” The company and diversion really helped my spirits. I was unable to shovel. Not to worry. Done! Even my roof raked!

Over the years, I have borrowed ladders, vehicles and had my car jumped. They have picked up my mail, let my dog out and chopped away at ice dams. Even though I live alone, I never feel alone. They are family to me and I appreciate everything they have done.

Joan Vilter, Kingfield


Neighbors to the rescue

While on vacation Aug. 28 we received a phone call from our block captain, Diana Boegemann. A hose broke in the upstairs bathroom of our house at 33rd & Aldrich. 

Cold water had flooded the upstairs, downstairs and was 3 inches deep in the basement. Quick thinking wonderful neighbors — Mike Shroat, Diana and Phillip AuClaire — found the spare key, opened the house, shut off the water, brought in the wet vac, hauled out the rugs, took down the wet Christmas ornaments and started cleaning up the mess. Even Little Mikey Shroat, who is 5, mopped up.

Our friend David Hudson (Linden Hills) dropped his painting and rushed over to cover the piano, and my sister-in- law Patty Thompson (Robbinsdale) came in to holler at the unresponsive insurance company call center in Atlanta. 

By the time we got there, three hours later, all the water was out and the fans were running.

“I guess this is what you do if you are Block Captain,” said Diana.

 I am enormously thankful for this block and the people who make it a neighborhood, much like a family makes a house a home. In addition to Mike and Mikey (and Meg and Little Jack), Diana and Phillip, there are the neighborhood guardians Judy Johnson, Pam Price and Alex Woehrlin, and everyone who comes to National Night Out and who help to hang the Witch Splats at Halloween.

We were so lucky to land on Aldrich Avenue. Thank you for saving the house!

Nancy Riestenberg and Bob Cowgill,


Green heroes

I would like to thank all the people who have supported Linden Hills Power & Light with volunteer hours by being a Compost Captain, Energy Ergonaut or board member. Our volunteers have taken a leadership role in the community by spreading the word to their neighbors about easy ways to reduce our impact on the earth. Thanks to their efforts Linden Hills has 1,260 (50 percent) of eligible households participating in the compost pilot and over 175 households received an energy home visit to evaluate their home’s energy efficiency. As a small nonprofit we have been able to achieve big things due to the dedication of our great volunteers. (Oh and our next campaign is to get people to ride the bus, so if anyone wants to volunteer to be a “Busketeer” or “Transit Transformer” — let me know and I can thank you next year!)

Felicity Britton,
Executive Director Linden Hills Power & Light


Love from the furry ones

Dear Chris & Ame May & Charlie the dog,

Thank you for always welcoming us to your backyard for doggie play dates and fetch parties. The doggie astro turf is ideal and your poop pick-up service is stellar.  

Thanks Charlie for sharing your bones and outstanding owners!

Kiernat Dogs — Otis (13 year old black lab mix), Archie (4 year old Golden Retriever) and the newest addition Zelda (9 month old Golden/Great Pyrenes mix)