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Gratitude Breakfast at Stillwater Public Library is April 26

Begin the day with a full cup – at the library. The Stillwater Public Library Foundation will present its 2016 Impact Report at a complimentary continental Gratitude Breakfast, April 26, 7:30-8:30, in the Library’s Margaret Rivers Room, with social hour following the presentation. The Foundation funds outstanding library materials, programs, and services that would otherwise not be possible. “The community loves its library and supports it generously,” said Fred Rengel, Library Foundation President. “We look forward to thanking our donors and showing them the impact of their investment.”

All are welcome to the Gratitude Breakfast. Continue Reading →

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EmpowerSurvivors- Cheers and Beers Fundraiser at The Lift Bridge Brewery!

EmpowerSurvivors – Cheers and Beers Fundraiser At The Lift Bridge Brewery ! When : Tuesday , April 25, 2017


Place : Lift Bridge Brewery

1900 Tower Drive West, Stillwater,MN

EmpowerSurvivors is a nonprofit organization located right here in Stillwater,MN whose mission is to support survivors of childhood sexual abuse on their healing journeys, work with and educate communities to reduce the rape and molestation of children, and break the silence that enables childhood sexual abuse to go on for generations. EmpowerSurvivors was founded in 2014 by local lifetime resident Elizabeth Sullivan and became a 501c3 organization in the summer of 2016. Elizabeth aims to break the silence that surrounds the epidemic of childhood sexual abuse that affects 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 6 boys by the age of 18 years. Elizabeth has worked hard to build a organization that helps survivors on their healing journeys by providing local resources, peer support groups, a yearly conference held in November at The Grand Ballroom, participating in radio shows (Community Matters and Stop Child Abuse Now) twice a week to promote awareness and runs three online groups for child abuse and child sexual abuse survivors. Continue Reading →

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Get a Sneak Peak of ArtReach’s Artisan Birdhouses at Preview with a Pint Event at Lift Bridge Brewery

ArtReach St. Croix is hosting their fourth and final Birdhouse Auction Fundraiser on May 18 at JX Event Venue in downtown Stillwater. You can get a sneak peek of some of this year’s birdhouses Tuesday night (March 14) during the Birdhouse Preview with a Pint event from 6-9 p.m. at Lift Bridge Brewery. Tickets for the auction will be available for purchase. This year, 40 imaginative birdhouses — and several bird sculptures — created by local artists will be auctioned off to support ArtReach’s arts marketing efforts in the St Croix Valley. Continue Reading →

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North Hill Community Garden Sign Up Begins March 30

North Hill residents are busy organizing the community garden to bring neighbors together through gardening. Sign up for North Hill Community Garden plots begins at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, March 30 at First United Methodist Church, 813 West Myrtle St. The North Hill Community Garden is located near Staples Field on the corner of Aspen Street West and North Martha Street. Plots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis to Stillwater residents, upon receiving payment and signing the gardening agreement available at Plot Sizes and Price

9 x 9 plots cost $30/season

4 x 9 plots cost $20/season

Handicap accessible plots are available. Continue Reading →

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Please Stop Stealing from Our Local Food and Clothing Shelf

I’m not going to bury the lede here: Please stop stealing from our local food and clothing shelf. For the second time in as many years, someone has stolen props from Valley Outreach’s attention-getting displays used to promote local food and clothing drives. Two years ago, it was The Great Undie Heist. This time around, someone swiped a bright orange table and four blue chairs from a display in the front lawn of Valley Outreach. (At least the Great Undie Heist was sort of funny…)

The stolen dining set was part of a display to highlight the nonprofit’s Feed a Family promotion as part of the Minnesota FoodShare March campaign. Continue Reading →

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Last Chance: Nominate Your Favorite Volunteer for a Community Involvement Award

The deadline to nominate volunteers for the 2017 Community Involvement Awards is Friday, March 10. Community Thread and the Washington County Board of Commissioners partner for the awards that spotlight volunteerism and honor the great work of volunteers in our community. The awards recognize volunteers in six categories:



Exemplary Employer




You can nominate residents or organizations in Washington County who meet the criteria for each award. You can download the nomination form here. Email your nomination to (Subject: CIA). Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Area Foundation Great Idea Competition Accepting Applications

The fifth annual Great Idea Competition is now taking applications. What would do if you were awarded up to $10,000 to enhance our community’s quality of life, strengthen local connections and enhance civic pride? The Stillwater Area Foundation is now taking applications for its 2017 Great Idea Competition. Now is the time for local community members and organizations to start thinking about how a grant up to $10,000 could help them bring their innovative GREAT IDEA to life. Great Idea applications must benefit one of the communities within the Stillwater Area Foundation’s service area: Stillwater, Bayport, Baytown Township, Grant, Lake Elmo, Marine on St. Continue Reading →

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Community Thread Seeks Nominations for 2017 Community Involvement Awards

Community Thread and the Washington County Board of Commissioners are now accepting nominations for the 2017 Community Involvement Awards. The Community Involvement Awards shine a spotlight on volunteerism and honor the great work of volunteers in the community. “The St. Croix Valley is full of dedicated and passionate volunteers. Thanks to the enthusiastic service of individuals, families, groups, and employers, our community remains strong, rich and vibrant,” Sally Anderson, Executive Director at Community Thread said in a news release. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Elks Support Local Nonprofit Organizations with Christmas Tree Sale

Big shout out to the Stillwater Elks Lodge for donating 10 fresh Christmas trees to Youth Advantage families again this year! The Elks sell fresh Christmas trees at the tennis courts at Lily Lake Park; please consider buying your tree from them. They use this sale as a fundraiser to support many organizations, including Youth Advantage. The Elks provide a summer week-long overnight camp up near Brainerd where 10-14 of our clients get to experience camp, often for the first time. They provide a generous financial donation directly to Youth Advantage as well as putting on a soccer shoot-out and basketball hoop-shoot contest each year for kids in the Stillwater area where winners can advance to a national contest. Continue Reading →

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Supports for Aging Community Featured at Community Thread’s Connections Breakfast

Reservations are being taken for Community Thread’s Connections Breakfast, an annual event to introduce the public to the nonprofit’s services. This year’s event will be held on Friday, November 4 from 8:00am – 9:00am at Community Thread, 2300 W. Orleans in Stillwater. Supporting Our Neighbors – One Act at a Time is the theme of the event. Guests will enjoy a complimentary breakfast and become inspired learning how volunteers are strengthening our community well-being. Guest speakers include Julie Harper Wylie, RN who will speak about how the organization’s services help her support an aging family member, and Ron Aldrich, a volunteer in the transportation and chore services program. Continue Reading →

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Haunted Forest Fundraiser on Friday October 28

Haunted Forest Fundraiser: Hosted by the Stillwater Band Department in the forest behind Stillwater Area High School. Prepare for a fun evening with whole hearted family fun for all ages from 4:30-7:00pm. Than from 7:30-9:30 the gloves come off and the forest will transform into to a scary hike for teenagers and adults. There will be live music throughout the evening. Fun costumes are encouraged. Continue Reading →

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Dining in the Dark Fundraiser Costume Party

Let us take you on a Halloween journey of the senses in one of the most unique dinners you will ever experience, while supporting the American Cancer Society. Once blindfolded, and emerged into the dark Halloween Dinning Hall let your senses take over and you’ll enjoy the smells, the sounds, the tastes and the textures in a way you never thought possible. As guests arrive there will be a cocktail hour from 6pm to 7pm where guests can enjoy drinks, socialization and activities with entertainment from professional actors. Then at 7pm an extraordinary three-course meal will be served and the fun really begins. The evening will be a combination of fine food, creepy costumes and a story that ties everything together. You’ll laugh, scream and enjoy, you’ll guess what you are eating and you will focus on the food and each other. Continue Reading →

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Family Voices of Minnesota Fundraiser Benefits Families with Special-Needs Children

Family Voices of Minnesota invites the public to their annual benefit event, Connecting Hearts – Raising Voices, set for Friday, Oct. 28, at the Wiggington Pavilion on St. Paul’s Harriet Island, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Tickets available through Monday, Oct. 17, online at ; a limited number of tickets will be available at the door. Attendees will enjoy music by the JS Trio while tasting beer and wine with delicious hot and cold appetizers. Continue Reading →

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Education and awareness essential to helping children stay safe

Many Minnesotans spent last week mourning the news they hoped would never arrive: Danny Heinrich account of the kidnapping, sexual assault and the eventual murder of 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling. Jacob’s kidnapping changed the way in which many of us, now adults, were parented as children. “Stranger danger” became a household phrase. Some of us can recall being banned from riding our bikes alone. Many of our families discussed “safe houses” and code words that would help us feel more secure in our own neighborhoods. Continue Reading →

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Local Views: Examining the ‘Buckets’ of Stillwater Area Public Schools

On July 29, 2016 parents received a Pony Email with a lead story titled, “Stillwater Students Continue to Earn High Marks on State Tests.” The article boasts how “Stillwater students outperformed the state average in all grades and all subjects.”

It’s not until the fourth paragraph do we learn that reading and science scores declined compared to last year. The only thing transparent about the district’s email is the lack of transparency. Why are they benchmarking our district to the state average, and using that standard for their headline? Shouldn’t they benchmark our schools to a higher standard like our own schools’s previous scores; or use an even higher standard like the top 10 percent performing school districts in the state. On August 12, 2016, the Stillwater Gazette had a front page article, “ISD 834 sees gains, losses in MCA scores.” Again, this article states, “overall scores were all above the statewide average.”

Marine Elementary School was singled out. Continue Reading →

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Help All Kids Succeed with Stuff the Bus Campaign

In just over a month, students will return to school in the Stillwater Area School District. To promote a great start to the school year, Community Thread and United Way of Washington County-East are collecting school supplies for students in the school district through the Stuff the Bus campaign. The partnering organizations seek volunteer support on Thursday, August 18 and donations of school supplies leading up to the event. With the rising cost of sending a child back to school, these two organizations recognize the importance of helping all kids succeed by providing them with the basic tools needed to start the year off right. “The new school year is a very exciting time for children throughout our community, and having new school supplies is a big part of that,” said Lauren Steffen, Development Manager for United Way of Washington County-East. Continue Reading →

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Benson Park Neighborhood Night to Unite

Tuesday, August 2nd at 6 p.m. at Benson Park

We’re keeping it simple this year with a Dessert Bar and yard games. If so inclined, bring a game to play, a dessert to pass and a big smile on your face. There just may be some raffled off prizes. We will be getting a planned visit from the local authorities (aka Police and Fire Dept.) we will have a giant slip-n-slide set up (safe and acceptable for adults) and are planning for a bonfire about 8 pm in the Lydia Circle cul-de-sac. You will be cordially invited Saturday morning at roughly 11 am as we escort excited children to pass out flyers. Continue Reading →

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2016 Relay For Life


As the Event Lead of the Relay For Life (RFL) of Stillwater I am excited to announce that there will be some changes to our annual community event. Firstly the most significant change to our event is the location, the 2016 RFL Event will be located at the Stillwater Jr. High School on August 12th and 13th (Fri 6pm – Sat 12pm). We are excited about this opportunity because this location is where our event began over 20 years ago. So to celebrate our homecoming, we have decided to theme this years event as a “Throwback” Event. We are encouraging teams and participants to choose their favorite decade and dress up in costumes and decorate their campsites. Continue Reading →

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Community Thread’s 17th Annual Oil Painting Art Show & Reception is May 18

Community Thread will be hosting its annual Oil Painting Art Show & Reception on Wednesday, May 18 from 4:30-6 p.m.

This free event honors the work of the talented students of the Oil Painting Open Studio Class held at the Stillwater Senior Center. The class began in 1999 under the supervision of volunteer Don Neurauter who guides students through their artistic journey. Don Neurauter has a background in art design and sculpture, and has been teaching since 1954. The Oil Painting Art Show & Reception is a culmination of each year’s classes and this year marks the 17th anniversary of the class. The event is open to the public and will display art works from several artists who will be attending the event. Continue Reading →

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Bark For Life Fundraiser is Saturday, May 14 in Bayport

For those facing what could be the toughest battle of their lives, furry friends can be some of the best support. While family and friends provide advice through the cancer diagnosis and treatment, a canine companion can provide non-judgmental support for patients, which is sometimes exactly what the doctor recommends. Whether your dog has been with you through your cancer battle, or has been a friend by your side through all of life’s struggles, you’re invited to join us for the third annual Bark For Life this Saturday, May 14. Bark for Life 

Where: Barkers Alps Park, 5th Ave N, Bayport, MN 55003

When: Saturday, May 14, 2016, 9am-Noon

Who: No matter who you are, there’s a place for you at Bark For Life. Each dollar you raise will help save lives. Continue Reading →

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Color Dash for a Cure

This is Emily. Emily loves to roller blade, swim, be around her friends, ride roller coasters, listen to music and participate in Girl Scouts. Emily suffers from more than 1600 seizures on any given day. Emily has a rare genetic mutation called SCN2a and is is one of less than 200 diagnosed children in the world with the RARE gene mutation that is responsible for her seizures, autism, dystonia, dysautonomia and more. Currently, there are six known children in Minnesota who also have this rare diagnosis. Continue Reading →

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Benefit for Derek Young

Derek Young is an 8-year-old boy battling brain stem cancer. St. Johns Lutheran Church is hosting a benefit at the Eagles 94 on April 30 from 4-8 p.m. (13523 60th St N) to raise money for his medical costs. ALL monies go to Derek and his family. Tickets $20 at the door. Continue Reading →

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Using a recycling bin may not seem like an act of faith, but to Jon Burke at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Stillwater, it makes perfect sense, and it led to a first-of-its-kind recycling grant. In June 2015, Burke saw an advertisement for the BizRecycling program sponsored by the Ramsey/Washington County Resource Recovery Project. As a church member and the building manager at Our Savior’s Lutheran, Burke saw the program as an opportunity to improve the church’s stewardship of the Earth’s resources and to trim waste disposal costs. The church’s limited recycling efforts were expanded using a BizAware Grant from BizRecycling that was received in October 2015. As a result, the church’s eight-cubic-yard dumpster now is emptied every two weeks instead of every week. Continue Reading →

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Partnership Awards honor 8 teachers and staff of Stillwater Area Public Schools

Eight teachers and staff of Stillwater Area Public Schools are the recipients of special awards of excellence and will be honored at a banquet at the Lake Elmo Inn Event Center, sponsored by The Partnership Plan. This year’s honorees are: Jean Marie Ulland (Oak Park Elementary); Holly Yehlik (Rutherford Elementary); Nancy Bader (Stillwater Area High School); Julie Vanderstappen (Oak-Land Junior High School); Jane Dickinson (retired); Mary Jo Tein (retired); Julie Balfanz (staff: Stillwater Junior High School); and Deb Krongard (staff: Andersen Elementary). The annual awards were established to honor outstanding Stillwater Area Public School teachers and staff for their dedication, professionalism, and work on behalf of St. Croix Valley students. The award winners are exemplary representatives of the many individuals who are making a difference in the lives of students. Continue Reading →

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Meadowlark looking for new gardeners

Meadowlark Community Garden is looking for a few new gardeners this year. Meadowlark is a great community and a great organic garden, located on the edge of Stillwater not far from Axdahl’s Farm & Greenhouse on Manning and Myrtle (Hwy 12). Plots are 12’x25’ and multiple plots can be rented for a larger garden. The cost is $15 for the first plot, with significant discounts for multiple plots and for River Market members. Water, compost, gardening tools and equipment are provided at no extra cost. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Area Foundation’s ‘Great Idea’ Challenge Deadline is April 15

The Stillwater Area Foundation’s fourth annual Great Idea Challenge deadline is quickly approaching. Applications are being accepted through April 15. New this year is an opportunity for applicants to meet with Foundation members during Coaching Sessions that will help develop “good ideas into Great Ideas” prior to the final submission. Find applications for the 2016 Challenge and other information about past award winners. The goal of the competition is to inspire and develop creative ideas to address community needs and improve the quality of life for residents of the Stillwater Area — including Lake Elmo, Bayport, Oak Park Heights, Grant, Bay Town Township, Marine on St. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Gets Creative to Support Valley Outreach’s Food Shelf During March FoodShare Campaign

Getting a parking ticket in downtown Stillwater isn’t such a bad thing once again this March. The city will once again partnering with Valley Outreach’s “Food for Fines” initiative during the Minnesota FoodShare March campaign. From parking ticket revenue to restaurant support and gift shops to pet clinics, the Stillwater community is rallying to help neighbors in need. Read more about Valley Outreach’s Fill this Plate campaign. After a huge outpouring of support and publicity last year, the city of Stillwater is once again partnering through “Food for Fines.”

Throughout March, fines in the downtown parking district can be paid off with a 10-item donation of non-perishable food. Typically parking fines cost $15. Continue Reading →

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Think Spring: North Hill Community Garden Sign Up is March 15

North Hill residents are busy again organizing the community garden to bring neighbors together through gardening. The garden is located on the corner of Aspen St. W. and N. Martha by Staples Field. Plots are available on a first come first serve basis to Stillwater residents, upon receiving payment and signing the gardening agreement available at our website 9 x 9 plots cost $30

4 x 9 plots cost $20 for the season. Continue Reading →

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ProBOLD Outcry Over Business List

Because there have been questions from both sides about the “Stop Bold Cold Business Supporter List,” which I initiated, organized and managed for about 2 weeks in February, I want to offer an explanation. The List:

I was shocked when I learned of the BOLD proposal this January. It seemed to defy all logic as a way to improve anything in our schools or our community. Closing 3 schools and building one because of declining/increasing enrollment? The schools slated to close have increased enrollment, so…? Continue Reading →

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