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The Blue Wolf Duo of Shirley and Jerry Spanhanks will perform at the Evansville Art Center on Friday, Aug. 3. (Contributed)

Blue Wolf Duo performs at First Friday Concert

The Blue Wolf Duo of Shirley and Jerry Spanhanks will perform from 7-9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3, at the Evansville Art Center, 11 Main St., in Evansville.

The duo play original songs, bluegrass, gospel, country and rock 'n roll on guitar, fiddle, dobro, banjo, upright bass and harmonica. They have won awards in several Minnesota festivals and have put out three CDs.

Jerry developed a love for banjo and bluegrass music, and also took up the dobro. He won the award for instrumental guitar twice at IronWorld Discovery Center near Chisholm. He also plays fiddle and upright bass.

Shirley has performed in several touring productions, received a folk-art apprenticeship grant, and won the senior division of the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-time Flatpicking contest at the State Fair in 2006.

The concert is free, but donations are accepted. Beverages are provided.

Knute Nelson hosts community picnic

Knute Nelson will host its annual community picnic from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7, at 420 12th Ave. E. in Alexandria. The public is invited to attend the BBQ-style lunch. There is no cost to attend; however, free-will donations are appreciated.

"This year we are celebrating our 70th anniversary of serving the Alexandria community's aging adults," said President/CEO Mark Anderson. "We credit this growth and longevity to the strong community support we receive here in Alexandria. This celebration is our way of expressing our gratitude."

Entertainment includes Two Old Guys, Erickson's petting zoo, Clueless the Balloon Twister and face painting.

Museum hosts steak fry

The Runestone Museum will host its 34th annual outdoor steak fry on Wednesday, Aug. 8, at Historic Fort Alexandria. A social gathering will begin at 5:30 p.m., with dinner at 6:30 p.m. and a drawing for prizes at 7:15 p.m. The evening will include a presentation by reenactor Jack


Tickets cost $100 and include dinner for two, two drink tickets and a chance at prizes. The event is a fundraiser for the Runestone Museum Foundation. In case of rain, the event will move to the Broadway Ballroom.

To purchase tickets, visit or call the museum at 320-763-3160.

Community Fun Day Aug. 7

A Community Fun Day for children 7 and up is being held at United Methodist Church in Alexandria from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Aug. 7.

The event, sponsored by the Alexandria Brush and Palette Club, includes classes in string art and pounded floral art, drawing games, painting bags and stone painting.

For more information, contact Sharri Bolstad at 320-760-6463.

REA's Operation Round Up benefits area groups

The latest round of grants from Runestone Electric Association's Operation Round Up total $11,100 and are being distributed to 29 area organizations. They include:

Fire departments and first responders: Villard Fire Department, $500; and Glenwood Fire Department, $500.

Youth: United Way of Douglas & Pope County, Marine Corps League "Toys for Kids" and Vikingland Band Festival, $500; Prairie Rivers Baseball Association, $400; Brandon/Evansville Summer Rec, Glacial Hills Elementary and Community Preschool, $300; MAHS Clay Target Association, Alexandria Area High School Clay Target Team and Minnewaska Post Prom, $200.

Community: Central Lakes Search & Rescue and West Central MN Communities Action, $1,000; Smokey Timber Foundation, Life Source and Starbuck Depot & Museum, $500; Thorson Memorial Library and RUSC Kinship Mentoring, $300; Lake Mary Cemetery Association, Trysil Bethesda Lutheran Cemetery Association, Glenwood & Beyond and Oscar Lake Cemetery Association, $250; Stevens County Relay for Life, Forada Days, Garfield Community Club and Stevens County Area Food Drop, $200.

Seniors: Let's Go Fishing with Seniors, $500; and Pope County Triad, $300.

REA's program has distributed over $884,100 in grants to community-minded groups and organizations throughout its service territory since 2003. More than 65 percent of REA's members allow their bills to be rounded up to the next dollar, with the average yearly contribution of $6.

The deadline for non-profit organizations to apply for the next round of grants is Aug. 13. Application forms are available by calling Runestone Electric at 320-762-1121, or from the REA website at

Runestone Electric Association Touchstone Energy Cooperative serves rural areas of Douglas, Pope, Grant, Stevens, Otter Tail, Stearns and Todd counties.