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Monday, December 22, 2014
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Girl Talk
Last week was one busy week
By By Jill Meier
Challenger editor

March 13. 2014 9:33AM
If you didn’t see me out and around town last week, you weren’t out and around town yourself.

Last week presented one of my busiest schedules. With four district playoff basketball games, a city council meeting, a visit to Robert Bennis Elementary by former Minnesota Viking Ben Leber, a hair cut for a cause at Fred Assam Elementary, the opening of an art exhibit on the Bethany campus, the Relay For Life kickoff event, and interviews and photos to be taken in nearly every direction, I didn’t have much time for watching the snow melt last week.

And while the week was a hectic one, I have to say I enjoyed nearly every minute of it.
While I hated to see the seasons come to a close for the Brandon Valley boys and girls basketball teams, I was happy to be on the sidelines snapping photos and jotting down notes. Tournament time is always an exciting time, and a time when the Lynx typically advance to the region level and/or state. While I didn’t go back and look, this has to be one of the first years in my decade of sports reporting here, that Brandon Valley took an early exit from the post-season.

With a slug of seniors on both rosters, I say thanks for your contributions as a Brandon Valley Lynx and giving us all something to cheer about. I believe your leadership – both on and off the court – has served as a good model for the ranks that follow you.

I have to admit I was a bit tardy to Tuesday night’s game, but I had good reason, as I stopped by the Relay For Life of Brandon Valley-Garretson kick-off. While only one team registered that night, the event did draw some interest and probably prospects for other teams and/or participants. If you want to be part of the cause that raises awareness and funds for cancer research, check out the story on 7A of this week’s Challenger.

Earlier in the day, I had the opportunity to take in the art exhibit opening on the Bethany campus in Brandon. While there have been other art exhibits, what made this one special was the people who painted them: the volunteers who teach painting classes to the residents there, including 77-year-old Ruby Peterson. She’s a resident of Bethany herself and for decades, has battled Multiple Sclerosis. The painting, she says, has helped to keep her body and her mind active.

Thursday morning started with a Character Counts assembly at Fred Assam Elementary. While the assembly itself was nothing out of the ordinary, the special event that unfolded at the assembly was. School counselor Elizabeth Rus gave the kids a quick lesson in caring, this month’s Character Counts trait. She allowed students, who played by the “fairness” rules in February to snip off sections of long, brown hair. The sectioned pieces of hair weren’t the student’s rewards. Instead, the rewards go to the Locks of Love program.

On Friday morning when former Minnesota Viking Ben Leber came to Robert Bennis Elementary to ignite some enthusiasm supporting school breakfast, a healthy diet and exercise, I was all ears – and eyes. I’ll say, his talk and time spent with the kids – and some adults – was a great way for all of us to start our day.

That afternoon, I made a quick trip to Sioux Falls O’Gorman, where I caught up Laurie Lambertz, her son, Lawson, and Doan Lai of Hanoi, Vietnam. Doan is a member of the Up With People cast that spent the last week in the Sioux Falls area. Laurie and Lawson hosted the young man, who was fascinating to meet and talk with.

My workweek oftentimes extends into the weekend, and Sunday was no exception. I spent a portion of my afternoon at Bottom’s Up in Corson, where 52 women of all ages, careers and backgrounds spent the afternoon playing darts for yet, another good cause.

But that my friends is a different story, for another week.

Stay tuned.
Community organization needs
Needs at the Brandon Area Food Pantry this month are instant oatmeal, hot chocolate mix, pizza sauce and pizza crust mixes, Jello and pudding, Homestyle Bakes and Ramen noodles.

While always appreciated, the Pantry has a large supply of canned goods in stock. Monetary donations are always appreciated. Before donating, please check the expiration date, as expired food items cannot be distributed.

The BAFP is located at 406 Main Ave., and is open from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. To donate to the food pantry or for more information, call 582-7001.

The Brandon Lions Club also wants your aluminum cans. Proceeds from the sale of aluminum funds requests to the Club for vision and hearing impairment needs.

The Lions Club collection shed is located in the Sunshine Foods parking lot.

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