Giving Back

Glass sculpture "The Wave" by artist David Wight

Going to the beach is one of this season’s finest luxuries, and enjoying Minnesota lakes tops my own “Best Way to Spend a Summer Day” list. When I visit one of the coasts—east, west or north—

Every Monday from 9:30 a.m. to noon the women of the LeagueAires choir ensemble gather for rehearsal at Colonial Church of Edina, until the second week of January, when it is time to take their show on the road throughout the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs.

Picture this: Ten gentlemen sporting vests and green caps emblazoned with the words “Edina Lions,” flipping pancakes and joking with high school graduates and their parents in a suburban garage.

Edina High School is filled with clubs that aim to address different issues, both globally and communitywide. Two of the largest are Hornet Connections and United for UNICEF. Hornet Connections works with special education students at EHS, with overall inclusion the goal.

How can would-be volunteers get connected? Carynn Roehrick, community resources and volunteer program manager for Edina Public Schools (EPS), is very glad we asked.

“No water, no life. No blue, no green,” says Sylvia Earle, National Geographic explorer-in-residence. The simple yet powerful sentiment is shared by Edina business owner Tim Murphy. “You can’t get people healthy unless they have clean water,” he says. “It’s a basic necessity of life.”

Creative holiday gifts can be found at Needlework Unlimited, from classes and accessories to handmade sweaters and mittens. Classes range from beginners’ crafts to specific projects, such as creating mittens or ponchos.

It started late in 2014. Edina resident Greg Fast and his wife, Robbie, decided to have a few people over for a holiday party. They invited friends from a couples’ group at Christ Presbyterian Church (CPC) and also their new neighbors, Dr. Joel Hutcheson and his wife, Kelly.

This Thanksgiving, members of the Rotary Club of Edina and their families will be gathering not to eat a large meal, but to prepare meals for others in the community.

Giving back is nothing new to Edina residents: Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People, or VEAP, puts on a holiday toy drive each year in Edina, where community members donate toys for those unable to purchase gifts for their children.

Among this year’s honorees at Edina’s volunteer recognition reception was Dave Bush, who has been lending a helping hand to Edina football for 37 years. Dave grew up in Minneapolis and started playing football in the fifth grade through a park program.