Past Feature Pics

Know your Neighbor

It's today and the weather will be perfect for this FREE community event, join us!

WNB Pool Party

Winona National Bank POOL PARTY Sales totaled $654.75 which was donated to Ready Set School!  Ready Set School works to ensure that all Winona County children, grades K-12, have the basic and necessary school supplies and clothing for school. 100% of the money raised by Ready Set School goes directly to the qualifying students in the form of vouchers, which can be used at area stores for school supplies.

For more information, please visit

Photo caption: Ben Knuesel of Winona National Bank (left) presents Jessi Darst, Ready Set School Director, with a check for $654.75. The donation was made possible by sales from the July 14 Pool Party Concert sponsored by Winona National Bank and Winona Parks & Recreation.

Winona County Historical Society Free Event

The Winona County Historical Society is hosting five artists from the Art of Fine Furniture exhibition this Saturday at 2 p.m. for a talk about inspiration. After the discussion the River Arts Alliance invites all to continue the discussion with a cash bar and refreshments for their Arts Schmooze. In this discussion we will be featuring artists from past and present The Art of Fine Furniture exhibits.  Linda Sue Eastman, Craig Johnson, Mark Laub and David Lane will be sharing their thoughts and showing slides of objects, places, materials, music and works that have been inspiring to them.  The discussion will be moderated by exhibition founder and fellow artist, Jamie Schell (pictured). The audience will be encouraged to ask questions of the artists to help us delve more deeply into the topic of "Inspiration".  This event is free and open to the public.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. for more visit or or call the History Center at 507.454.2723

Francis & Claire

In the fall of 1997, a devastating earthquake hit Assisi, Italy, killing 11 people and severely damaging centuries-old structures, familiar places to Assisi natives Francesco Bernandone and Chiara Offreduccio. Hearing this news and wanting to help out the town she’d often visited, Nancy Edstrom presented an idea to her good friend Sister Ramona Miller, then heading up the Franciscan Tau Center located on the former St. Teresa campus in Winona.

She proposed raising reconstruction money by creating and performing songs along with a narration about the lives of those two Assisi natives, whom we now know as Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. And thus began a 20-year project that will culminate in the world premiere of Francis & Clare on the Page Theatre stage at Saint Mary’s University this August. For the past four years the musical has undergone finishing touches, script editing, the addition of instrumental arrangements to the original piano-only score, working with St. Mary’s University for an opening date at Page Theatre and casting the twenty some actor-singers who will bring the story of Francis and Clare to life.

Francis & Clare will be presented at Page Theatre on the SMU campus August 4th and 5th at 7 PM and the 6th at 2 PM. Tickets available at or by calling (507) 457-1715

Fastenal BK 5K

The BK 5K Youth Fund has wrapped up another successful funding cycle, providing nearly $200,000 of financial support to several Winona youth programs in 2017. The Fund was established along with the Fastenal sponsored BK 5K Road Race as a means to support Winona area youth and to create an ongoing way to honor Bob Kierlin, founder of Fastenal and a lifelong supporter of youth programs. To date, the BK 5K Youth Fund has awarded nearly $1.4 million to Winona area youth programs!

A large number of grants were evaluated, and a total of 22 grants were funded for academic programs, music programs, science and engineering education, physical education and sporting equipment, and educational technology. Organizations receiving funding include Family & Children’s Center, Community KIDS Preschool, Winona ALC Childcare, Winona Area Youth Wrestling, Winona Composite Mountain Bike Team, Winona Robotics, Winona Middle School Orchestras, City of Winona East Recreation Center, YMCA, Hope Lutheran High School, Cotter High School, Winona Senior High School, Ridgeway Community School, Bluffview Montessori School, and St. Martin’s Lutheran School.

Winona Football Fundraiser

Mondovi Community Youth Center Contribution

The end of the summer will be a cool one for Mondovi Community Youth Center students and staff thanks to a generous contribution from the Bartingale Mechanical, Inc. and Goodin Company. Five employees from Bartingale Mechanical in Eau Claire, WI donated their expertise and time to install an air conditioning unit in the basement of the Central Lutheran Church in Mondovi, the location of MCYC during the summer program. The air conditioner was provided free of charge by the Wisconsin-based Goodin Company. The air conditioner has the power to cool the entire basement space that young people utilize for their learning and fellowship. The cool space will be very much appreciated as the summer continues to heat up - and fifty young people and eight staff members engage in activities that keep their minds thinking critically. This is the tenth anniversary of the Mondovi Community Youth Center's summer program. 


MMAM Exhibit

Another awesome current exhibit at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum! Nathan Benn served on the National Geographic Society photographic staff from 1972 into 1991. On exhibit are Benn's selection of images from this period capturing the physical, cultural, social, and aesthetic spirit of the Mississippi River. His images explore issues of class, race, and social change, which reflect both the profound differences and similarities to life in America today.  This exhibition is part of the museum's on-going Mississippi River Exhibition Series that explores a range of artists' expressions inspired by the River.

Artwork: Nathan Benn, Bolivar County, Mississippi, 1973

Ready Set School Donation

Ready Set School has received a donation from the St. Charles Lions club. Club officials were on hand to present a check for $500 to Ready Set School.

The funds are used to supply vouchers to Winona County students in kindergarten through 12th grade to assist them in buying supplies for the coming school year.

Pictured are:
Joe & Donna Speltz
Joe & Pat Schlichenmeyer
Bill Spitzer
Judy Kruempel
John Gregoire
Ron Ganrude

Mark Roubinek is handing Ready Set School board member Gretchen Hoffman a check from the Lions Club for $500.

Lynx Coach-WSU

The Winona State University Lyceum Series 2017-18 will host Minnesota Lynx Head Coach Cheryl Reeve at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, on the WSU campus. Reeve completed her seventh season as Lynx head coach in 2016, leading the Lynx to a 28-6 record and their sixth consecutive postseason appearance. Since taking over as Lynx head coach, Reeve owns a career 168-70 record, the most coaching wins in franchise history. Reeve will speak on the value of women's leadership in athletics and overcoming adversity to reach your goals. In honor of Reeve's Lyceum presentation, WSU's UPAC is sponsoring free bus trips to MN Lynx games on Aug. 18 and Sept. 1. For more information, visit the ticket website.

Picture: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Winona Noon Lions Picnic

The Winona Noon Lions hosted their annual picnic honoring the staff and clients of the Winona ORC and DAC. Approximately 175 people were served a picnic lunch, consisting of sloppy joes, potato chips, beans, fruit salad, pop and an ice cream treat. The purpose of this annual event is to give thanks for the contributions of these individuals who work in various positions throughout the community. The Noon Lions look forward to this occasion each year, as do the workers of the DAC and ORC. The Lions call this event the DAC/ORC Picnic while the workers call it the Lions Picnic.

Pictured are two very long term Lions: Keith Inman (left) and Bob Doerer (right) who have a combined 90 years of Lion service. The Noon Lions are very proud of their continuous dedication and service. For years they have served pop to the picnic goers and are kept quite busy during the event.


SMU Basketball Honors

The Saint Mary's University of Minnesota men's basketball team boasted four players-Chad Schlosser (Stillwater), Aaron Romportl (Stillwater, Minn.), Wylie Ferron (Waconia, Minn.), and Liam Gorman (Orland Park, Ill.)-on the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) 2016-17 Honors Court, it was announced Tuesday, July 18th.

4-H Duluth Trip

4-H youth leaders from Buffalo and Pierce counties engaged in discovery in Duluth, Wisconsin July 10-12. The educational travel experience encouraged youth to be independent, test their resilience and discover new places and foods. A foundation of the middle school travel experience is learning about the culture of Duluth, both past and present. Youth toured the Fairlawn Mansion, which was once a children’s home, and the S.S. Meteor the last whaleship in Lake Superior. The young people were encouraged to consider the impacts of culture and consider what it might have been like to be a part of the orphanage and the ship’s crew a century ago. In another part of the travel experience, 4-H youth leaders developed a deeper appreciation for native life by learning how the staple is cultivated and harvested and trying some local wild rice before traveling through Tribal lands. Youth also heard from historians on a Segway tour of the historic downtown and practiced identifying native trees and plants while whitewater rafting down the rapids of the St. Louis River. Youth that participated from Buffalo County were Hunter Guenther and Alan George. Adults advisers from Buffalo County were Donn Moe and Annie Lisowski. The experience is awarded to 4-H members who submit a resume, complete an interview process. The Buffalo County 4-H Leaders Association sponsors half the cost of each participant’s travel.


WAPS-Secondary Administrators

Winona Area Public Schools is pleased to announce the appointment of two new secondary administrators for the 2017-2018 school year.
Andrew Kappel has accepted the Winona Area Learning Center Assistant Principal position. Mr. Kappel received his principal licensure form Concordia University and is currently an instructional coach at John Adams Middle School in Rochester. Prior to his position as an instructional coach, Mr. Kappel was a global studies teacher at John Adams.Before entering  field of education, Mr. Kappel owned and operated his own business which he started when he was in college.
Dr. Chai Lee has accepted the Winona Senior High School Assistant Principal position. Dr. Lee is a graduate of the Winona Senior High, Winona State University and received his doctorate from St. Mary’s University. Dr. Lee has been an assistant principal at the elementary and secondary levels in the the Minneapolis, Inver Grove Heights and Woodbury schools as well as an ELL specialist and AVID Director.

Mr. Kappel and Dr. Chai Lee will both start their new positions effective August 1st, 2017.


Winona National Bank is pleased to announce the promotion of Mary Polus to Vice President and Operations/IT Manager. In her new role, Polus is responsible for the Bank’s operations functions, core system applications, and information security. She has 23 years of experience at Winona National Bank, including two years as Retail Banking Manager, 16 years in various Marketing roles, and prior to that that she worked in both Operations and Administration.  Polus lives in Winona with her husband, Hugh. She has served many community organizations, including the Board of Directors for both the Winona County Historical Society and Ready Set School.


Visit Winona-Coloring Book

Visit Winona has partnered with area artists to create a Winona coloring book that is hot off of the presses this week and headed for store shelves around the city. The project features 16 landmark businesses, locations, and events, each rendered by an artist into a black and white sketch ready to be filled in with imaginative color. Artists for the coloring book include Toni Ambrosen, Julia Crozier, and Julie Johnston, each a well-known presence in Winona's art community. Among the pages to be colored are Bloedow Bakery, Great River Shakespeare Festival, Saint Mary's University, Winona State University, MN State SE Technical College, Mid West Music Fest, the Winona Public Library, Princess Wenonah, and more, each sketched with the unique style of the artist assigned to that page. Winona Coloring Books are just $5 each at local retailers including the Visit Winona Visitor Center on Huff Street. 


Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota has appointed an alumnus of its Philanthropy and Development program—Cheryl Pray—as its executive director. Pray joined the university on Monday, July 10. Pray brings to this position more than 20 years of experience in philanthropy and nonprofit management, including leadership positions with numerous prominent organizations. She has served as associate dean of Alumni, Development, and Marketing at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing; she oversaw a $5 billion conservation campaign across 32 countries at The Nature Conservancy; and she developed a philanthropic program at Challenger Center to honor the men and women tragically lost during the Challenger and Columbia space missions. Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Audrey Kintzi said she is excited to bring Pray to her team. “She’s brings to her work a wealth of knowledge about development and philanthropy and a true passion to share best practice and academic excellence with our students,” Kintzi said. Prior to obtaining her M.A. from Saint Mary’s, Pray earned a B.A. from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She is also a sign language interpreter. 

Fountain City Lions Club Festival

Commonweal Theatre

The Commonweal Theatre Company presents Steel Magnolias, June 23rd—October 23. For more than 30 years, Steel Magnolias has been delighting audiences with a story that truly celebrates the gift of friendship. With its mix of quick Southern humor, quirky personalities and touching sentimentality, you’ll fall in love with the ladies of Truvy’s Beauty Salon. Discounted tickets are available for previews, June 23rd—30th ahead of the gala opening night performance on July 1st. Reservations can be made by phoning the theatre box office at (800) 657-7025 or tickets may also be reserved and purchased online at