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Minnesota National Guard
Spring Lake Park to be proclaimed Yellow Ribbon City

After months of hard work, Spring Lake Park has earned a designation that signifies it proactively supports service members and military families

The Minnesota National Guard established the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program, which provides services, training and resources to service members and their families

On Sept 22 in Farmington, Minn, Gov Tim Pawlenty will proclaim Spring Lake Park - along with 20 other cities - a Yellow Ribbon City

In February, the Spring Lake Park City Council voted to move forward with the process to become a Yellow Ribbon City, and meetings in coordination with the city and Kraus-Hartig VFW Post 6587 began in April

An action plan was developed by committee members and chairpersons who represent areas including: city leadership; public safety groups; medical and mental health services; teachers and administration; businesses and employers; veterans services; and faith-based services That action plan was submitted and approved

"To me, this is a great honor," said Mayor Bob Nelson " I think it's a great, great moment in the history of Spring Lake Park

"Thank you all," he said "It's been a tremendous group effort"

"It will be a great privilege to pick up the signage and proclamation on the 22nd," said Don LaCroix, Kraus-Hartig Post Commander

"We'll continue to do what we've always done here in Spring Lake Park - take care of Soldiers and their families and veterans," he said

Councilmember Barb Carlson said the city is looking for volunteers to sign up to help by raking leaves or knitting a sweater, for example

"We're asking for little things," she said "If everybody in this city puts their name down for a little thing, we'll have a whole bunch of things to give these people who give so much of their time"

Nelson said, after Sept 22, Spring Lake Park will start integrating the action plan into its programs and organizations Once everything comes together, service members and their families can connect with the services provided by volunteers and businesses

He told Sun-Focus that volunteers helped a couple military families who are new to the area move to another home

Nancy Downey, chairperson for faith-based services, said, "I appreciate being part of this organization, which brings us closer as a community

Businesses can participate in the program by providing discount rates and signing a statement that says family members of deployed Soldiers will be treated fairly

"It's a great thing to be a part of all of this," said Joe Franzen with Franzen Construction, chairperson for businesses and employers

"I'm totally overjoyed and excited," said Nelson of becoming a Yellow Ribbon City He added that Minnesota service members and their families who would like help don't have to live in Spring Lake Park

The Mayor's Pig Roast, a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon event, is scheduled for noon Oct 3 at the Kraus-Hartig VFW, 8100 Pleasant View Drive, Spring Lake Park All adopted units and families are invited

Meetings will rotate every other month at City Hall and the Kraus-Hartig VFW Post that volunteers, Soldiers and their families can attend

Flyers will be available at City Hall and information will be included on the city's quarterly water bills and posted on wwwbtyrorg

More information: 763-458-0479 (Don LaCroix) or 763-783-1889 (Bob Nelson)
By Kassie Petermann - Sun Newspapers
Published: Thursday, September 16, 2010 1:58 AM CDT

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