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Area families can ensure needy boys and girls around the world have a merrier holiday season by sending shoe box gifts through Operation Christmas Child. Dickinson's St. John Lutheran Church is serving as southwestern North Dakota's collection center. Approximately 275 shoe boxes were collected last year at the center, said coordinator Jodeen Myers. "It's such an awesome thing -- being able to touch the life of a child thousands of miles away you'll never meet and make a difference in their lives," she said. Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan's Purse.
Dakota West Retired and Senior Volunteer Program Coordinator Beverly Hafele is looking for the next generation of volunteers. "RSVP is your invitation to serve," she said. "Basically, the next generation is the baby boomer generation. We're trying to have them become our volunteers," she added. Hafele took over the job as project coordinator three months ago. A native of Richardton, she graduated from Dickinson State University in 1994 and worked for the Western and Central Stark Soil Conservation District.
Effie Hondl of Dickinson is helping to keep the art of embroidery alive with her old-fashioned dish towels and table runners. "I learned to embroider when I was 16 at home. We had a lot of free time on the farm," she said. "I did sew clothes for the boys and dresses for the girls. I loved to patch. I could make something almost out of nothing if I set my mind to it." Embroidery is described as decorating fabric with designs stitched by needle and thread.
Michelle Orton wears many hats as the new director of client services for Dickinson's Community Action Partnership. Orton and her husband, Ty, moved to Dickinson this summer after he was named Dickinson State University's basketball coach. They are expecting their first child in November. Orton grew up in Los Angeles and moved to Colorado where she graduated from high school. She received a bachelor's degree in physical education from Southwestern College, Winfield, Kan.
Cassie Brydl, Dickinson, is teaching her children to cook and bake through the 4-H program. "We're always doing things together, no matter if its 4-H or other activities like hockey," she said. Cassie is married to Paul Brydl and they have four children, Kyleigh, who attends Berg Elementary, LeAnne and Marisella, who attend Roosevelt Elementary, and Kaleb, who is 4 years old. "We moved here from Orange County, Calif., 10 years ago.
Home sewing is more about fashion and creativity than ever before. To celebrate September as Sewing Month, extension agent Sharon Kickertz-Gerbig gives several reasons why sewing remains popular. "When I first started to sew, I learned to hem a dish towel and dresser scarf," she said. She probably made a gingham apron with cross stitch across the top. Today, youth is sewing T-shirts, shorts and carry bags. Some do pillows and quilts, she said. "It's a skill you can use a lot. Repairing a zipper, that's not hard.
The aroma of freshly baked peach kuchen filled the hallways of Dickinson's St. Benedict's Health Care Center as volunteers prepare for the 16th annual Autumn Fest on Sunday, Oct. 7. The day begins with a polka Mass at 10 a.m., followed by the ethnic dinner, bake sale and afternoon entertainment. "It's for the entire community. We want our residents to have a great day and to have lots of company.
The Dorcas Fall Benefit is featuring birdhouses as the table centerpieces this year. The benefit is from 2-4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4, at the Dickinson Elks Lodge. "The birdhouses represent every month," said member Juanita Koppinger. The birdhouses come from the private collections of the members. The Halloween-themed house represents October, while a school is for September and the churches depict June as wedding month. "I've been trying to find placements to match them," she said. One of Koppinger's favorite birdhouses is ornately decorated with jewelry.
Louise Dukart is passing down a love of sewing to her children and grandchildren. "I started sewing when I was a member of 4-H," said Louise. "I learned how to sew from my mom when I was 7 or 8 years old." "We were more practical. I hemmed dish towels. We sewed chicken feed bags into shirts," she said. "We sewed our own dresses and skirts, sometimes pants. In those days, we weren't permitted to wear pants to school," she added. "In 1961, I bought my first sewing machine with my 4-H steer. I still have it and I still use it sometimes.