7/18/2013 3:06:00 PM Relay For Life will change you forever,
Wannigan Days and County Fair here
I was sitting here trying to find something to say about the latest rock jumping tragedy in Franconia, I was at a loss for words. I could go into just how dangerous they are. Or how it seems each year someone drowns jumping off the cliffs. But this time it's different. This time it happened to someone who is very dear to not just me, but many people in the area. The Vitalis family has lost a great one. Their son was sadly taken to a better place while cliff jumping. If you know the Vitalis family, you know what a truly awesome family they are. So close knit, so caring, basically the definition of a perfect family. Alex, their son was a one of a kind. So caring, such a great personality. If you have ever seen the family at an event, you surely would have noticed how tightly knit they are. Wade and Carol are two of the most loving parents I have ever met, and to see them have to go through this just breaks my heart. I know God will see them through this, but no one should have to lose their child. Please keep them in your prayers.
As I found out about the tragedy on the river yesterday, it brought up a good time to have a talk with my children. Much like Alex, I too have cliff jumped many times. In fact, I probably have done it over 200 times in my life. How naive I was back then. I spoke with the Vitalis family and it turns out that Alex, who was not intoxicated and an accomplished swimmer, actually died from the extreme temperature change of the water. It only takes a body 12 seconds to have such a negative reaction. The family wants the public to learn from this tragedy so they and their families can be safe. They encourage people to slowly enter the water feet first to acclimate the body before jumping in, especially in extreme heat. The Vitalis family does not want this to happen to you or your family.
As of Tuesday night, the Snuff Box has not been found. I will try to decipher the clues and tell you where it was. On the fourth clue which would be Saturday, the clue reads under those pleasant hills. That was pointing you to Pleasant Hill Park in Lindstrom (the one at the bottom of the hill on Pleasant Avenue). The writer speaks of singing hymms which would be Trinity Church. The writer speaks of big stones - there is a huge circular cement stone in the woods. The writer also speaks of fruit three times. The snuff box was hidden in a piece of plastic fruit (apple) under the big circular stone. I am asked about a hundred times a year if I am the clue writer. I am not the clue writer. Because the box was not located, we will for the third time ever, donate the proceeds to Family Pathways food shelf in Lindstrom.
The Chisago Lakes Area Chamber of commerce is in need of volunteers. We could use some more help with next weekend's Chisago Lakes Triathlon. Any and all volunteers will be welcomed. Even if you have an hour to give, it will be appreciated. We need help with water stations, park officials, course officials and more. The triathlon is one of the area's largest event draw, so with such a high volume of participants and fans comes the need for volunteers. Thank you for helping.
This weekend has two major events taking place. The one that is near and dear to my heart is the Chisago County Relay For Life which begins on Friday night at the Almelund Threshing grounds. The event begins at 5:30 pm with some entertainment and the opening ceremony starts at 6:30. There will be what I think is the most moving part of the event, the survivors lap. Fun music plays as just the survivors take an emotional lap around the track while being cheered on by other participants. After that, the caregivers get their chance to take a lap. There is a luminaria lap where people will light luminaries to remember those who we have lost to cancer. If you have a chance, I would strongly encourage you to take part. You will be blown away at the emotions you will feel and share with others.
The other major event taking place is Wannigan Days in Taylors Falls and St. Croix Falls. Friday you and your family are invited to take in one or more of many events taking place. There is a fireman battle (you will get wet), battle of the bands, a classic car show, a kiddie parade, bingo, a street dance, movies on the lawn and a royalty presentation. Saturday has a 5K, an arts and crafts show, dam tours, street hockey, cloggers, a talent show, a parade, a cake walk, a fireworks show and much more. Sunday you can take part in a mini-golf tournament at the Drive In. I know I didn’t touch on all of the events but there are just too many to list.
The Chisago County Fair is also taking place this weekend. Held in Rush City, the fair is your classic fair with live stock, horses, motocross, demolition derby and of course tractor pulls. When you think of Americana, you think of county fairs. Chisago County Fair is just that, nostalgic, fun, easy going, and a great time had by all.