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HEADLINES FOR JULY 20, 2018

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Delano’s 4 Community Theatre to perform ‘Anything Goes,’ July 21-29

Beginning on Saturday, July 21, Delano’s High School Auditorium stage will welcome community theatre once again, for the first time in almost eight years. Actors and actresses will perform five shows, with 7 p.m. performances on Saturday, July 21; Friday, July 27; and Saturday, July 28. Sunday performances – July 22 and July 29 – will host performances at 2 p.m. On Sunday, July 22, American Sign Language will be featured for the audience’s benefit.

The performance, “Anything Goes,” highlights just exactly how those from different societal castes will cohabitate on a boat in the middle of the ocean, and Delano-native director Joe Lawrence hinted that it will be quite a ride, to say the least!

Tickets are available online at www.4communitytheatre.com.

 


City Council hears more on Greenbriar Hills, moves forward on projects and plans public hearings

By Arynn Maznio

Buffalo City Council members met on Monday evening, July 16, to discuss concerns and opportunities for current and upcoming development projects.

Progress was made on the proposed new development Greenbriar Hills, an area consisting of plats off Dague Avenue Northeast.  Developer Don Jensen elaborated on the current project plan, which would include single family homes and single family detached villas.  This space, consisting of 97 acres, would hold 215 units, and would allow for more innovation and creativity for lot builders, as trails and other amenities would be built before many homes, providing builders a clearer vision for home plans. 

Phase one of the project, located from Copper Creek Lane and Dague Avenue would consist of 53 single family homes.  Concerns about the street width were shared, as the developer proposed a narrower width for the public streets.  The current street width is 32- feet, however these streets would be narrowed to 28 feet in width, creating potential hazards with parked vehicles.  It was suggested that by rezoning the area and working with parking restrictions, safety would be addressed.  The developer will plan to share addresses of other neighborhoods that have adopted the 28- foot street width to provide examples for the Council.  Jensen and Rick Erickson (Rick Erickson Site Design) shared that most developments are using the smaller roads, citing examples in Stillwater, Woodbury, and Sauk Rapids housing developments.  The Council voted unanimously for approval to act on Planning Commission recommendations for phase one, contingent upon planning memorandum and continued work on the 28- foot street restrictions. 

The Council also considered the intergovernmental loan to HRA to demolish the Coborns building.  The Council voted unanimously to the considerations.  Mayor Teri Lachermeier also suggested that the history of the location could be documented with drone photography.  This would provide the community with a visual timeline of the area under construction.

Two public hearings were approved for August 20.  The first public hearing will consider the Roer project, a facility construction on the HRA site downtown between Division Street and First Street South.  There is approval to use Tax Increment Financing to support the construction project.  The motion to conduct the public hearing on August 20 at 7:00 p.m. was approved. 

The second public hearing will take place on August 20 at 7:00 p.m. to decide if the council will approve St. Paul Park to allocate unused funds to the City of Buffalo for the benefit of the Glenn Catholic Senior Communities, Inc. Financing will support the Cottagewood Seniors’ memory care facility (located on Eighth Street Northwest) and the Cottagewood Seniors’ short-term care facility (located on First Street Northeast). As these bonds are conduit financing, there is no liability to the City of Buffalo or the city of St. Paul Park, however, the locations for these facilities are in Buffalo, so the approval of the use of the bonds is pending upon the public hearing.

Other Action:

• Mayor Teri Lachermeier opened the meeting and shared about her experience throwing the first pitch at a military baseball game.

• City Council was greeted by Miss Buffalo Ali Tokkesdal and ambassadors Gina Miller and Cecelia Miller, who shared details of their upcoming community events, including the Aquatennial.

• Council shared that there are seven airport hanger sites to lease; three have been claimed.  Six additional sites will be available next year, along with a commercial site. 

• Council reported that Wild Marsh exceeded its revenue goals for the month of June.

• The Buffalo Police conducted a Tobacco Compliance check for the 12 businesses holding permits.  One business failed the check; city code allows for a fine to be written against Walmart.

• Council approved the Golf Cart License for George Veches. 

• Council approves Police Chief Pat Budke’s recommendation to hire Chris Leonard as Police Officer.

• The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 6, at 7:00 p.m.

 


14th Annual Buffalo Food Shelf Golf Tourney, July 26

The 14th Annual Buffalo Green Bean Open Golf Tournament is the major fundraiser of the year for the Buffalo Food Shelf. 

By becoming a sponsor, you can support this important community need and benefit your company in the process. The Green Bean Open offers numerous sponsorship levels, each with their own benefits. This event is scheduled for Thursday, July 26, beginning at 12:00 p.m. (which is registration), with a 1:00 p.m. shotgun start at the Wild Marsh Golf Club.

We would like to invite all golfers to join us in a round of golf. Individual and team sign up forms are printable via our website or by emailing Tennille at buffalofoodshelfvolunteer@gmail.com.

Please help us keep our shelves full so we can continue to help Buffalo families in crisis. For more information about the Buffalo Food Shelf, please visit our website at buffalofoodshelf.com. The mission of the food shelf is to provide quality food and family support services to those in need in the Buffalo, Minnesota area.

 


Independent audit of Health and Human Services requested of County Board

By Doug Voerding

Peggy Peterson asked the Wright County Board on Tuesday, July 17, to call for an independent audit of the Wright County Health and Human Services Department and a disclosure of the time and costs the county spent to terminate her provider license.

“The audit needs to be anonymous,” said Peterson, “and needs to really address the need for a safe environment for complaints. The atmosphere and culture of Health and Human Services is so destructive with retaliation for complaints.”

Peterson gave the board two copies of the book “A Complaint is a Gift” and asked the commissioners to read the book to see the value of complaints.

In response, Board Chair Mark Daleiden said that anyone who has concerns and wants to keep their name private can contact any commissioner by phone.

The board did direct County Coordinator Lee Kelly to get information about an independent audit and report back to the board at the next Health and Human Services Committee of the Whole meeting.

 

Site Inspection

The Wright County Board will be joining the County Planning Commission for a site inspection at the Delano Sportsmen’s Club in Franklin Township on Wednesday, July 18.

RAM Excavating Services is seeking a conditional use permit for a phased mining operation on 17 acres owned by the club and located in the Crow River flood plain. The mining would include crushing, washing and screening of gravel.

The inspection will be at 5836 65th Street SE, north of Delano.

The board will later decide if an Environmental Assessment Worksheet will be required.

 

Stanley Eddy Regional Park Reserve

Stanley Eddy Park will be expanding after the board approved a committee recommendation to acquire three parcels adjoining the park.

The Peterson parcel of 20 acres is surrounded by the south unit of the park and will be acquired through a matching grant with the Natural and Scenic Area Grant Program.

The Sundblad parcel of 59 acres is on the east side of the south unit. This parcel is also being purchased with matching funds through the Natural and Scenic Area Grant Program.

The Moose Lake Point parcel of seven acres is adjacent to the public access in the middle unit of the park. The county will purchase the site through a contract for deed with the owner.

Purchase agreements  will be drawn up before final approval.

 

Other Action

In other action, the board

• reviewed the monthly budget for June. Both revenue and expenditures are looking to end the year in positive positions. The Auditor/Treasurer Office is working to present the budget information to the board and the public showing the finances according to each of the functions of the county government.

• approved the Personnel/Employee Relations Committee meeting minutes that concerned a performance review of Parks and Recreation Director Marc Mattice. Mattice received a rating of “exceeds expectations.”

• approved moving an unbudgeted and unexpected refund of $13,898 to fund health and safety programs. The refund came from the Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust fund.

• learned that the License Bureau will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, August 6 and 7, for mandatory training regarding Real ID.

• approved DataBank to deliver a design solution for the Social Services electronic document management.

• learned that the county is sending a notification letter to the Minnesota State Auditor that the county will continue to have CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP, perform the annual audit.

• will meet as a Committee of the Whole to discuss license bureau staffing and the use of buffer enforcement grant money on July 24 at 1:00 p.m.

• ill meet as a Committee of the Whole for OpenGov training on August 7.

• will hold public hearings for Ditch 22 and Ditch 34 on September 11 at 10:30.

 


July 17 St. Michael fire calls for a six-department assist, state fire marshal

On Tuesday, July 17, Wright County Sheriff’s Office dispatch received multiple calls regarding a suspected structure fire near C.R. 34 in St. Michael.

The communications center routed six departments to the fire on the 1400 block of Jackson Avenue in St. Michael, where on-scene units requested multiple calls for assistance. Among those who provided mutual aid were St. Michael, Albertville, Buffalo, Rockford, Monticello, and Hanover units.

Wright County Sheriff’s Office recorded that the house was “fully engulfed” upon arrival on-scene, and that homeowners were not home. No injuries were reported at the time of investigation, and the state fire marshal has been contacted to begin investigations of cause. The structure was deemed a total loss.

See inside the A section for a photo, as seen by a resident in Maple Grove.

 


BCT’s “SPAMALOT” performs this weekend

Above, “SPAMALOT” knights rehearse on stage for BCT’s weekend performance. From left to right, are:   Jon Salmon, Tyler Stanchfield, Nick Lostetter, Tony Carlson, Logan Klohs, and Rick Wyman. (Photo courtesy of BCT)

Anyone in need of a good laugh should see Buffalo Community Theater’s summer musical, “Monty Python's SPAMALOT.”  The show opens on Friday, July 20, but there are plenty of chuckles to be had now, just by following some of the cast members on Facebook.

“SPAMALOT” is a parody of the King Arthur legend, and the name is a pun of “Camelot.” The subtitle describes it as “lovingly ripped off from the film ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail.’”  It’s a comic quest for Arthur and his squire Patsy, as they assemble a company of knights to seek out the elusive artifact.  Along the way, they encounter diseases, combat, tests, despair, and a vicious beast.

Director Dave Metcalf is a huge fan of this kind of British comedy with its irreverent, off-the-wall humor, and it’s evident by reading Facebook and Instagram posts that the ridiculous nature of this tale is what drew many of the amateur actors.

Rick Wyman, who plays Patsy, recently posted: “Every so often, a show comes along with a message so powerful, so impactful, that it inspires you to be the change you want to see in the world... yeah, this is not one of those shows!”

Jason Hettinger, filling a number of madcap roles, took to Facebook to quote another actor and BCT board member Jon Salmon, “Quote of the night at rehearsal: ‘What happens in the clam, stays in the clam.’

Laker Girls Katie Swartzer, Abigail Vogeler, and Amanda Krinke have a running schtick about dancing routines and performing the splits.  It appears one of the actors is a very good dancer and at least one is not.

All this silliness floating around must surely create an entertaining night at the theater. Producers note the script does include some strong language and suggestive material and is recommended for ages 13 and up. 

BCT’s “SPAMALOT” runs Friday and Saturday, July 20-21 and Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday July 25-28 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, July 22 at 2 p.m., at Buffalo High School’s Performing Arts Center.  Tickets are $16 for adults, $13 for seniors 60 and older, and $8 for students/children.  A $2 per ticket discount applies to groups of 15 or more.  Tickets can be purchased through www.bctmn.org or at the theater box office beginning one hour before each performance.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Central MN Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the artsand cultural heritage fund.

BCT has been staging magical community theater opportunities in Buffalo since 1987, providing a platform for generations of theate-arts enthusiasts  to perform and perfect the art of theatre.

 


Gearing up for the Wright County Fair, July 18-22

By Miriam Orr

This week promises an array of fun activities for Wright County citizens, as one of summer’s biggest events rolls into town to set up for the year’s fair!  From thrilling rides, to touring animal barns and snacking on cheese curds and cotton candy, the fun promises not to stop until Sunday,  July 22.

The tradition begins this year on Wednesday, July 18 and concludes Sunday, July 22, which is a week earlier than most years. Also new this year is the carnival host, which will be Merriam’s Midway Shows, opening at 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, July 18. Armbands are $20.00 for unlimited rides. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the carnival opens at 1 p.m. and closes at 10 p.m., and on Sunday, rides and games are available from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Anyone who purchases an armband will be entered for a chance to win a bicycle! Two bikes will be given away on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with all the drawings beginning at 5 p.m. You must be present to win, and the drawing is held by the Sheriff’s Office.

Wednesday’s events include the 4-H Horse Show, which begins at 9 a.m., along with Livestock check-in. At noon, buildings and exhibits open to the public. A live DJ, Chris Vokaty, begins at 6 p.m. and goes until 10 p.m., while at 7 p.m., the Combo Demolition Derby begins at the pit, which opens at 2 p.m. Tickets for this event are $10.00, and reserved seating is available by going online to www.wrightcountyfair.org. Also, on the 18th will be the Power Wheels Demo Derby (a 20 entry max) for ages four to nine years old. For information on the Power Wheels Demo Derby, call Gary at 763-350-1911.

Additionally, Wednesday will also host the Lawn Mower Demo Derby, which will take place at the Combo Derby, and advanced registration for this event is preferred. Tickets for this event are also $10.00, and to participate, you must be 16 years or older. A minimum of six entries are required; otherwise only first place will be awarded a cash prize. For more information, please contact Gary at 763-350-1911, and visit the fair’s website for rules and regulations.

On Thursday, the 4-H Horse Show begins promptly at 8 a.m., and buildings open to the public at 10 a.m. The popular Lumberjack Championship will begin at 1 p.m., with other performances at 4 p.m. and also 7 p.m. The Midway Show rides and games will also open at 1 p.m., and the antique tractor pull and garden tractor pull begins at 5 p.m. Also, at 5 p.m., the armband bike drawing will be held. Bull Riding at the Grandstand will begin at 7 p.m. sharp.

Cash drawings will be held after 9 p.m., and buildings close at 10 p.m.

Friday kicks off with a 4-H Horse Show again at 8 a.m., and buildings open at 10 a.m. At 1 p.m. is another Lumberjack show, followed by more performances at 4 p.m., and 7 p.m. Midway opens at 1 p.m., followed by a Kids Coin Scramble at 1:30 p.m., and at 2 p.m. is the BMX bike/tractor pull show. The KRWC Road Show begins at 5 p.m. and goes until 7 p.m., with an armband bike drawing at 5 p.m. as well. The Demo Derby will begin at 7 p.m., with cash drawings after 9 p.m. Pits open for the Demo Derby at 3 p.m., and the Lumberjacks perform again at 4 p.m. The “Wagon Wheelers” will begin performing live music at 4 p.m., and will go until 8 p.m., with another BMX bike and tractor pull show starting at 4 p.m., with another drawing for bikes starting at 5 p.m. Bull riding will begin at 7 p.m. at the Grandstand, with cash drawings beginning at 9 p.m. Again, buildings close at 10 p.m.

 By Saturday, Classic Car Show registration begins bright and early at 8 a.m., along with the WSCA Pleasure Show. At 9:30 a.m., the dog demonstration near the Hoop Building begins, followed by the classic car and truck show at 10 a.m., which runs until 4 p.m.

The Military Day Program begins at 11 a.m., along with wool judging, and the BMX/tractor pull show. The Pinewood Derby Car and Tractor Races begin at noon and go until 1 p.m., as does the Ukulele Club of Wright County, which ends at 2 p.m. Midway opens at 1 p.m., along with a Lumberjack Champion performance (other performances begin at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.), and Muttin’ Bustin’. Ultimate Trucks Mud Racing will take off at 2p.m., followed by the BMX bike/tractor pull at 3 p.m. The Diaper Derby, in front of the Old School House, also begins at 3 p.m.

The armband bike drawing will start at 5p.m., with the 4-H Livestock Auction starting at 6:30 p.m. At 7p.m. the Demo Derby begins, as do tribute bands Def Leggend and Zed Leppelin (Def Leppard and Led Zeppelin), which run until 11 p.m. Cash drawings begin after 9 p.m.

To conclude the fair’s schedule, the WSCA Game Show kicks off at 8 a.m., and a church service at the free stage at 10 a.m. A motorcycle show begins at 11 a.m. and runs until 3p.m. Buildings open to the public at noon on Sunday.

Also, at noon is a lumberjack performance, as well as a tractor and truck pull at the Grandstand. At the free stage will be the Wright County Clowns, starting at 1p.m., with Midway opening at 1 p.m. and running until 7 p.m. The Fairest of the Fair Farewell, at the free stage, will begin at 3 p.m.

At 5p.m., the armband bike drawing will take place, as well as the Wright County Karaoke Contest, which runs until 9 p.m. Exhibits are released at 7p.m., and cash drawings begin after 8 p.m. Buildings will promptly close at 10 p.m.

For more information on a full fair schedule, visit www.wrightcountyfair.org/fair-schedule/ and be sure to look for online ticket purchasing, which is a new feature this year!

Cutline

Numerous flags, tributes to veterans, patriotic music, and a speech by Gen. Ken Penttila highlighted the Military Day Program back in July of 2017. Equal excitement awaits fairgoers this year, as groups and community members prepare for one of the county’s biggest events of the summer. Visit http://www.wrightcountyfair.org  for a full schedule. (Photo from the Wright County Journal Press archives).

 


Kath, Brenny announced as 2018 Wright County Outstanding Seniors

Sandy Kath

Wright County’s Outstanding Senior Volunteer Selection Committee, in cooperation with the Minnesota State Fair Board and the Wright County Fair Board, and have made their selection of the 2018 Outstanding Wright County Seniors.

 

The 2018 Outstanding Senior Citizens are Sandy Kath of Buffalo, and Roger Brenny, also of Buffalo.

 

The purpose of the program is to recognize that the senior citizen population is a very valuable resource to the communities, as they continue to give back of their time and talents to the residents of our communities. Eligibility criteria for the outstanding senior position is that applicants are a Minnesota resident, and must attain the age of 70 by August 1.

 

Only volunteer activities after the age of 65 for which there is no compensation (except for reimbursed expenses) are considered. The committee looks for leadership, diversity of accomplishments, and the variety of services performed.

Roger Brenny

Sandy Kath has been involved with a wide variety of volunteer a

ctivities.  Some of her volunteer activities include working with Meals on Wheels, Toys for Tots, and the Buffalo Food Shelf and Blessing Closet doing whatever she can to help others.

 

Roger Brenny has been involved with many groups doing volunteer work. A few of the many groups he works with are Buffalo Food Shelf, Adopt a Family, Fare for All, and Communiuty Breakfast, where he gives his  time and talents to help others.

 

 

 

 


Float on floats, July 21

Join the Montrose Royal Ambassadors and Ambassador candidates for Floats on the Float on Saturday, July 21 from 3-5 p.m. at Red's Cafe parking lot in Montrose. Join the Ambassadors for a root beer float. Cost is a free will donation.

 


Concerts in the Park, July 19

Make sure to stay tuned into Concerts in the Park, continuing on every Thursday until August 30!

This event features a number of musical concerts and bands, sponsored by local businesses in their performances for the community. It promises to be a good time, with family-friendly music, and all the concerts are free of charge for anyone who wants to join in on the fun.

On July 19, make sure you swing in and watch “Church of Cash,” who will pay tribute to the legendary man in black, Johnny Cash. Then, keep an eye out on July 26 for “Rockin’ Hollywoods,” who will take you way back to the 50’s and the 60’s! 

Anyone wanting to donate to the event, and others like it in the community, please contacts the Buffalo Parks Department at 763-682-4132.

 


Party in the Park, July 26

It’s a party for everyone, coming on Thursday, July 26! Join the community as friends and family gather for free hotdogs, cookies, a concert, and an array of kids’ activities, all taking place at Sturges Park, in Buffalo.

The event runs from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m., and includes vendors, and a raffle for prizes, all in benefit for the Buffalo Food Shelf.

Please consider joining us in our quest for feeding the community, as we host yet another Party in the Park! It promises to be a good time, with a great opportunity to show your support of your community.

 


Koosman, Weber, and Wright to represent the County at the 2018 Minneapolis Aquatennial

Jenna Koosman

The Minneapolis Aquatennial Ambassador Organization (AAO) is excited to announce that Ashley Weber from the community of Buffalo, Brittany Wright from the community of Montrose, and Jenna Koosman from Wright County will be participating in the AAO  Candidate Program, which began July 17, and goes through July 22.

 

This year, 49 candidates will be participating in the program; one young woman is chosen to be the Queen of the Lakes, and two women are chosen as Princesses. The selection team considers a variety of criteria including: professionalism, public speaking ability, current and future goals, education and co-curricular/extracurricular activities. In addition to the interview process, the candidates also participate in leadership, personal development and other unique experiences. These experiences include visiting Minneapolis hallmarks like The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis, visiting the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, and the Mississippi River Boat Cruise.

 

Ashley Weber

Community members are invited to cheer on their community representative at the traditional Meet the Candidates event, taking place on Wednesday, July 18 at the Minneapolis City Center Rotunda from Noon to 2:00 pm.

 

 

 

The week culminates with the Coronation of the 2019 Aquatennial Ambassadors at Ted Mann Concert Hall at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities campus on Saturday, July 21 at 4PM with a reception an hour prior. Tickets for coronation are available beginning July 2 at

www.aquatennialambassadors.com/events .

Brittany Wright

Community members are encouraged to send well wishes to their candidate at the Millenium Hotel, 1313 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis (indicate they are an AAO Candidate); Donato’s Floral will also provide a 10% discount to all orders for AAO candidates. Learn more at: https://www.donatosfloral.com/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Smiles in paradise

How one Buffalo woman changed lives in South America

By Miriam Orr

Nestled high the Andes Mountains of Peru rests a series of citadels, dating back to at least the 15th century. With as much beauty as there is history revolving these ancient places, the Incan trails and ruins are still, to this day, a subject of speculation and study.

Despite lack of background, Macchu Picchu and other destinations within Peru remain popular vacation destinations and tourist locations, if you’re tough enough to brave treacherous mountain trails and perilous hikes. With natives that fully embrace tourists from around the world, Peru is a place of mystery and beauty. And, according to Buffalo resident Stacy Hinkemeyer, the South American paradise should make everyone’s bucket list of places to see before you die.

 

Getting there

It was steamy when Stacy Hinkemeyer pulled into her garage, her two granddaughters accompanying her in the backseat of her car. It had been a long day at work and battling the heat, and Stacy was still recovering from altitude changes from a 14-day trip to Peru.

Stacy is a Buffalo native, having lived most of her life in the city. Currently, she works in financing, in Minneapolis, with a company that has connections with quite a few charity organizations, including the Smile Network.

“That’s how I got my foot in the door with Smile Network to begin with,” she explains. Stacy has been involved with the organization, which is a humanitarian effort that provides “life-altering reconstructive surgery.” Most commonly known for their work in repairing cleft palates and lips, Stacy was passionate about the organization right away when she heard about it.

Stacy’s job was partnering with the Smile Network to raise money for facial-reconstruction in Peru, specifically, Lima.

Stacy stated, “I researched the Network’s founder, Kim Valentini, and found that she was such an inspiring woman. She goes into the Amazon to collect wares to raise money for these kinds of efforts, and she’s so involved with people. Her passion really inspired me to get involved with this and do something.”

However, it was Stacy’s experience with giving blood that kickstarted her passion to take the trip to Peru. Stacy shared that she was giving blood one afternoon at work, and her heart ended up going into an arrhythmia, or an abnormal rhythm. Since other members in her family had died from similar complications, Stacy was driven into treatment – thankfully, nothing serious was wrong with her heart, but she stated she did gain some pretty serious perspective.

“Having a condition like that, which has killed other members in your family is pretty harrowing,” she explained. “I got some perspective and realized that I wanted to live and do things I wouldn’t normally do. I needed to do things right now, because tomorrow isn’t ever guaranteed.”

The trip would involve not only working in a hospital atmosphere to volunteer during the process of facial-reconstructive surgery, but it also involved a trek up the Incan Trail, which is where the fundraising aspect of the trip comes into play for Stacy. So, once having signed up for her trip, Stacy started the process of training for her trek through the mountains.

With a hike of around 23 miles, the trip would calculate to around 50,000 stairs, and around 80,000 personal steps. Of course, this all takes place at a higher altitude and summits around 14,000 feet, which needs to be accounted for – so, training and exercise are a must.

Nine others would join Stacy on her trip, and together, they raised around $35,000 to provide surgeries for kids in Lima. Since each surgery equals out to around $500 a child, around 70 kids were sponsored through their trip alone.

 

In Peru

Stacy shared that once you land in Peru, it’s a gorgeous drive to Lima, where their hospital work would begin. She stated that the hospital volunteering aspect of the trip was the most emotional experience she’s encountered, and that it changed her perspective instantly.

“Since many of us weren’t medical professionals, a lot of what we did was sit with families and help them cope with the fact their children are in surgery. We were emotional support for them.” She continued, “I did get to sit in on one surgery, and it was truly breathtaking. To see a place, like Lima, that doesn’t even have the technology to perform blood transfusions, changing a life like that is so emotional.”

Another aspect of her trip that was truly inspirational was the fact that a medical team from the United States brought over a transfusion machine, to donate to the hospital in Lima. While Lima is by all accounts a modern city, their medical practice is not nearly as advanced as the United States. Stacy explained that blood transfusion technology was unheard of in Lima, and that the technology was greatly in need, since the leading reason of death in women between ages 18 and 34 is blood loss from child birth.

“To see people who haven’t had that technology finally receive it was a huge blessing,” Stacy shared.

Stacy was able to observe that one surgery during her time in Peru, and while grateful for “not passing out,” she explained that watching a life change and being able to be a part of it was humbling, and really gave her perspective about her own life, and those of her grandchildren and loved ones.

“The difficult part of the whole thing was the hike!” Stacy laughs as she distracts Winnie, her six-month-old granddaughter with a series of rattles and teething toys. “The altitude just kills you, if you’re not used of it – I’m recovering still. But, while on that trail, we encountered some of the most amazing people who walk it every day, carrying seventy and eighty-pound loads!”

Stacy raised $3,000 on her own for the hike, and she said the greatest takeaway from the hike was that anyone can do what they set their mind to do, all it requires is actually going out and getting it done. She stated that while on the mountain and actually hiking the Incan Trail, one really begins to realize how minute people are, and that there is a lot more to life than just the daily goings-on.

“The views are just gorgeous,” Stacy shared. “When you’re there, you realize just how small you are, and how fleeting life actually is. For these kids in Peru, these facial-reconstructions are not because of a standard of beauty – they genuinely need them to breathe and to eat and to develop as human beings. That was really a big thing to realize, since so much surgery here is for beauty standards.” She concluded, “Something like this truly changes your life – while I wouldn’t climb a mountain again on an ancient trail, I would definitely seek out the Smile Network again and see how else I can help change lives, even in a little way like hiking.” 

For more information on the Smile Network, visit http://www.smilenetwork.org/.

 


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