NICOLLET COUNTY - Twenty-five people graduated Thursday from the 2011-2012 Connecting Nicollet County (CNC) Local Leadership Program at Finstad's Oak Haven Campground.
Created to connect people, resource awareness and build leadership throughout Nicollet County, the final CNC session toured St. George, Fort Ridgely State Park, the Harkin Store Historic Site and Frank and Nancy Bianchi's gardens before hosting a graduation ceremony, social and picnic supper at Oak Haven.
Ben Leonard of the Nicollet County Historical Society asked Nicollet County Trivia questions as the group rode a bus across western Nicollet County.
Staff photo by Fritz Busch
Harkin Store Manager Ruth Grewe details the history of the store and West Newton Township Thursday to 25 Connecting Nicollet County Local Leadership Program participants.
Questions included: "What instrument St. Peterite Maximillian Dick played for the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera?" Answer: the violin.
"Who sang for the New York Opera from 1903-1914?" Answer: Olive Fremstad.
"What award did James McPherson win for his 1989 book 'Battle Cry of Freedom?'" Answer: the Pulitzer Prize.
"What musician married St. Peter resident Annie Martel and wrote a song about her?" Answer: the late John Denver, "Annie's Song."
"What St. Peter native picked 111th in the 1974 NFL draft played seven seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals?" Answer: linebacker Steve Neils.
"Who played professional baseball in 1949 and 1951, as a centerfielder, pinch runner, pinch hitter for the Cleveland Indians?" Answer: Milton Nielson.
"What four-sport Gustavus athletes received a World War I Purple Heart Medal, was State Commander of the American Legion, served eight years on the State Board of Parole and drafted the education portion of the G.I. Bill of Rights?" Answer: C. Fred Hanson.
"What Nicollet business that literally began on a bar napkin, builds products found all over the world including Cancun and Sea World?" Answer: Hewitt Roll-a-Dock.
Bob Wise, CNC Steering Committee member, said the program offers leadership skills that can be used in everyday life.
"Taking the program last year, I learned things I never otherwise would have," Wise said.
"It's a great program, worth getting involved with. People really enjoyed it," said Tom Hayes of Lafayette.
Bob Schabert of Courtland said the program far exceeded his expectations.
"Networking with 24 very interesting, motivated individuals will help me be a better leader and person," Schabert added. "The training, tours and networking are priceless."
For more information, visit www.connectingnicolletcounty.org
The Harkin Store opens to the public for the 2012 season, 1-4 p.m. Sunday, May 6 with Egg Coffee and Newtons. Programs continue 1-4 p.m. Sundays through Labor Day. The site will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
The Fort Ridgely Historical Site will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday and Monday holidays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at email@example.com.