BLOG: WHAT I KNOW 11-26-14 

A weekly update of news and events happening in St. Anthony Park - by the Foundation's Executive Director, Jon Schumacher 

Thanksgiving. A time to consider our blessings. For some, that's easy to do...for others, it's harder. I have much for which I am thankful. Most importantly, I am surrounded by love, support and community. I am also privy to a warm house, a full pantry, ready access to transportation and enough money to know those will - for the most part - remain constants in my life. 

I don't need to dwell on the specifics, we all know the world we live in does not bestow these gifts on everyone. The fortunate ones have a responsibility to make sure these gifts are available to all. I am thankful to live in a neighborhood filled with people who work to bring these gifts to those brothers and sisters seeking equal opportunity, equal protection and equal rights. The nightly headlines are a powerful reminder that there is much to be done. 

Let me share some other recent experiences that make me thankful.  Music in the Park Series & the Schubert Club brought the Ensemble Caprice to the St.AP Elementary School for a concert last Monday. The entire school got a chance to hear world class musicians and clap, snap their fingers and stomp their feet in enthusiastic percussion to some lively "salsa baroque" pieces. Great kids, great teachers and staff, great principal in Ann Johnson and great neighbor in Music in the Park's Julie Himmelstrup.   


Did I mention I'm thankful for great parents? Here they are working to put together the outdoor classroom/play space made out of the trunks of the Spider Tree in the elementary school playground. It became an instant hit and continues to be a favorite gathering spot even in the winter weather. Our school parents are deeply invested in the education of all our kids and they give time and money to make sure those kids get the opportunities they need to be successful. Also a thankful nod to Parks & Rec for their help.


And then there was the honorary renaming of a slice of Franklin Avenue back by the Weyerhauser lumber yard, in honor of the late Dave "Snaker" Ray who gained fame with the legendary folksinging group, Koerner, Ray and Glover but made a living in his insurance business which was housed at that corner before the housing went up a few years back. I am thankful for respect paid for all generations and for the arts.


I am also thankful for a community that shows up to discussions concerning our future. You will all have a chance to demonstrate that commitment at the Foundation's annual meeting next Thursday, Dec. 4 from 6:30-8:30 at the elementary school.

Our topic is Preparing for the Best: Demographics, Design and Development. We've brought together a panel of folks who have expertise in all of those areas including neighbor and Dean of the U of M School of Design, Tom Fisher.  As our large group of boomers and seniors looks to downsize while staying in the neighborhood, we need to figure out where they can all go. We don't want them to leave, they're our friends and relatives. They also they bring expertise, experience, volunteer hours and dollars which support our retail and non-profit businesses. Additionally, we need places for new neighbors and those who need life-cycle options. Come and join the conversation next Thursday night. We need your input.

The evening starts at 6:30pm with an info fair for our local nonprofits. Find out what they are up to and how you can help them do it.


This Friday may be Black Friday for the big boxers, but for your local independents, it's Plaid Friday. Support the many neighborhood stores that anchor our communities by spending some time and money close to home...Then on Dec. 6 it's our very own, Shop Home for the Holidays in North St. Anthony Park. Join your friends and neighbors to complete your holiday shopping so you can take the rest of the month off. Sunrise Bank on Como will have Santa and his reindeer from 9-noon, the artisans will be set up in Milton Square's lower level and there will be specials along Como Avenue...Also that weekend, Dec. 6 & 7 is the Blue House Boutique at St. Matt's, a benefit for a church supported house in Uganda for children orphaned by AIDS. 

That's all for now. Take care of yourself and be a good neighbor. Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!


Want to learn more about the Saint Anthony Park Community Foundation? Want to get involved?
Contact Jon Schumacher
651-641-1455 or