First off, if I don't want to further alienate my marketing chair, Josh Becerra, I have to remind everyone that tomorrow night,ThursdayDec. 5, from 6:30-8pm the Saint Anthony park Community Foundation is hosting a "State of the Park" panel discussion and non-profit information fair at the St. Anthony Park Elementary School.

It should be a very interesting discussion and it's a great panel. Tanya Bell, a redevelopment consultant who has worked in the metro and is currently advising Luther Seminary on it's real estate dealings, will be there to talk about the Seminary and the the development prospects for our entire district, including the Creative Enterprise Zone.

Catherine Day, an artist and entrepreneur, who has been intimately involved in the CEZ for close to 15 years and now chairs the CEZ Action Committee, will also be on hand as will Andrew Collins who is the Assistant Superintendent in charge of the Elementary Schools for SPPS. He will share the district perspective on how the school year is shaking out and, of course, how our elementary school is doing.

We also have Mary Beck, chair of the St. Anthony Park Area Seniors board to talk about life as a local non-profit and Dan Marshall from Peapods Natural Toys to weigh in on the business district.

The whole discussion will be moderated by Jon Commers, urban planning and financial strategist, and Met Council member. There will be time for Q&A after, and time from 6:30-7pm to find out about  the dozen or so non-profit orgs and groups that will have tables with updates on their programming. You really should come, what else is there to do on a chilly night in the Park?

Number 2 - Speaking of chilly, the temps for this Saturday's annual Shop Home for the Holiday celebration are predicted to be in the single digits. Luckily, it's such a great event, people will be willing to bundle up and ride Santa's reindeer sleigh or take advantage of the retail specials and the strolling carolers and the wine-tasting and the artisan village in the lower level of Milton Square. Don't forget about the raffle. Save your receipts totaling more the $50 spent in our local shops (north or south), visit the artisan village raffle station, and enter the raffle to win gift cards from local businesses and more! One entry for every $50 spent, spend $1,000 and enter 20 times!


Made Their Match!
The community council would like to thank everyone who donated to them through to help them make their $2,000 match from the Knight Foundation. That money will be put to good use organizing community-building events in the CEZ.

Progressive Dinner March 1
As I believe I mentioned last time, the Progressive Dinner has been set for March 1. Visit the D12 website to register and find out more. It's a great and mostly volunteer driven with a little help financial from the Foundation.


Murray is holding its annual Barnes & Noble Fundraiser tomorrow, Dec. 5, from 9am-11pm at the Har Mar store. The band and other student groups will perform and a percentage of the day's sales will go to the middle school. If you can't make it to the store, you can shop online and use a code to direct the store's contribution to Murray. Here's the link to Murray's website for the code and info.

Como's Pops Concert is Dec. 16 at 7pm at the school. They also have some shadowing and school tour dates coming up on Dec. 10 & 11. Go to their website for more info.


Community Sing on Dec. 9 7-8:30 pm at Luther Sem's Olson Center


Milton Square Stores Making News
Heather O'Malley who has taken over the running of Milton Square from her legendary Mom, MaryAnn, is boasting some nice honors for her merchants. Maggie Miley's Complexions on Carter was voted "Best Facial Spa" by MN Monthly magazine. Lady Elegant's Tea Room was featured on "Twin Cities Live" and Heather and her Thistles shop were featured in Woodbury magazine. Thistles is a knick knack store to beat all knick knack stores, there is a little bit of everything large and small there, check it out. Add to that her other great businesses and that is a very thriving retail destination. By the way, Milton Square celebrates Shop Home on Sunday as well, so stop in the Artisan Village and surrounding stores to keep the party going.

Peapods Extreme Giftwrapping This Saturday
Don't forget that this Saturday as part of Shop Home for the Holidays, Dan Marshall and Millie Adelsheim are offering gift wrapping for a $2 which will be donated to Childbirth Collective. The gift can be from anywhere, just bring it in and they will make it beautiful!

Blue House Boutique Benefit
St. Matthew's Episcopalian Church is the scene for crafts and other gifts benefiting the AIDS orphanage in Uganda. Sat. 9-3 with a lunch from 11-1pm and Sun. 9-1pm. It's a terrific cause with a deep connection to our community.

That's all for now. Take care of yourself and be a good neighbor. And come to The Forum and Shop Home!