Seeing Purple

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Written by Bob Freund


Pursuing a Cure For Pancreatic Cancer at the PurpleStride Walk

Purple will be the color of the day on Sept. 21, when hundreds of walkers, runners, supporters and cancer survivors gather at the Regional Sports Center at University Center Rochester. It’s not a fashion statement; it’s a rallying color against pancreatic cancer.

Tens of thousands of lives each year are devastated by cancer of the pancreas: 73 percent of patients die within a year of diagnosis and only about 6 percent survive for five years.



Homeless in Rochester

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Written by Amanda Wingren


Seeking Shelter, Rebuilding Lives

Crystal Bartz and her three children, Temperance (age 6), DaCorey, (age 4) and Darius (7 months), have been situated in transitional housing through the Salvation Army for two months—a place they are relieved to be even if it is only temporary.

When Crystal was four months pregnant with Darius, she encountered health problems that required her to be on strict bed rest, which meant she couldn’t work. A domestic dispute and subsequent breakup left Crystal and her children without a home.



Fifty Years Never Looked So Good

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Written by Debi Neville


Kellogg Middle School celebrates the half-century mark

The doors of Frank B. Kellogg Middle School in northeast Rochester first opened in late fall 1962 to a flood of seventh through ninth grade students. Known then as Kellogg Junior High, the building was designed for 1,200 students on 17 acres and built for only $13.81 per square foot (which included cost of equipment).

Tucked into a wooded hill, it still glistens inside and out and is now home to about 900 students grades six through eight.



Breaking the Chains of Modern-Day Slavery

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Written by K.L. Snyder


The slave trade, an ages-old enterprise, has updated its modus operandi, added the internet to its dealings and undergone a name change: human trafficking. Modern-day slavery—sophisticated but still nefarious—perpetuates its ancestor’s evil.

Human trafficking is “organized criminal activity in which human beings are treated as possessions to be controlled and exploited (as by being forced into prostitution or involuntary labor),” according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary.



Freezin' For a Reason

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Written by Amanda Wingren

freezin-for-a-reasonPlunging into frigid waters to support Special Olympics

Every February at Foster Arend Park, they come as groups and alone, in costumes and swimsuits, as coworkers and friends. They all have the same plan: a bone-chilling plunge into an icy lake to raise money for Special Olympics Minnesota.

Kevin Torgerson organized and founded the first Polar Bear Plunge in Rochester in 2002, with 25 plungers pledging to take the jump for charity.

“We decided we wanted to make a splash, and, hey, we could do this,” says Torgerson. Since then, the Plunge has grown steadily in numbers and popularity, and in 2012, over a thousand people pledged and plunged, raising over $250,000 for Special Olympics, which provides year-round sports training and competition for children and adults with disabilities.



Moments of Shared Learning

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Written by Debi Neville


When the Diversity Council of Rochester and Rochester Civic Theatre partnered five years ago, their main goal was “Celebrating Diversity and Inclusivity in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”  The long list of events that has been presented has received overwhelming support from both presenters and participants. Fundamentally, the partnership has lead to looking at injustice from a theatric point of view. The goal is to sustain a welcoming attitude to all people, keeping that in mind when making decisions for the Rochester community. 



It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Umbrian Christmas

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Written by Trish Amundson


If you’re dreaming of something other than a white Christmas, look no further than Assisi Heights where the Sisters of Saint Francis will host Umbrian Christmas III on December 1, 2 and 8.

Representing Italy in location and spirit, this three-day celebration takes place in Assisi Height’s beautiful Romanesque setting and includes festivities reminiscent of Italy’s Umbrian hill towns.

Enjoy the sights, music and tastes of the Italian region, while engaging in the holiday ambiance of a special community event.


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