Holiday Gift Guide

Print Email
Written by Scott Brue

Check out these specials from Rochester area businesses.

The following businesses have also contributed special gifts for Rochester Women magazine readers. Register to win free gifts while you are shopping. 


A winner will be announced each day Friday, November 23 through Saturday, December 15. Watch


Amy Lantz, Realty Executives Top Results!
521 N Broadway Ave #1 
507-281-9922, 507-254-8844

$1,000 off closing costs when purchasing or selling a home with Amy Lantz, Realty Executives Top Results! Expires April 1, 2019


Art on the Go, Traveling Canvas Painting Classes

Save $5 OFF your painting when you host a private painting party or attend any public event. Register at Promo RWM5 Expires 1/31/19


Chanhassen Dinner Theatres
501 West 78th St. Chanhassen, MN 55317
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Commonweal Theatre Company
208 Parkway Ave. N Lanesboro MN 55949
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Chateau De Chic 
104 N Broadway Ave, Spring Valley, MN 55975


Cold Stone Creamery
2650 S Broadway Ave

Free Pre Packed Ice Cream Quart with the purchase of any Signature Cake


Wellness Advocate, Diane Gray, Your essential oil educator


FREE 5ml bottle of Wild Orange essential oil
when you schedule your individualized essential oil consultation.


602 7th St NW, Rochester, MN 55901

Register to win a holiday gift basket with any purchase.


Gerri Lynn - Studio3 Sola Salons South
4530 Maine Ave SE, Rochester, MN 55904

$20 Holiday Bonus for every $100 purchased online in Gift Cards. Go to to purchase. Fill out the form to receive the secret code! Valid January-March 2019.


Hair studio 52 
2300 Superior Dr NW #3, Rochester, MN 55901

Give your loved one a gift of relaxation and beauty! Nine amazing gift packages available from $57-$189.


Inner Balance Massage, Anna Holland
1751 US-52, Rochester, MN 55901

Free 30 minute massage with purchase of a 60 minute massage. Offering Swedish, deep tissue, prenatal and condition specific massages.


Megawatt Video Game Party
Bryan Wattier, Coordinator of Fun, MegaWatt Entertainment, LLC
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

$25 off a weekday party (M-TH), Code: RW_Megawatt25


Optavia Certified 
Health and Wellness Coach, Kyra Bell
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

$25 gift to new clients


4325 Maine Ave SE, Rochester, MN 55904

Buy a $200 gift certificate get $20 Bonus card. Buy $300 get $25 Bonus card. Buy $500 get $30 bonus card and 5 free unit's of Botox


ReVitalight Therapy & Skincare
Crossroads Center 1201 S. Broadway Suite 42 Rochester, MN 55904

30 days UNLIMITED Red-light Therapy valued at $79.88


Roca Climbing & Fitness
6071 Rome Circle NW Rochester, MN 55901

20% off the purchase of any punch card (eligible on any Climbing or Yoga class punch cards)


Terra Loco
1190 16th St SW #150, Rochester, MN 55902

$20 off your purchase of $100 or more. Now through 1/15/19. Some exclusions apply, only one per customer.  


320 S Broadway, Rochester, MN 55901


Tips N Toes Salon
2950 41st St NW 
90 14th St SW 
507-529-9999, 507-281-1412
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

$15 gift card with the purchase of $100 gift card


1217 2nd St SW, Rochester, MN 55902

FREE juice or smoothie with purchase of a $50 gift card in store



Give Thanks

Print Email
Written by Jorrie Johnson

I thank you, our readers, for picking up this issue of RochesterWomen magazine. I appreciate you picking up each issue of RochesterWomen magazine and taking the time to read. Thank you for shopping with our advertisers (or being one). Thank you for the great ideas you share to truly make RochesterWomen your magazine, a place where you connect with each other and the community.

Thank you to our generous advertisers for investing in RochesterWomen magazine. We hope you see customers flooding your doors, and if you don’t measure your advertising that way, think about the women (and girls) who benefit from each issue of RochesterWomen magazine because of your support.

Thank you to our marketing account representatives, graphic designers, photographers, writers and distributors. RochesterWomen magazine is your work of art. Your skills are appreciated.



A Fresh Start: Georgia Basinski

Print Email
Written by Elizabeth Harris Photography by Jennifer Jones Photography

It can be difficult to try new things, but as Neale Donald Walsch says, “Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.” Georgia Basinski has tried her fair share of new things since moving across the country to Rochester — including a first-time makeover.  

Basinski first read RochesterWomen magazine in the veterinarian’s office as a new Rochester resident a couple of years ago. She found the stories of local women inspiring, and they gave her insight on her new community. For 20 years, Basinski lived in western Colorado and homeschooled her kids while working part time restoring antique quilts and night auditing for a hotel. Basinski went through some life changes that left her questioning what her purpose was, so she decided to move to Rochester for a fresh start. While being a mother and grandmother gave her joy, she found a new sense of purpose through volunteering in the community.

Basinski continues to enjoy spending time at Hawthorne Education Center and Bear Creek Services. These two organizations have become very near and dear to her heart and have allowed her to make valuable connections in the Rochester community. When she is not working or volunteering, Basinski stays busy gardening, reading books for her book club, playing pickleball, swimming, attending church activities and spending time with her dog, Champ. 


HANDBELL CHOIRS HAVE LONG HAD A PLACE IN CHURCH SERVICES OF MANY DENOMINATIONS. The goal of Rochester Area Handbells (rah) is to bring the art of handbell performance out of a church setting and into the greater Rochester community. The ensemble plays music that ranges from classic favorites to contemporary and will be kicking off a concert series in late November.

RAH is a fairly new ensemble—it officially launched in August 2017. Founder and musical director Paul Kingsbury, who moved to Rochester in 2015, was surprised to learn that there wasn’t a community handbell group in a city this size, especially with so many fantastic choral groups and other music ensembles already in existence. Fast-forward a couple of years, and the groundwork was laid to organize a handbell group.

RAH’s inaugural season was marked with five concerts, including a Christmas concert in the Rochester Public Library auditorium that maxed out room capacity. The city of Rochester also had the good fortune of hosting the 2018 Area 7 Handbell Musicians of America Festival Conference in June, which brought ringers from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Manitoba into the city for three days of ringing and workshops. Along with performing in the massed ringing event, RAH had the honor of opening the festival with a concert and reception. 



Women behind the Curtain: Rochester area theatre directors

Print Email
Written by Debi Neville Photography by dawn sanborn Photography

THE TITLE “ARTISTIC DIRECTOR” IS LISTED IN NEARLY ALL PROGRAMS OF LIVE THEATRE, FOLLOWED BY A NAME. Sometimes the first page contains a note from the director with thoughts about the playwright, the actors or the overall production. That’s about all we know of the person behind the curtains—the one who assembles the designers, cast and crew; the one responsible for helping each actor realize their full potential resulting in a remarkable, memorable and profitable show; the one who quite possibly is entrusted with the fate and future of the theatre itself.  

It’s a long and winding road that leads a director to be the driving force behind the curtain, and for women sometimes the road is fraught with bumps, twists and turns. Southeast Minnesota has numerous women who have traveled the road and are now successful and prolific theatre directors.

Cheryl Frarck has worked her magic on numerous stages. “I began as a drama director while teaching at a high school,” Frarck says. “That was almost 50 years ago. I was frustrated with the lack of importance the drama department was given and subsequently the lack of respect for the drama director.” She wanted to focus on educational theatre, to “create generations of theatre lovers.” Frarck made an impact on the high school stage for many years before making the transition to community theatre.




Rochester native and Mayo Clinic employee Sarah Gifford started out playing piano. She came to enjoy playing accompaniments with other musicians, rather than doing solo pieces. “My journey with the clarinet was a little more thorny,” she says. While not her first choice of instrument, she stuck with playing and found she enjoyed it. “I love music and playing with a group,” she explains. She also plays clarinet in local ensembles and teaches private lessons. 

Susan Oftedahl’s music journey began with her father, a former music college professor. It was his job at Minnesota State University in Mankato that moved her family to Minnesota. He took Oftedahl and her brothers to see a variety of student and professional musical performances. She plays cello in the Rochester Symphony with a cello that was a gift from her father and was made by David Folland, a luthier (a maker of stringed instruments such as violins or guitars) in Northfield. “The enriched sounds deepen my enjoyment of playing,” she says.



Sisters Forever: Linked by Heart and Spirit

Print Email
Written by Trish Amundson

MANY SISTERS HAVE A SPECIAL BOND THAT GROWS STRONGER OVER TIME. Tami Berg and Lisa Thorson have an incredible and ever-growing connection with their sister, Meg Hawks, even though they just met her last year. Now united, the three women are connected not only by paternal roots, but by similar characteristics, interests and love of family. They are sisters by blood—and sisters by heart.  

Dream Come True
Tami, a professor and director of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Winona State University, grew up with her biological sister, Lisa. “I had no idea I had another sister until I did an DNA test,” says Tami. She had questions about her ethnic background. “It came back with a ‘first order relative’ match, so a little detective work began.” 

The genealogy website linked Tami to Meg in Nebraska. She also had tested her DNA. “I remember getting the message from Tami asking if I knew how we could be related,” says Meg, who also works in education as a school secretary. Adopted at birth, she had limited information but knew her birth dad was a salesman and her birth mother had relatives in Italy. “I just wanted to know my ethnicity. I figured I would never find out about my father.”  


THANKSGIVING IS A TIME FOR REFLECTION, GRATITUDE AND GIVING. This is especially true for Jean Voxland, her husband, Andrew, and her birth parents, Dennis “Denny” and Karen Vinar. With a new and profound appreciation for each other, they continue to get to know one another.  

The couples are inspiring others through recounted experiences in their recent book, “How Did You Find Me…After All These Years? A Family Memoir.” Jean explains, “We documented our story for future generations. We felt it was important to write down how we felt at this point in our lives and how far we have all come in getting together.”

Young Love
Denny and Karen began dating when he was 15 and she was 13. They fell in love, but when Karen became pregnant at the age of 15, she went to a home for unwed mothers. Baby Denise (later named Jean) was born in August 1961 and placed for adoption. 


MN ADULT & TEEN CHALLENGE ROCHESTER–WOMEN’S CENTER IS A PLACE OF HOPE AND HEALING. While laughter echoes through the hallways and children enjoy visits with their mothers, profound life-altering changes take place in a safe environment. A cocoon of love and respect envelops these women, sheltering them from the storms of daily life while they face down their demons and do the hard work of freeing themselves from addiction. 

Faith-based Mn Adult & Teen Challenge, headquartered in the Twin Cities, has been helping adults and teens break free from drug and alcohol addictions since 1983. A few years ago, Mn Adult & Teen Challenge recognized a need in southeast Minnesota and opened a men’s facility in Rochester in January 2014. The men’s facility is located in the old Samaritan Bethany nursing home near Assisi Heights. Nearly from the beginning, there was a vision for a women’s center in Rochester. Center Director Tom Truszinski, who oversees both the men’s and women’s campuses, says having the opportunity to build the women’s facility is a prayer answered.



CHUTNEY: Spice up the holidays

Print Email
Written by Jorrie Johnson Photography by tiffany Hansen

I WAS RAISED IN NORTHERN MINNESOTA EATING A BASIC, BLAND DIET. When I moved to Rochester about 20 years ago, a doctor’s wife told me about using chutney to flavor meat. Not knowing what chutney was, I simply nodded, smiled and agreed with her exotic palate.  

A few years ago, after hearing about chutney again and again, I decided to learn more about it and discovered chutney is made of spices, vegetables and fruits. Commonly, chutney is a spiced relish or condiment used in Indian cooking. The holidays are apropos to bring on the spices, so let’s get started.


Page 1 of 75

Home | About Us | Advertise | Read | Connect | Subscribe | Submit | Contact Us

Rochester Women Magazine, Women Communications, L.L.C
PO Box 5986, Rochester, MN 55903, 507-259-6362

Copyright 2016