In 2011, a small group of people got together because there were things they wanted to do in Pequot Lakes that weren’t getting done.
Their brainstorming resulted in Community Action of Pequot Lakes being formed, and now that nonprofit organization that serves the community wants to brand itself for better recognition and, hopefully, to gain more members.
“We formed this group because we really wanted to help the town,” said Kimberly Ziesemer, Community Action board president.
Ziesemer worked with Barb Merritt and Nancy Adams to create Community Action. They worked with Nancy Cross, the former longtime Brainerd Community Action director, as a mentor. Cross helped the small Pequot Lakes group become a nonprofit entity that officially incorporated in June 2013.
The group’s mission statement is “to work within the community to promote and cooperate in activities affecting the general welfare of the Pequot Lakes area and its population.” Members include individuals, families and businesses devoted to helping the Pequot Lakes community.
The list of events Community Action sponsors has grown over the years and includes the following: Miss Pequot Lakes Scholarship Pageant with approximately $8,000 in awards per year; community volunteer recognition during Bean Hole Days; August street dance; Pet Parade; children’s Halloween event at participating merchants; shopping block parties during the May fishing opener and November firearms deer season opener; and Santa’s Bobbin’ Into Town and the Light Up the Night Parade.
The group also donates to worthy community endeavors. Those include Stars and Stripes Days, Christmas for Vets, Art in the Park, school supply donations, and donations to the police and fire departments, Susan G. Komen Brainerd Lakes Race for the Cure, Pequot Lakes Grad Blast, Pequot Lakes Chamber and Pequot Lakes dog park. The group funded three additional bobber flower pots and the “Welcome to Pequot Lakes banners,” and it spearheads sponsorships for city benches.
Community Actions prints the Pequot Lakes city map and most recently donated a miniature bobber water tower for people to stand in front of for photos.
Membership is open to all who support activities and projects within the community, with an annual membership fee of $25. Community Action accepts donations as well.
Community Action board members are busy preparing for the eighth annual Santa’s Bobbin’ Into Town event on Saturday, Dec. 14. The event includes the Light Up the Night Parade and numerous other activities throughout the day. New this year will be a fireworks show after the parade. Community Action also is sponsoring a business decorating contest this holiday season.
Community Action partnered with the Babinski Foundation Animal Shelter to sponsor a $10,000 cash raffle, where the winner’s name will be drawn at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, on Government Drive, right before the parade starts. Tickets are being sold at Merritt Jewelers, the Babinski Foundation and other Pequot Lakes businesses, and people don’t have to be present to win.
Proceeds from the raffle will be split equally between Community Action and the Babinski Foundation Animal Shelter.
Community Action currently has 56 members and six board members. The group seeks more members and volunteers for events, especially younger people and those with creative ideas.
To become a Community Action of Pequot Lakes member, contact Barb Merritt at 218-568-4695, or send a check payable to Community Action of Pequot Lakes to PO Box 491, Pequot Lakes, MN 56472.