Good deeds mean good times: April 19, 2020

Chris Bible and Nicole Boggs stand with their sons - Gunner Bible, the birthday boy who turned 5, and Gage Bible - at the end of their street to watch Nisswa fire trucks and other emergency vehicles parade down Cinosam Road on Thursday, April 9, as a birthday salute to Gunner. Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal

Following are a few good deeds by area organizations and businesses during the ongoing COVID-19 situation and stay-at-home order.

If you have any such stories to share, email so we can share uplifting news with our readers.


Pine River prayer group

Amber Sechser, of Pine River, helped gather 15 families to drive to 15 different prayer locations representing the stations of the cross encircling the Pine River community to pray from their vehicles for the community. Participating families followed prayers found at .

Locations and prayers were:


  • Each family’s church to pray for their family’s needs.

  • Grocery store to pray that all essential workers in the community be safe.

  • Ambulance station to pray for all emergency medical professionals to be protected.

  • Clinic to pray for all local residents to be healthy.

  • Dam Park to pray for all local businesses that depend on tourism.

  • School to pray for teachers and students during this massive transition.

  • Ball field to pray for all athletes, those in the littlest leagues and those who hoped to go to state but couldn't participate.

  • City hall to pray for police and armed forces members to be protected.

  • Chamber building to pray for local leaders who make decisions about the community.

  • Family center to pray for those who serve the poor.

  • Food shelf to pray for those with food insecurity.

  • Feed store to pray for farmers.

  • Cemetery to pray for those who will die from this community.

  • Funeral home to pray for those who have loved ones who die during this time but can’t have funerals.

Easter meals

Bar Harbor Supper Club in Lake Shore provided up to 500 free takeout meals on Easter Sunday for veterans, senior citizens and those who have a financial hardship. The meal was broasted chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, country corn, green beans, coleslaw and a dinner roll.

Justin Allen, manager at Bar Harbor, told the Brainerd Dispatch the restaurant decided to serve its chicken dinner to help lift people’s spirits as everyone is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The restaurant wanted to give back to the community and help those in need.

The supper club had a designated curbside pickup area in front of the building Sunday, April 12.

Ganley’s Family Restaurant in downtown Nisswa hosted a drive-thru fish fry on Good Friday, April 10, to benefit the Outreach Program of Brainerd Lakes, which has been busy packing emergency humanitarian meals for 17 area organizations.

The sold-out dinner culminated in 430 dinners of pan-fried walleye, baked potato and coleslaw being served from 4-6:30 p.m. in the parking lot outside the restaurant. According to a Facebook post, Luke Ganley and Russ Murray cooked the meals, the Ganley children boxed the meals, and Outreach Program volunteers delivered the boxes to customers in their cars.

Birthday salute

The Nisswa Fire Department celebrated another week of birthday salutes last week, driving down streets with sirens blaring and offering well wishes to birthday boys and girls.

“This has been such a joy,” Nisswa Fire Chief Shawn Bailey told the Brainerd Dispatch while driving down Cinosam Road on Thursday, April 9, to celebrate Gunner Bible’s 5th birthday. “They all come out and join in the fun. We love it and we haven’t had any issues with (firefighters) volunteering for this.

“Seeing all the smiling faces is just terrific. It not only puts a smile on their faces, it puts a smile on our faces too,” he said, noting this is one thing the Nisswa Fire Department can do for the community in these unprecedented times.


For Gunner’s birthday salute, Bailey led the pack of several big and smaller Nisswa fire trucks, as well as a Nisswa city plow, a tow truck and a Crow Wing County sheriff’s deputy squad. The Nisswa Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol and North Memorial Health Ambulance have also participated in some of the birthday salutes.

Holding a big gold “5” balloon, Gunner stood at the end of his residential road with his parents, Nicole Boggs and Chris Bible, and his younger brother, Gage Bible, all with smiles on their faces and waving as the fire trucks drove by.

Friends and family also lined the street. Nicole Boggs said she thought it would be fun to have the fire trucks go by on her son’s birthday so he would have something special to look forward to, since they couldn’t go anywhere for his birthday.

Chamber bucks

The Brainerd Lakes, Crosslake and Pequot Lakes Chambers are supporting chamber members by hosting Facebook contests, tagging businesses and getting the word out that small businesses need support right now. Winners of the contests are receiving Chamber Bucks to spend at local businesses. A Chamber Buck is a monetary check certificate that can be redeemed just like a check at any business in the Brainerd lakes area.

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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