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Ideal Community Service Organization holds annual meeting

Donation made to National Loon Center in Crosslake

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National Loon Center Communications Director Natasha Bartolotta, left, receives a donation to the loon center from Ideal Community Service Organization President Sally Baumgartner on Oct. 1, 2022.
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IDEAL CORNERS — On a brisk Oct. 1 morning, 20 members gathered for the Ideal Community Service Organization's annual meeting. The cozy atmosphere and great breakfast at Old Milwaukee Saloon & Eatery made a casual and successful meeting.

Natasha Bartolotta, National Loon Center communications director, presented plans for the loon center, scheduled to open in 2024. Dave Guenther was recognized for many years of volunteering in the community with young and old, school programs, art clubs, snowmobiles, trails and enrichment of all kinds.

Director and officer elections results were: Sally Baumgartner, president; Mary Jo Schneider, secretary; Larry Knutson, treasurer; John Boline, Ron Engblom, Sandy Meyer, Joanna O'Neil, Mary Plein and Steve Tufte. Carrie Ruud was welcomed as a new board member.

Between new and renewed memberships, there are now 70 members.

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Donations would not be possible without the support of ICSO members, volunteer board members, gambling manager Lisa Engblom and the patronage of charitable gambling sites, including Bites Grill & Bar in Pine River and Old Milwaukee Saloon & Eatery in Ideal Corners.

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Recent electronic gaming and bingo added to pull tabs at both sites have increased proceeds, helping ICSO donate to more programs.

Donations from September 2021 to August 2022 were over $50,000 to 28 programs for youth, food shelves and home care assistance to the homebound, including: Area Diamond Club (Boys & Girls); Christmas For Kids, Christmas Wreaths For Veterans; Crow Wing First Responders, Crosslake Area Food Shelf; Fun Books For Kids; Ideal Park ball field improvements; Ideal Green Market Cooperative; Interfaith Caregivers, Lakes Area Food Shelf; Lakes Area Restorative Justice Program; Meals on Wheels; the National Loon Center; Pequot Lakes High School robotics team; Pequot Lakes and Pine River Community Education, Pine River Lego League and Pine River Food Shelf.

ICSO is a four-star rated charitable gambling nonprofit established in 1980, continuing a mission to improve and enhance the lives of residents and families of the Ideal community. Members of ICSO include full-time and part-time residents of Ideal Township.

The group may be reached for membership or to learn more at ICSO, P.O. Box 751, Pequot Lakes, MN 56472.

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