Tiger Talk: No longer back to school; we are back IN school

Our family created wonderful summer memories. (Watermelon and freezies!) Chris and I sent our oldest to college. (Happy and sad at the same time!) The fall rodeo season just finished. (Much dirty laundry!)...

Our family created wonderful summer memories. (Watermelon and freezies!) Chris and I sent our oldest to college. (Happy and sad at the same time!) The fall rodeo season just finished. (Much dirty laundry!)

I am ready to embrace the routine that often comes with the start of school. School supplies in stores are always the "sign" that summer is drawing to an end. Kids are excited about the new supplies they will bring to school.

However, parents often dread the additional expense it brings this time of year. We have some amazing community partners at Pine River-Backus (PR-B) Schools that help with this extra need.

Melissa Haff, 31 consultant, coordinated a Cinch Sac school supply drive with friends. Supplies were provided by donations from Aaron Haff, Daniel and Nancy Fenstermaker, Karla and Chris Cunningham, Erica Norman, Missy Burns, Phillip and Katie Shequen, Wayne and Elise Shequen, Mindy Glazier and Britany and Ben Borntragger.

Together they donated 41 Cinch Sacs filled with school supplies.


Since 2012, the Pine River State Bank and its customers have been donating backpacks and school supplies to PR-B. This year the bank donated over 60 backpacks and over $600 in additional school supplies for the high school.

Our youth and family service workers, Nicki Linsten-Lodge and Denise Koring, always give a sigh of relief when they see these supplies arrive at school. It doesn't only help students at the beginning of the year, but throughout the entire school year. Thank you for contributing!

School supplies then transition to winter gear. Community members step forward asking how they can donate. Every year I have people willing to donate new and gently used snowpants and snowboots. They say they use their Kohl's Cash or Herberger's reward dollars. Gender neutral colors work best. Thank you for contributing!

Our Pine River-Backus businesses continuously amaze me. Last year I approached Kathy and Lisa at the Pine River Dairy Queen about a reading program. Pizza Hut has offered personal pizza awards for years through its "Book It" program. Wanting to keep it local, DQ agreed to a reading award program at their business. This has been a hit with both teachers and students. Thank you DQ!

I am excited to announce that the Pine River Bakery will be doing a similar award as well. Thank you for contributing!

Not many people know about our "Help Fund." Denise Koring, youth and family service worker, created this donation fund years ago. The mission of this fund is to give students a little extra to cover a need.

For example, consider a student who wants to go out for a sport but is unable to cover the entire sports fee. The "Help Fund" may assist in this matter, not by completely funding a student, but rather assisting the student with partial payment.

This fund is used with due diligence. It is a great way for students to get assistance and yet also feel ownership of their own responsibilities. Last year a donation was made in memory of Sandy Poferl. Donations are welcome at any time. Thank you for contributing!


Another favorite time for me with back-IN-school time is seeing our volunteers at our school. Some volunteers come one to two hours a week; some volunteer one to two days a week. Giving your gift of time is most valuable. Thank you for contributing!

Thank you for being wonderful community partners. It does take a community to raise its children. Would you like to contribute in some way? Please contact me, Tina Hanneken, Community Asset Developer, at 218-587-8325.

What To Read Next
Fundraising is underway to move the giant ball of twine from the Highland, Wisconsin, home of creator James Frank Kotera, who died last month at age 75, 44 years after starting the big ball.
Inmates in-custody in the Mille Lacs County jail in Milaca, Minnesota
Inmates in-custody in the Hubbard County jail in Park Rapids, Minnesota
Modern schools offer more than one type of education