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MNbump Wellness Challenge – Thank You & Wrap-Up!

There were 22 teams (ranging from 9 to 11 people)
with a total of 226 number of participants!!
Total weight lost:  1,863 pounds (WOW!)

Winning teams (I’m hoping they send in a group photo from each of their celebration gatherings!) were:

1st PlaceMain Street Industries – Main Street Muscle – with 7.3% weight loss
Amanda Kuefler, Lisa Lindquist, Jeremy Tollakson, Joanne Vangness, Terri-Skog-Anderson, Arlene Athey, Karrie Findley, Lane Lindquist, Robin Olson, Roger Findley

2nd PlaceOAHS – Iron Maidens – 6.57% Weight loss
Nicole Lovgren, Dr. Susan Andersen, Sandy Brown, Kristen Brobst, Melissa Davis, Sarah Velzke, Kendra Fryer, Missica Lowe, Corina Hanson, Natasha Haukos

3rd PlaceThis just Thin – 6.18% Weight loss
Brenda Zahrbock, Anita Longnecker, Rachel Zinski, Josh Zinski, Brent Zahrbock, Lindsey Lee, Alicia Lee, John Thomas, Jeannine Dashiell, Kelsie Thomas, Adam Dashiell

With 1,863 pounds… I’d say all teams (and MNbump!) were winners!  However, this Ortonvillian must acknowledge the MNbump winning community was CLINTON!  🙂

If you’d like to watch the Facebook Live video from the weigh-in reveal – USE THIS LINK!

Thank you to those who sponsored this event:  Countryside Public Health, Essentia Health, OAHS (along with MNbump – Big Stone Area Growth).  And, thank you to KDIO for all of the coverage of this challenge!

There were many that helped – it takes  quite a bit of time & help from many to keep communications open with 226 people involved – However, I (Vicki), would like to give a shout out to Lynelle Dwyer & Sara Tollakson for coming up with the idea… and a HUGE shout out specifically to Sara Tollakson of OAHS for leading this event and handling by far the organization and administration pieces that come with an event like this – a very successful event like this!  It is easy “not to see” the time and effort it takes for a 10-week event – but I can assure you that it was not as easy as she made it look.  Sara is a non-stop ball of energy (and, from just that alone, I’m exhausted) – THANK YOU SARA!  …and with many participants indicating that they’d like to see another challenge, she has even agreed to do it again!  She has been making notes of things to do differently on the next go-around and looking for suggestions from those that participated (and everyone) for the next challenge.

Again, THANK YOU to Sara Tollakson!

Lynelle Dwyer & Sara Tollakson

MNbump – Upcoming Events!

It is getting so busy, so here are reminder links gathered together for activities coming up and a few highlights from recent MNbump events.  #MNbumpLife

Updated…. 6/17/2018


6/19:  Barrel Race tonight June 19th is going to be rescheduled due to the weather. I’ll post makeup date as soon as we make that decision (Flat Hills Arena, Inc. on FB)



Thursday, June 21 – “I’ll Be Me” Glenn Campbell’s journey with Alzheimer’s/Dementia
6:30 p.m. in the Orpheum in the Town Center at Fairway View
Presented by The Big Stone County Memory Loss Connection  Info Link

Saturday, June 23rd is the Jay Stock Golf Tournament in Ortonville
check out the video from last year’s event!

Check out this week’s dining recommendations for the new Downtown Diner
in Clinton – FB Post Link:  

MNbump Calendar Link!

A HUGE shout out to the Big Stone Arts Council for a very successful Big Stone Lake Art Crawl last Saturday, June 9th!  Their site visitor counts ranged from 40 to 400 people from a large range of travelers to locals.  And, as reported at the Arts Council meeting last night, they have quite a list of artists already signed up for next year – AWESOME – many were hoping this would become an annual event!  This video captures a few highlights from along the crawl:

And.. a HUGE shout out to DREAM for Kids and Big Stone County’s Someplace Safe for another AWESOME ‘old-fashioned family picnic’ at Lakeside Park in Ortonville – which was held last Thursday, June 7th.  It is truly a fun family day, here on the MNbump!  This video has a few highlights from the day.

… No time to rest – Lake Days is just three days away!  The video below has a few highlights from last year’s Lake Days event:


Big Stone Lake Regional Art Crawl in Ortonville

What a wonderful day!  I heard so many great comments while out on the art crawl today – hoping our artists make this an annual event (well, some thought it would be great every weekend!)  THANK YOU to all those that helped plan this event!!

There were 24 artists representing a unique variety of arts and mediums with the artists available to discuss their works.  It will be interesting to see the art created during the children’s art activity.  This activity had to be moved to Main Street due to the off/on again morning rain.

Check out a few highlights from the day –

Family Picnic in Ortonville at Lakeside Park

108_4306It was a beautiful evening at Lakeside Park along Big Stone Lake for this year’s annual DREAM for Kids & Someplace Safe’s old-fashioned family picnic! This is their third year – and has been a hit with the kids from the first.

Hills family brings their horses every year which is definitely a highlight for the kids! The Odessa Fire Department brought a water truck to show to the next generation of firefighters (thank you to Luke and Mike!) – the kids had fun testing their skills at holding and aiming that hose. Vicki from the Ortonville Public Library was giving away new books during the music game (music provided by Lee Kanten and Wanda Berry – awesome!), 4-H was providing activities during the event. A huge shout out to those that provided food & door prizes: GCC, S&D One Stop, the Moose, Lingonberries, Wade Sweezy, Gloria and Dwayne Larson, Hartman’s SuperValu, Pepsi Company — and to all the volunteers that helped with games, face painting & serving the food (I saw there was quite a group of people from Minnwest Bank helping out (besides knowing them from Minnwest, they were easily identified by their T-shirts!  🙂 )


The video has 2 minutes of highlights from the evening.  And, an awesome evening it was!

Creative Minnesota Report for Big Stone County

Sheila Smith (Executive Director of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts and Chair, Creative Minnesota) presented the Big Stone County Report on March 22nd at the Ortonville Community Center.

Creative Minnesota, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, Big Stone Arts Council, Big Stone Area Growth and the Ortonville EDA released a new study indicating that the arts have a large impact on Big Stone County!  “Nonprofit arts and culture organizations contribute to the vibrancy of Minnesota’s economy and quality of life and make our state a magnet for jobs and businesses.  Now we can quantify that in Big Stone County,”  said Sheila Smith “In addition to providing life-changing experiences, educational opportunities and accessibility to audiences of all ages in their stages and museums, arts and culture organizations are important employers and economic engines.

$400,000 = Economic impact of art and culture organizations, audiences and artists in Big Stone County.  To note, the impacts of the arts in Big Stone County do not include the annual Meander Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl which brings a large number of people to our County each year – Becky Stattelman of the Red Barn noted the tracking for 2017 reflects about 1,000 people stopped at their location.  The impacts of the Meander would be reflected in the County that houses the managing organization.  The 2016 Meander Economic Impact report is posted on the UMVRDC website – check it out on this link!

… and thanks to Kristi Fernholz of UMVRDC, here is the 2017 Meander Economic Impacts!

Details from the Big Stone County Creative Minnesota report can be found on the Website:  Link to report

The following video is the complete presentation including the questions & answers at the end.




Music on Main (Ortonville)

The Big Stone Arts Council “Music On Main” continues its twice-monthly jam sessions!

Next session will be Tuesday, April 3rd at 6:30, in the lower level of the Community Center (on the corner of Third & Monroe in beautiful downtown Ortonville!)  They are also meeting on Thursday, April 19th at 6:30.

Lee Kanten notes that “Musicians of all stripes and experiences gather and swap songs and stories for three hours and go home with silly smiles.”  Lee encourages everyone to bring an instrument, a voice, or an ear and join the fun!


MNbump + Facebook – March Analytics

It has been fun to watch the engagement rise on our MNbump Facebook page! I’m hoping that is an indication that you find our posts both helpful and enjoyable. Some might wonder ‘just how engaging is it’ and ‘how many people does this community Facebook page reach’ ??

I’ll just share the actual analytic screenshots for clean review – with one small narrative as a lead-in:  The first capture is the comparable – this is engagement over the last week and how MNbump compares to other sites that have a community or area focus with very similar ‘hopes’ to engage & provide information about their area – A couple notes… Otter Tail Lakes Country is pretty much always the #1 (and with greater numbers than reflected in today’s report) – Artie’s Bait – today’s number is the lowest I’ve seen it and that is likely because we are in between fishing seasons (hunting, etc.) – they are normally second or third on this report (between them and MNbump for the #2 & #3 spot!).  So although this is a 7-day engagement snapshot (as of today), the order of things and numbers are generally within this range.  Of course, there will be days that anyone of us has a very special post and there is a spike – and others that are much lower – this is a good reflection on a steady on-going view.

Let us know if you’re having an event that you’d like MNbump to cover – or if you have an idea on how your business or organization could collaborate with MNbump (we are a Big Stone Area Growth Initiative – click on this link to see who the MNbump bloggers are & what organizations have been instrumental in our MNbump creation!)

Below… and the % of up/down is gauged from the previous 7 day period – so again, that varies based on any given 7-day run.

All of the posts below were posted one time and were not “boosted”.   Generally, the post reach for any given post as a “people reach” of  700 and up.

#MNbump life… Living Rural & Loving it!


Sports & Leisure Show Highlights

It was an awesome weekend at the Sports & Leisure Show!  We’ve put together a few highlights from the show – starting with a quick video to see a few of the vendors as they were completing their set-up before the start of the Show.  Followed by videos of all of the Just for Kix dance groups (for family & friends that were unable to make this performance!), a Pickleball demonstration (very active league in Ortonville!),  highlights from the Tractor Pull and at the end you’ll find a number of songs from the Swing Time Band which is always a favorite!  (I separated the Swing Time band selections by song since there are some that people may want to share individually).  Enjoy (I know I did!)

.. and the Chicken Dance!

MNbump Wellness Challenge

Fun to see all of the interest!  We’ll post links & latest information on this page as we get teams organized and ready to start.

Would you like to be connected with a team in your community?  Please complete this short form & we’ll match you up!

If you’ve put together a team of 10 (or almost 10 & you’re looking for more to complete your team), you can message on Facebook Sara Tollakson or Vicki Oakes or you can e-mail

New!  The Rules have been posted – Contest Details

Our Facebook Group Page has been created!  All of the participants of the Challenge and all of the Business Sponsors will be members of the Group.  The Group page will be an encouragement (and fun!) connection for everyone.  It will provide wellness tips & Challenge updates.  If you’re not participating, you’re still encouraged to follow the page and take advantage of all of the healthy/wellness information that will be provided!  Link to Group Page:  2018 Wellness Challenge Facebook Group

More information will be posted soon!


Two MNbump Area Authors have gone International!

Sandy Hanson with her “A Camel’s Story Trilogy” and now Michael Larson’s “Easter Sparrows” have been translated in both Russian and Ukrainian and published in Ukraine!  They shared their story at a celebration hosted by Living Hope Fellowship Assembly of God in Ortonville and during Sunday service at New Life Community Baptist Church in Ortonville the following day.  You will find the video of the stories shared below.

Bill Arvan of READ Ministries shared his passion for Ukraine.  READ’s motto is “Taking Truth to Tough Places”.  Bill is often referred to as ‘a bridge to Ukraine’.

The first Camel Story was ‘born’ as a puppet play performed at Living Hope Fellowship in 2000 – The play and presentations were held in almost every church in the region over the years.  New Life Baptist has a passion for Ukraine – who knew it would spark a mission for our books to get there too?  So far 14, 350 of Sandy’s Camel stories have been distributed in Ukraine through READ Ministries.  Recently a pastor from southern Ukraine has requested READ to help him place Camel stories in 1,000 schools there.  (His targeted readership is grades 1-5 and he can place a set of the stories in each classroom.  So there are in effect 5,000 classrooms in which the Camel Story trilogy can be placed!)  READ has already committed $3,000 to help him launch his initiative.  More money is needed!  Living Hope Fellowship offered a free will offering and New Life Baptist Church took a special offering to offer support.

Mike Larson has been notified by Smyrna (4th largest Christian publishing company in Ukraine) that his book, “The Easter Sparrows” is set to be released just in time for the Passover season in Ukraine!

Authors Sandy Hanson and Mike Larson would like to express their appreciation to the community, churches, and all who have supported their work over the years.  Special thanks go out to Elaine Gable (as Sandy says she is “the heart of the Big Stone Arts Council) who invited Kristi Delage (Camel Story Artist) and Sandy Hanson to join in the Meander several years ago – (that’s where the two authors first met).  Sandy and Mike are members of the Big Stone Arts Council.

Video:  Author Mike Larson talks about his book (& beginnings)

Video:  The Camel Story in Ukraine (interesting there is a connection to Odessa, MN!)

Video:  And, parting words (& songs!) from Xavier B. Haven (Camel puppet)


and a shout out to Mary Hillman on the awesome cakes that were made for this event!