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Photo by Rachelle Klemme Kristy Heltemes wears a Trees for Wadena bracelet while concentrating on beading another one.

Wrist jewelry, twister help

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News Wadena, 56482
Wadena PJ
(218) 631-1621 customer support
Wadena Minnesota 314 S. Jefferson 56482

Many Wadena trees were knocked down on June 17, but area adults with developmental disabilities are making bracelets to help with restoration. The funds raised by the bracelets will help to raise new trees.

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Sylvia Silvers, executive director at Wadena County Developmental Achievement Center (DAC), said the original idea was to make 200 bracelets, but because of the overwhelming response, they have ordered materials to make 300 more bracelets.

"The adult bracelets are selling for $9 each, and out of that money, $5 is going to the tree fund," Silvers said.

The difference goes to paying the DAC clients who make the bracelets and covering the cost of materials.

"On our end, we basically break even," Silvers said.

Children's sized bracelets will be sold as well, she said.

"We just felt it was time that we give back to the community who was always so helpful with us," Silvers said. "Plus, it's a great project for our clients to work on."

The beads on the handmade bracelets are in different shades of green, gray, orange, brown and other earth tone colors to reflect the tree theme.

The adult bracelets include a large silver or copper-colored tree charm, and the children's bracelets have smaller leaf charms.

Silvers said that none of the bracelets are made exactly the same, and there are many to choose from.

Silvers said that currently, the bracelets are on sale at Wadena State Bank, First National Bank in Wadena, First National Bank in Sebeka, the Soil & Water Conservation District and the Treasure Trove Thrift Store which is operated by DAC in Sebeka.

She said that business interested in having a bracelet display should contact the DAC at (218) 837-5182.

Silvers said that a bracelet project had been talked about for about six months as another job project for clients, who work at several area businesses.

"We couldn't decide what it was or who it was that we should be donating money to," she said.

Silver said that after the tornado and hearing about the Rotary Club's involvement with the Wadena Replant Project, the idea grew from there.

Silvers said that about six clients were directly affected by the tornado.

"We had one group home that had to undergo extensive repairs," she said.

Wadena County DAC is a private nonprofit serving individuals with developmental disabilities. Silvers said it has been in operation since the early 1970s, when it used to be called Day Activity Center. In the mid-1980s, the organization's emphasis changed from caretaking to vocational training.

The bracelet fundraiser is part of the Wadena Area Replant Project. According to the Trees for Wadena website, buying two bracelets will raise the money to plant one tree.

Information on Trees For Wadena and the bracelets can be found at www.treesforwadena.com/bracelets.html.

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