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Thankful - and it's only August!

By. Lori Schloeder Gress

It is a Waiting Week. Waiting to hear from FEMA. Waiting to hear on the second bid package. Waiting to hear on the city sales tax exemption. Waiting to hear on the B-3 standard for top soil waiver.

Again, waiting is not one of my virtues in life — I do everything with passion, energy and excitement! This waiting and watching is not an easy task for me when the Wellness Center project has finally come this far.

So, this week it has taken me time to figure out what to write for the Wellness Talks column. I am a middle of the night writer — if something comes to me, I get up and write at all hours of the day and night. My deadline for copy is in a few hours and it finally came to me. Give Thanks...Give Thanks for all that we have in life.

Perhaps this middle of the night 'brainstorm' was prompted by the tornado sirens going off in Wadena last night (8/26/13) and it reminded me -- as I am sure it did everyone else, of June 17, 2010. The landscape of Wadena will never be the same, but no lives were lost in the tornado that destroyed many homes, the school and the community center. But more importantly, the community has continued to pull together to make it a better place to live. I was thankful when facebook posts gave the 'all clear' last night - thankful for the silence that had returned to the Wadena community once again.

I know it sounds a little too early for Thanksgiving, but giving thanks was what came to mind regarding the Maslowski Wellness and Research Center. We have much to be thankful for here too.

Wadena County is the second lowest income county in the state of Minnesota and we now have one of the most technologically advanced schools in the state and we will soon have one of the most beautiful wellness centers — complete with a research opportunity for improving the health of rural 'folks' for years to come.

Of course, the DEED grant set the project in motion, and the $1.5 million dollar Maslowski donation gave it a big boost and an added research component, but there are also two donors who have given $250,000 each and 9 additional donors who have given $100,000 each to make the project become a reality for all people in the area. While every single dollar helps the project advance, these 12 donations moved the project into reality - together donating over $2.9 million.

We have much to be thankful for each and every day in our lives. I am grateful and thankful that organizations, businesses and individuals with the means to build the Maslowski Wellness and Research Center have come together to make this a reality. Whether you have given $5 dollars or $1.5 million dollars thank you for your part in making this happen for all the people of central Minnesota.

We wait, but we wait knowing that the Wadena area will soon have one of the finest wellness and research centers in the state. Your contributions continue to make a difference in how the project will get completed. Please contact one of the fundraising committee members to make your donation today - Jeff Browne, Mike Craig, Luther Nervig, John Paulson, Joel Beiswenger, Don Niles or Lori Gress

Give thanks for all we have in life.