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Stars of the North: Rep. Kline honors Hastings groups for their 'giving spirit'

Pictured with John Kline are Graham Johnson, Erin Henrichs, Maha Siddiqui, Lucas Fluegel, Logan Welshons, Laura Zabel and Cindy Oppold.

Minnesota Congressman John Kline honored residents and organizations from around Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional district with congressional certificates of special recognition at his 10th annual “Star of the North” ceremony Feb. 16 at Kenwood Trail Junior High School in Lakeville.

“These random acts of kindness and giving spirit are worthy of congressional recognition and their acts of goodwill have an immeasurable impact as their stories reach others throughout our communities,” said Kline. “Perhaps the greatest legacy of the Star of the North honorees will be inspiring each of us to share their story and follow their lead.”

Three individual groups in Hastings – Hastings High School National Society, Premier Bank, and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church – were honored during the evening.

National Honor Society honored for all-school food drive

The mission of the National Honor Society is rooted in leadership and community service. Last fall, Hastings High School National Honor Society students organized an all-school food drive for Hastings Family Service. More than 6,000 pounds of food was collected, which is the equivalent of one week’s distribution by the food shelf. Other student-led Honor Society projects included a Gillette Children’s’ Hospital fund-raising benefit and a Red Cross blood drive. School Advisor Laura Zabel attended the ceremony with several Hastings National Honor Society students.

Premier Bank honored for annual Leukemia fundraiser at Halloween

Employees at Premier Bank put a new twist on their annual fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by dressing and posing as life-size trophies. The staff painted their hair, faces, and hands gold, found appropriate attire for trophy-worthy activity and posed on black boxes bearing gold plaques. More than $12,000 was raised during the month of October. Evonne Pollard, Tanya Dolan, Lucia Bourbeau and Jim Weinzettel of Premier Bank attended the ceremony.

St. Luke’s church honored for Santa’s Secret Shop at Christmas

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church hosts Santa’s Secret Shop to provide gifts for families at Christmas. The church collects new or gently used gifts and toys all year long, and uses cash donations to add to their inventory. The one-day event is supported by Hastings Family Service, four local churches, the South St. Paul High School Robotics Club, Hastings Girls Hockey Club and Dakota County 4-H Clubs. More than 200 volunteers assist with serving hundreds of families to distribute about 1,000 wrapped gifts. Santa’s Shop coordinator Lyn VanDeSteeg attended the ceremony with Pastor Mary Rowan and Pat Rowan, Nancy Olsen and Suzi Johnson from St. Luke’s. Representing the South St. Paul Robotics Club were coach Nix, Kelton Holson and Jessie Langenfeld.