The Free Press, Mankato, MN


March 22, 2014

Our View: Maple River blood drive impressive

Thumbs up to the students and staff at Maple River High School for their efforts in organizing a Red Cross blood drive that came very close to last year’s record.

Students donated 137 pints, just a little short of their 154 pints of last year. The donations are significant because they come at a time when Red Cross supplies have been down due to the harsh winter and having to cancel blood drives across the country

There’s been a net loss of about 50,000 pints nationwide.

The donations from young people have been growing since Minnesota changed its law in 2008 to allow those 16 and older to donate blood. Estimates suggest there are 5,000 16-year old donors in Minnesota, up from 3,700 before the law was passed.

Donating blood seems to be a simple thing to do. Painless. Yet it makes a huge difference in the lives of people who need it.

Eagle Lake proactive on parks

Thumbs up to the city of Eagle Lake for looking at some inexpensive and easy options to offer more activities at the city’s two parks.

City Administrator Brad Potter recently held an open house for resident input on upgrades and new items to the Lake Eagle and Fraze parks. He demonstrated a ga-ga pit, a game much like dodgeball and pickleball, a game that is a mix between ping-pong and badminton.

The city could add a ga-ga pit to a park for $600 or $700 in lumber and a pickleball net and set up would be even less expensive. The city is also considering adding restrooms, a picnic shelter and a sand volleyball court to Fraze.

It’s good to see smaller towns like Eagle Lake taking proactive steps in helping their communities be active and promote exercise in parks. It appears the city could improve its amenities for a low cost that would support an active and healthy lifestyle for residents.

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