By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Established in 1995, the Lester Prairie Business Association’s primary goal is to promote a strong business community in Lester Prairie. The association works with community leaders to promote and recruit new business, and provides a forum for business owners to voice concerns and share ideas.
The organization promotes the community as well as local businesses. It sponsors the popular Lester Prairie Holiday Celebration the first Sunday in December, and runs a food stand during the city-wide garage sale day. During Prairie Days, the association sponsors a kiddie parade.
This year, the business association is considering sponsoring an event during the Dairy Days celebration in June. Details will be discussed during the group’s next meeting.
The business association also sponsors a business welcome packet for new residents. The packet contains information and offers from Lester Prairie businesses.
The Business Association also donates money to other organizations in the community, such as little league and the Lester Prairie Ambassador Program.
The association recently donated funds to pay for the food at an April 18 benefit for the Schauer family who lost their home in a fire.
This year, the association is raising money to buy an electronic message center for the new downtown park.
There is still space available for businesses who wish to sponsor the sign. Interested business owners can contact the association for details.
The sign will be used to promote local events, and the business association will be in charge of changing the messages on the sign.
Any community organization that has an event it want’s to promote is encouraged to contact association president Troy Feltmann by calling (320) 485-2535 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Watch the Herald Journal for an announcement when the sign has been installed and is ready for operation.
The sign will be part of the renovations at Central Square Park, located near the intersection of Central Avenue and Juniper Street, which will begin this spring.
The renovation will include installation of a gazebo, landscaping, lighting, and other improvements to improve the appearance of the downtown area.
The business association is involved in the community in other ways, as well.
Last October, Lester Prairie residents had a chance to hear their local candidates answer questions, and asked a few of their own during a political forum sponsored by the business association and Herald Journal Publishing.
Nearly 40 people attended the event.
Moderator Troy Feltmann, who is president of the business association, read the questions, some of which were prepared in advance, and others which were submitted on index cards by audience members.
Business association member Jeff Engen kept the time, limiting answers to one minute.
Recently, the association sponsored a seminar on cyber-bullying at the school.
Feltmann said the business association is always looking for new members.
The association meets the third Tuesday of each month at different businesses.
The next meeting will take place at noon this Thursday, April 9, at One-eyed Willy’s.
For more information or for the location of the next meeting, contact one of the association board members Troy Feltmann at (320) 485-2535, or Denise Johnson at (320) 395-0142, or visit the group’s web site, www.hjorgs.com/lpba.
Feltmann said the group is working to expand the information available on the web site to make it an even better tool to keep people informed about what the group is doing.