By Kristen Miller
DASSEL, MN In the mid-1980s, a group made up of business leaders and community members volunteered their time to promote and better the Dassel community.
This group, known as Discover Dassel, sponsored a number of projects, including sewing windsocks to decorate, and planting trees in the park. These members were also frequently seen wearing T-shirts with I heart Dassel Minnesota.
Eventually, that group disbanded, leaving the remainder of its treasury with the Dassel Area Historical Society.
Decades later, Discover Dassel is making a come-back.
Last June, Sheryl Faust, representing the Dassel-Cokato Arts Association, and Carolyn Holje, representing the Dassel Area Historical Society, attended a Rural Arts and Culture Summit at the University of Minnesota Morris. It was a two-day workshop that focused on economic development through arts and culture, Holje explained.
The workshop emphasized promoting and enhancing a community by using the gifts of the people, Holje noted.
Faust said the summit was inspiring and really emphasized various groups and entities within a community working together to promote a town.
Now, Faust and Holje (a member of the former Discover Dassel group) are taking what they learned at the summit and are hoping to formulate ideas with a renewed Discover Dassel group. Money that was in the treasury will then be used as seed money for the new group.
Faust and Holje are working to form a small group of passionate people to generate ideas “to add spark in Dassel.”
An initial meeting took place in December, at which time it organized a tree lighting event at Bandstand Park.
Due to short notice and inclement weather, the event wasn’t well-attended, though the group hopes to expand on the idea for next year.
Another possibility the group is considering is spearheading an art crawl and correlating it with an occasional store weekend, Holje explained.
Faust said, ultimately, the goal of the Discover Dassel is to have the city, the historical society, the chamber, and other interested community members working together toward one common goal “ and that is promoting Dassel and all we have to offer.”
Meetings will take place the third Tuesday of the month at the Dassel History Center. The next Discover Dassel meeting will be Tuesday, March 18 at 5 p.m.