Society news

Published 7:01 am Sunday, April 2, 2017

Brownsdale Study Club

The Brownsdale Study club met at the home of Shelly Vogel on March 15.

Joyce Juhnke called the meeting to order with the reading of the collect. The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved. The treasurer’s report was given.

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Roll call was answered by sharing, “The worst job you ever had.” Most of them answered with jobs on the farm as they grew up. There was no old or new business.

Hostess for our April meeting will be Beryl Sprung. Motion to  adjourn was made by Fern and seconded by Joyce.

Shelly gave the outside reading on the 29th Minnesota Book Awards finalists ceremony which will be held on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at the Intercontinental Hotel in St. Paul. There are nine book categories as well as the 2017 Kay Sexton Award and the 2017 Book Artist Reward. The sponsor — Education Minnesota — was originally created in 1988.

The Minnesota Book Award is now a year-long program that fosters our statewide literary arts community. There are many yearly activities and events that promote the authors, illustrators, publishers, editors, readers, artists and more.

The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library has been recognized by the Library of Congress as the designated center for books. Media sponsors included Minnesota Public Radio, Twin Cities Public TV and the Star Tribune. There are awards presented to the winners in these nine book categories: children’s literature, general nonfiction, genre fiction, memorial and creative nonfiction, middle grade literature, Minnesota nonfiction, novel and short story, poetry and young adult literature.

A reception, book sales and signings accompany the event; a great celebration. For more information, contact your local library or

The main topic was given by LaVonne Skov, an autobiography written by Robin Roberts titled, “Everybody’s Got Something.” It recounts the incredible journey that’s been Robin’s life so far.

She was nine years old when her family moved from Turkey to Biloxi, Mississippi. She was the youngest of four children. Her parents bought a four bedroom home in a small town, in 1975, named Pass Christian.

There were beaches as far as the eye could see. Her father was in the Air Force and flew with the Tuskegee Airmen. Her mother who loved to cook and bake and was a homebody. The aroma from their kitchen was fantastic. She encouraged her loved ones to study, for hard and be strong in faith and hope. It was a culture shock for Robin. As she grew up she became a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts.

She went on to college, became a reporter and wanted to be a sports broadcaster. She achieved the goal and for 15 years was anchor for ESPN. She also worked with the Oscars in Los Agneles and was the host of the Red Carpet line in 2012.

During this time her mom was not well. She had high blood pressure and heart disease and needed care. Robin spent as much time with her as she could. However, she herself was experiencing a bone-weary tiredness. In 2007, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had surgery, treatments and chemotherapy and did come through that. After her recovery she went back to work at ESPN, but was later hired as a co-anchor for “Good Morning America” with Charlie Gibson and Diane Sawyer.

When going in for blood tests five years later she needed to have a bone marrow biopsy. She had MDS Mylelodsplastic Leukemia in the bone marrow and that required a transplant to combat a rare blood disorder. Robin felt numb and alone.

She went back to working for GMA until a donor was found. “The Today Show” had been No. 1 in news broadcasting and she wanted GMA to the best.

It happened in the spring of 2012 and GMA became the No. 1 morning show. Then, more good news for Robin. A match for the transplant was found. It was her sister Sally Ann.

It was a successful surgery and one mother later she took her first breath of fresh air. She would need 100 days of rest. Then, was welcomed back to SMA where her journey goes on.

Duplicate Bridge

Tuesday, March 21, five tables played at the Mower County Senior Center. First place, Gail and Ray Schmidt and Eunice Michaelis and Warren Behrends; third place, Barb Engebretson and Orrin Roisen; fourth place, Vandy Newman and Bud Higgins; fifth place, Edna Knobbe and Rick Stroup.

Wednesday, March 22, four tables played at the Mower County Senior Center. First place (tie), Loren Cleland and Bud Higgins; second place, Joyce Crowe and Millie Seiver; third place, Romelle Enderson and Bonnie Fritz; fourth place, Larry Crowe and Rick Stroup; fifth place, Larry Crowe and Rick Stroup.

Players were from Austin, Albert Lea, Adams and Rose Creek. All bridge players are encouraged to join us at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and noon on Wednesdays.