in the Community - 2013/2014
Our cooperative has a long history of giving back to the communities we serve through contributions of both time and money. From donating over $30,000 annually to educational scholarship for local students to sponsoring major events such as the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival, we remain committed to improving the lives of those we serve and the communities we call home. Check the news & events section to see our most recent activity.
Below are some of our donations, scholarships, recognition and supported community events from 2013. You can also view our activities from past years in the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 in the Community sections.
Donations - 2013/2014
Grand Rapids Area Library Foundation (GRALF)
The City of Grand Rapids requested that the Grand Rapids Area Library Foundation rebuild Paul Bunyan's chair. The chair, originally built to highlight the Foundation's first Chair Affair Fundraiser in 2008, was so well loved it had fallen into disrepair. Doug Heiken built the first chair and agreed to take on the task of building a new one. With funds provided by Paul Bunyan Communications, Doug was able to build the chair using materials that should ensure another 50 years of love by the community and our visitors. A plaque, donated by the Foundation, was installed at the formal dedication of the new chair on January 23, 2014.
Deer River Hired Hands
Paul Bunyan Communications made a donation to Deer River Hired Hands, Inc a non-profit organization that provides recycling services throughout Itasca County and employs over 50 individuals with developmental disabilities. Recently Deer River Hire Hands faced the real possibility of having to shut down its 24/7 recycle drop box in the city of Deer River. Thanks to donations like that from Paul Bunyan Communications they will be able to purchase new equipment to keep the drop box service operational. Pictured left to right: Deer River Hired Hands Executive Director Kyle Erickson, Paul Bunyan Communications Board of Director Jim Tarbell, and Paul Bunyan Communications Account Executive John Weber
Beltrami County Sheriff's Office K-9 Program
Paul Bunyan Communications made a donation to the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office to acquire a new K-9 team after the retirement of three teams. These amazing animals help protect our homes and businesses on a daily basis, and we are happy to have them as part of the community. Pictured from left to right are Chief Deputy Ernie Beitel, PBC Board Member Jim Sutton, Deputy Tony Petrie, and Sergeant Jason Riggs.
Paul Bunyan Communications recently made a donation to the Grace House in Grand Rapids. Pictured is PBC Account Executive John Weber and Sherry Shadley, Executive Director – Grace House of Itasca County. Grace House is Itasca County's only homeless shelter. Grace House provides temporary shelter; individualized case management; and referrals to health and human services that help more than 200 guests move from crisis to stable housing each year. The mission of Grace House is: "To provide safe, temporary shelter to individuals who are experiencing homelessness and connect them to community resources."
Lakeport Area First Responders
The Lakeport Area First Responders provide an important service to residents living in a 234 square mile area surrounding Laporte. Paul Bunyan Communications is proud to help them serve the area through a recent donation. Pictured are First Responders Jessica Howg and Dwight Powell receiving a check from PBC Board Member Randy Frisk.
Itasca County Family YMCA
Paul Bunyan Communications renewed its Chairman's Roundtable commitment to the Itasca County Family YMCA. The Itasca County Family YMCA has served the Itasca Area for 30 years with a mission to strengthen, ourselves, families, and communities by promoting growth in spirit, mind and body. From Left to Right: Itasca County YMCA Director of Development Joni Namyst, Paul Bunyan Communications Account Executive John Weber, Itasca County YMCA Executive Director Betsy McBride.
Scholarships & Youth - 2013/2014
5 year old Wins HDTV with Hockey Hot Shots in Grand Rapids
Five year old Joe Dick from Grand Rapids won a 32 inch HDTV from Paul Bunyan Communications and Benusa of Bemidji as part of the Hockey Hot Shots Promotion held during Grand Rapids High School boy's hockey games at the IRA Civic Center.
Oak Hills Scholarship Winner
Jasmine Fairbanks (left) accepts the Paul Bunyan Communications Oak Hills Christian College Scholarship from Brian Bissonette, PBC Marketing Supervisor (right). Jasmine is a second year student from Bemidji going for a four year degree in Psychology.
2014 Youth Tour Winner
Lauren Weaver of Bemidji High School is the 2014 Paul Bunyan Communications Youth Tour Essay Contest winner. She will attend the 2014 Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. from May 29 - June 4.
2013 PBC NTCA FRS Scholarship Winner
Megan Wiens of Grand Rapids is the recipient of a $2,500 college scholarship from Paul Bunyan Communications and the NTCA Foundation for Rural Service.
2013 Youth Tour Winner
Paul Bunyan Communications selected Tanyssa Olfason as the winner of the cooperative’s 2013 Youth Tour Essay Contest. She will attended the 2013 Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. from June 1-5.
Recognition - 2013
Grand Rapids Chamber Pillar of Community Award
Paul Bunyan Communications was awarded the Pillar of Community Award from the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce at their annual meeting in April. Pictured is Grand Rapids Account Executive John Weber with the award.
Events - 2013/2014
Twins Caravan Stops in Bemidji January 21
Nearly 300 people came out for the Minnesota Twins 54th Annual Winter Caravan sponsored in part by Paul Bunyan Television on Tuesday, January 21 in Bemidji.
Guests included Trevor Plouffe, Anthony Swarzak, Terry Steinbach & Bert Blyleven
Guests were served a ballpark dinner and were treated to a fun program hosted by Bert Blyleven. After the program a picture/autograph session was held.
This event is sponsored in part by PBTV, KB101, KZY 95.5, Z99, KBUN AM1450, and True Oldies 104.5.
The longest running and most extensive offseason team caravan in professional sports, the Twins Winter Caravan is also presented in part by Fox Sports Net North and the Twins Radio Network. The Twins Winter Caravan features five teams of current and former players visiting schools, hospitals and Upper Midwest corporations and service clubs during the day with a traditional "hot stove league" program each evening.
Paul Bunyan Communications Annual Meeting & Cooperative Celebration Held Wednesday, May 22
The weather cleared just in time for this year's Cooperative Celebration and attracted a crowd of over 5,300 making the event another great success!
The 57th Annual Business Meeting of Paul Bunyan Rural Telephone Cooperative was held prior to the Open House at 3:30 p.m. The meeting included reports for the 2012 fiscal year and re-election of board director Gary Eklund, District 1 with 1,709 votes to challenger Jerry Schmischney's 539 votes and the election of Glenda Martin, District 6 with 1,566 votes. The capital credit distribution announced at the meeting will include paying out 75% of the unretired capital credits earned in 2000 and 20% of capital credits earned in 2012. The total return this year will be over $2.6 million and checks are expected to be mailed out in early September.
The Cooperative Celebration was open to the public and featured a free walleye dinner prepared by the Bemidji Fire Department Fish Fry Crew and Lueken's Village Foods, door prizes, kids' activities like face painting, balloons, temporary tattoos, storytelling, animals and entertainment from the Headwaters Science Center, United States Tennis Association's Quickstart Tennis, Concordia Language Villages, and special guests from PBS Super Why and Wonder Red. The band The Agates provided the musical entertainment.
Special thanks to the over 130 employees of Paul Bunyan Communications who made the event possible and run as smooth as possible! We would also like to thank the Bemidji Fire Department, Lueken's Village Foods, The Party Store, Lakeland Public Television, Minnesota State Patrol, Bemidji Police Department, Beltrami County Sheriff's Department, Paul Bunyan Transit, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Headwater's Science Center, Port Able John, Bemidji Citizen's Patrol, Bemidji Area Tennis Association, Boy Scouts, Concordia Language Villages, and Raphael's Bakery for all their help.
We look forward to the 2014 Cooperative Celebration!
500+ Kids Visit Paul Bunyan Communications and Dora at Blackduck Backwoods Bash
Over 500 kids came through to visit Paul Bunyan Communications and special guest Dora the Explorer from Nickelodeon at the Blackduck Backwoods Bash on August 17. There were lots of pictures and smiles on what was a nice but windy day. Paint sets were handed out to the kids, while the parents received a nice insulated tumbler from Paul Bunyan Communications.
PBC team Warriors4Life raises over $1,900 in the fight against cancer at Itasca County Relay for Life
Warriors4Life, the Paul Bunyan Communications sponsored team at the 2013 Itasca Relay for Life raised over $1,900 and won the best campsite award at the event held July 19 in Coleraine. Great job team!
Front row: Josie Drotts, Torii Antilla
Middle row: Savannah Mainville, Ashley Drotts, Myla Antilla
Back row: Cindy Shevich, Tara Antilla, Heather and Hope Schjenken
Not Pictured: Dawn Drotts, Jennifer Drotts, Mary & Andy Chandler, Autumn Drotts, Sean Drotts
Hundreds visit Sid the Science Kid at the Deer River Wild Rice Festival July 6!
Despite the rain, hundreds came out to the 65th annual Deer River Wild Rice Festival on Saturday, July 6 to see Sid the Science Kid from PBS and pick up a Paul Bunyan Communications travel mug.
Thanks to the Deer River Lion's Club for another great year!
- You can see other pictures from the Festival and follow them throughout the year on Facebook.
Good Crowd Turns out to Visit Cookie Monster in Grand Rapids May 10th
A good crowd turned out for the Annual Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce's Community Fishing Opener BBQ May 10. Hundreds of kids were there and had a chance to meet Sesame Workshop's Cookie Monster courtesy of Paul Bunyan Communications.
The annual Grand Rapids Fishing Opener BBQ is presented by the Area Business Committee (ABC) of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and is sponsored in part by Paul Bunyan Communications.
Hockey Day in Minnesota in Grand Rapids is a Big Success
The Grand Rapids Community proudly displayed its rich hockey tradition and history as host of Hockey Day Minnesota on Pokegama Lake on January 19. Thousands of spectators were on hand to see both the Grand Rapids Boys and Girls High School Hockey teams win their games on the outside rink. Fox Sports North broadcast three games giving the Grand Rapid community exposure throughout the state and region.
Hockey Day has become a Minnesota tradition as a celebration of our hockey community and the State of Hockey.
Paul Bunyan Communications is proud to have helped make the event possible in Grand Rapids.
2013 Twins Caravan Draws Good Crowds in Bemidji and Grand Rapids
The Minnesota Twins 53rd Annual Winter Caravan, sponsored in part by Paul Bunyan Television, stopped in Bemidji on January 21 and Grand Rapids on January 24.
An estimated 250 were in the crowd in Bemidji on a cold Monday night, while just over 170 attended the event in Grand Rapids on what was also a chilly evening.
Guests at both events include Brian Duensing, Chris Parmalee, Tom Brunansky, and Dan Gladden. The crowd enjoyed dinner, program, and an autograph session.
Paul Bunyan Television was a sponsor of both stops in conjunction with Paul Bunyan Broadcasting in Bemidji and Lamke Broadcasting in Grand Rapids.