For more than 30 years, lawful gambling has helped the Wayzata Lions Club affect the community in a positive way.
From the volunteer fire department to the Boardwalk Apartments, the club’s touch can be felt in countless ways. Club president Tim Anderson said about $2.4 million has gone back into the greater area thanks to lawful gambling.
The Wayzata Lions Board of Directors gather at an annual picnic. Pictured left to right: Peter Albrecht, Brandon Abel, Nancy Nelson McIntosh, Lesa Fenwick, Pat Moran, Don Marks, Greg Greffin.
During a presentation at a regular city council meeting on Nov. 16, Anderson said the club has contributed more than $1.4 million to the city and more than $339,000 to the surrounding area.
The Wayzata Lions Club has about 20 members currently.
The club was entrusted with handling lawful gambling in 1988 by overseeing the pull-tab gaming at the Wayzata Bar and Grill. The lawful gambling partnership with the city allows the club to give gambling revenues to nonprofit organizations.
Wayzata is a safer community as a result of the operation as around half of the revenue generated is donated to the City of Wayzata's Fire Department through the Wayzata Fire Relief Association. Over the years this partnership has benefited residents by regularly funding a long list of items the department has needed including cold water rescue suits, uniforms, fans, hose, and truck upgrades.
"We’ve also been able to contribute to Lions international priorities, such as disaster relief and humanitarian efforts,” Anderson said. “We have about eight part-time pull-tab employees who rotate down there at the Muni.”
More locally the Wayzata Lions Club donates annually to the Wayzata senior community via the Boardwalk Apartments to make transportation possible for residents. It also provides annual scholarships to Wayzata High School seniors every year as well and donates to other school programs.
The club also donates to a variety of charities with a focus on helping people with vision and hearing loss, children’s cancer research and support, the Salvation Army and a large number of one-time donations just to name a few; and lawful gambling is a primary funding source for those charitable efforts.
Other local non-profits such as Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners have also received significant contributions over the years approaching over $100,000.
Nancy Nelson McIntosh took over the role of gambling manager for the club earlier this year after her father Bill Nelson passed away. Bill Nelson managed lawful gambling for 32 years since its inception in 1988. In recent years, McIntosh and her sister Marcia Yeung had been helping him with the operation.
“It’s been a very profitable and really clean operation,” McIntosh said. “We’ve been able to give a lot back to the community of Wayzata. One of the biggest beneficiaries is the city itself through the fire department. Aside from that, our list of beneficiaries is really extensive.”
"I’ve met so many people from the Wayzata community and business community there," she said. "It really overall has been a positive in terms of what the Lions are able to give back. The whole social purpose of what we’re doing has been significant."
Longtime Lions Club member and Wayzata Charter Commissioner Kent Howe said many people are unaware just how much the club has affected Wayzata by giving back from lawful gambling.
"It's been an honor to be entrusted with the pull-tab operation and we are very grateful to the community. Our charitable works have been ongoing since 1988 and our partners like the Fire Department and IOCP have benefited greatly through this continuing program," he said.
Howe, Anderson and McIntosh are unsure what the reception of lawful gambling was like in Wayzata in 1988 as none of them were involved with the club at the time. But they agreed the club’s charitable nature has made lawful gambling an overall positive and fruitful addition to Wayzata.
Other programs the Wayzata Lions are involved with annually include collecting eyeglasses and hearing aids, holiday bell ringing for the Salvation Army at Lunds & Byerlys, a Belgian Waffle Breakfast fundraiser at St. Barts, and serving at community events by volunteering at the information and beer tents at James J. Hill Days and responding to Letters for Santa at the Light up the Lake event.
Last summer, the club volunteered to help with traffic control for Tour de Tonka. It has also been a volunteer for the Hennepin County Adopt A Highway program, which sees members doing cleanup on Highway 101 twice a year.
For more info visit: https://e-clubhouse.org/sites/wayzata/
Wayzata Girls Basketball and the Wayzata Girls Basketball Association have a great time together at Trojan Madness with a scrimmage, 3-point contest, skills, and drills! Coach Julie Stewart says "the future is bright" for girls basketball in Wayzata.
Dan Gustafson - Publisher
The 2021 Wayzata Volleyball team may be the best high school team that has ever played in the State of Minnesota.
They finished a perfect season by winning 34 matches and defeating East Ridge (23-10) in 4 sets (25-22, 25-17, 23-25, 25-19) at the Xcel Energy Center on Saturday November 13th.
The team lost only 7 sets all season. Wayzata also won the 2019 State Championship, and as the 2020 playoffs were cancelled the team has won back to back crowns.
Head Coach Scott Jackson, now in his 23rd season, expressed gratitude to his opponent after the match, “East Ridge was phenomenal tonight, they earned a lot of points against us.”
Jackson was also quick to give praise to his team, “Our whole team was just on point tonight. We had to be against a great team and we gave a great effort.”
Asked about the pressure of facing teams all season long while being undefeated, Outside Hitter Sierra Moore answered, “It just feels really awesome because going into this everyone was at our throats and really wanted to the team that took us off and if feels so good to prove ourselves and show that we are the ones that deserve to have this title and the winning season.” Moore finished with 13 kills, 37 attacks, and 11 digs.
“It’s fun to get challenged,” stated Right Side Katy Riviere. “There’s 17 girls in that gym working and we challenge each other all the time so we are ready to meet an opponent who is ready to challenge us too.” Riviere finished the match with 13 kills, 12 digs, and 3 blocks.
As a now senior Libero Ella Voegele was asked to compare the 2021 Championship to the 2019 Championship, “Going into this, I was a lot more confident because two years ago I was a sophomore and was bit intimidated. We know what we can do and we play for each other and believe in each other... we’ve done it this whole season.”
Jackson also reflected on some other key performers, “Avery Jesewitz had the best match of the season for us, and Stella Swenson was a stud that she always is for us, and we are excited for the future even as we are going to miss these seniors dearly.” Jesewitz finished with 6 kills on 12 total attacks and 2 digs, and Swenson has 29 assists, 2 aces, and 2 digs.
Watch video highlights and the full game online at Wayzata.com/news.
Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners is kicking off the 2021 Sleep Out on Saturday, Nov. 13, and it will run through Dec. 31, 2021.
The eight-week series of events and experiences seeks to raise awareness and $3 million to prevent homelessness and create opportunities for families and individuals in the community to thrive.
The annual Sleep Out addresses the emergency needs of neighbors and delivers services in the areas of food, housing, education, transportation, employment and family support.
This year’s fund raising campaign launches Saturday, Nov. 13 with a virtual kickoff and community-wide Sleep Out (or Sleep In for people wanting to stay indoors) where the community will come together safely outside in the parking lot at Interfaith Outreach to officially kick off the campaign. In addition, gifts received on Give to the Max Day on Thursday, Nov. 18 will be matched up to $200,000.
“The needs of the community are greater than ever, and that’s why we’ve stepped up our fundraising goal to $3 million this year,” said Kevin Ward, Interfaith Outreach executive director. “Today, rising
housing costs, underemployment, the cost and lack of access to childcare and healthy foods are just a few of the burdens our neighbors are facing, and the added strains of the pandemic will have lasting effects on individuals and families living in poverty for years to come.”
According to Wilder Research, 14% of people living in Interfaith Outreach’s eight-city service area in the west metro are living in poverty. For a family of four, that’s $26,500 a year, an income level that can scarcely cover even the most basic needs such as rent which is $1,467 on average. Last year more than
200 Interfaith families experienced homelessness.
According to Second Harvest Heartland, in September 2020, 1 in 9 Minnesotans – including 1 in 6 kids – didn’t know where their next meal would come from.
Since the Sleep Out began, Interfaith Outreach has helped prevent homelessness 34,912 times through rent assists – keeping people in their homes and preventing homelessness 631 times last year alone.
The Interfaith Outreach Food Shelf is now a certified SuperShelf, serves hundreds of households per week including in-person and home delivery food distribution, and 44% of the people served at the Food Shelf are children. All of these efforts are largely possible thanks to the annual Sleep Out, which raises 40% of
the organization’s budget in eight weeks.
View the entire schedule of events at IOCP.org.
The Wayzata football rallied from two consecutive losses in early October to win their final four games and qualify for the state Class 6A playoffs. The Trojans (8-2) meet St. Michael-Albertville (6-4) in the quarterfinal round Thursday at 7:00 pm at Park Center High School. Wayzata beat STMA 34-14 during the regular season. The Trojans won the state Class 6A championship in 2019, the last time the state playoffs were held. Next week’s playoff semifinals and the Prep Bowl on Thanksgiving weekend are held at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Wayzata volleyball team enters the state tournament as the top seed in Class AAAA. The Trojans have been the top-ranked team in the state all season and possess a variety of offensive weapons and a solid defense. Wayzata (31-0) plays Roseville (20-9) in the state quarterfinals Wednesday at 1:00 pm at the Xcel Energy Center. The Raiders are making their first state tournament appearance since 2016. The Trojans won state in 2019, the last season a state tournament was held.
Full game coverage of the 2021 Champlin Park vs. Wayzata Girls Section 5AAAA Final Girls High School Volleyball.
Excelsior, Minnesota, October 29, 2021 – The streetcar steamboat Minnehaha, a longtime icon of the Lake Minnetonka community, was officially added to the National Register of Historic Places on Friday, October 29. Administered by the National Park Service, the National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the nation's historic places worthy of preservation.
“Minnehaha’s listing in the National Register opens up grant opportunities to preserve the boat and gives her the recognition she deserves,” said Tom McCarthy, president of the Museum of Lake Minnetonka, the organization that owns, maintains and operates the vessel.
In 2019, Minnehaha lost access to the ramp where she was launched and hauled out of the water each spring and fall, restricting her ability to be on the lake until a new ramp becomes available. Minnehaha is currently housed in a heated storage facility in Excelsior. Volunteers continue to maintain the vessel on a weekly basis, keeping her ship-shape for her eventual return to Lake Minnetonka.
“The MLM remains committed to returning Minnehaha to the waters of Lake Minnetonka,” said McCarthy, adding that the organization has a newly reconstituted leadership team in place. “While no property on Lake Minnetonka meeting Minnehaha’s unique launch requirements is currently available, we welcome any opportunity to work with public or private partners to secure a site for Minnehaha’s new launch ramp and winter home – both of which will be crucial to getting her back in the water since Minnehaha must be stored indoors during the winter.”
When asked if Minnehaha will be operating on Lake Minnetonka for the 2022 season, McCarthy said it looks unlikely. “Our primary task at the moment is to secure a site for a permanent launch ramp and winter home for the boat – she cannot go back in the water until that has happened.”
When asked if there are any prospective sites that could accommodate a new launch ramp and winter home for Minnehaha, McCarthy said there are several sites around the lake that would work. “The previous leadership team evaluated sites in Excelsior, Wayzata, Tonka Bay, Mound, Spring Park, Minnetrista and Shorewood,” he said. There are several sites that remain viable options, but we’re going to need strong municipal and community support to proceed forward with any of them.”
When asked about how fans and supporters of Minnehaha could help save the historic steamboat, McCarthy said there are many ways to help, including donating or becoming a member of the MLM at steamboatminnehaha.org, contacting local/municipal leaders to tell them how important Minnehaha is to the community, and simply spreading the word about the situation. “This is going to be a community effort,” he said.
About Minnehaha Built in 1906 as an extension of the Twin Cities’ streetcar system, Minnehaha provided fast and reliable transportation for the tourists and residents of Lake Minnetonka for twenty years. At 70 feet long and nearly 15 feet wide, she operated on scheduled routes alongside five identical sister vessels called the Express Boats. Since they closely resembled the Twin City Rapid Transit Company’s trollies, residents often referred to these boats as “the streetcar boats.”
The popularity of automobiles and improved roads in the area ended the streetcar boats’ viability in the 1920s. With no further use in sight, Minnehaha and some of her sisters were scuttled (purposely sunk) in 1926 and lay forgotten at the bottom of Lake Minnetonka for more than five decades.
In 1980, a salvage team located the wreck of Minnehaha and raised her back to the surface. Following a $500,000, volunteer-driven restoration, Minnehaha returned to passenger service in 1996 and operated continuously on Lake Minnetonka until 2019. The restored Minnehaha provided rides for an average of 10,000+ passengers each year she was in service.