St. Pat’s Celebration off to a great start


It was a full house at the American Legion Saturday night when another record-breaking crowd helped give Maple Lake’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration an impressive kick-off.
The evening’s events began at 5:30 for the social hour which included some spirited bidding on the 60 baskets up for grabs in the silent auction and the half-card raffle tickets were quickly sold out as party-goers vied for the opportunity to win one of the four raffle items.
During the dinner provided by HH Catering, Maple Lake Mayor Lynn Kissock launched the award portion of the evening by expressing appreciation that “In this Irish Catholic community you welcomed and elected a Scottish English Methodist as mayor.”  Kissock hastened to add that, in fact, her 7th great-grandfather was Irish. 
As her first order of business, Kissock, on behalf of the community, bade farewell to outgoing Maple Lake Ambassadors, Lori Elsenpeter, Courtney Klingelhoets and Blair Stewig and introduced this year’s candidates Heather Blahut, still in her Dojo Karate uniform, in celebration of a 2nd degree black belt earned earlier that day, and Madison Nelson, costumed as a book, her self-described autobiography that was, in her words, “to be continued, and I can only hope that I will live happily ever after.” 
Third candidate, Maya Ortiz, was unable to attend. 
Kissock went on to welcome ‘Ethel Fobbe the Grand Marshal of the 38th St. Patrick’s Day parade. ‘She presented Fobbe the commemorative plaque saying, “It is truly an honor to be in your presence and to have your history and your legacy be part of Maple Lake.” A standing ovation greeted Fobbe’s acceptance of the award.
Chamber member Wendy Sylvester then had the privilege to present this year’s Commodore Award to an individual “honored every year by the Minneapolis Aquatennial and recognized as an outstanding volunteer in our community. This year the award goes to my father, Steve Mooney.”
Mooney, a long-time Lion member and current member of Maple Lake’s 125th Anniversary committee,  was caught off guard by the award. “I had no idea,” said Mooney. “I was just sitting there and half listening and half talking to others at the table, and all of a sudden I heard her mention something and thought ‘Gosh, she’s talking about me!’ I didn’t know what to say when she got me up there, but she kind of shuffled me off pretty quickly- she said, ‘I didn’t want you to get started talking, Dad, we’d be here all night!’