Wabasha family embraces winter at Coffee Mill Ski Area, inspires others to do the same

Coffee Mill Ski Area Opening Dates

Friday, December 13, 1-9 p.m.
Saturday, December 14, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday, December 15, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
**Discounted rates, limited runs open

There are two ways to approach winter in Minnesota. You can curl up under a pile of blankets, sip a mug of cocoa and binge watch your favorite show on Netflix. Or, you can take a cue from the Skelton family and lean into the cold. For them, skiing has become more than way to pass the time; it’s become a way of life.

Thirteen-year-old Hope Skelton effortlessly glides down the Chippewa, one of the gentle slopes at Coffee Mill Ski Area in Wabasha, which recently opened for the season. Her dad, Todd, spent his youth skiing the same hills, and her mom, Bridget, is on the ski patrol, so it’s no surprise Hope has found a home here. In fact, she started skiing when she was just two years old.

“When you’re riding on the chairlift with your child or spouse, you have their undivided attention for the whole ride,” Bridget says. They call their time on the slopes FFF: Forced Family Fun. “It’s a family sport. We can spend the whole day together, being active outside.”

Hope’s older sisters Chelsea and Erinn joined the ski team at Coffee Mill while they were in high school, further instilling this family tradition. Now, it’s Hope who races down the slopes, while family and friends cheer her on.

“The best part of the ski team is that they accept any student and work with them where they are,” Bridget says. “It gives them the confidence to grow.”

Head Coach Dave McCleod learned to ski as an adult, desiring to be active during Minnesota winers.

“Because I don’t have a racing background, I can focus more on teaching skills, empowering the kids, and having fun,” Coach McCleod says. “We try to keep things safe and fun — while doing a little racing on the side.”

So fun, in fact, that former ski team member Fionna Higgins — who graduated in 2019 — is returning as a coach. The freshman at Rochester Community Technical College first started skiing when she was about five years old. She’s been on the slopes ever since.

“I loved being on the ski team,” Fionna says, emphasizing that the hills at Coffee Mill are perfect for beginners because they’re not too steep. “I got to know everyone. I loved helping the younger kids learn the basics.”

When the team isn’t practicing or racing, you can probably still find most of the skiers on the slopes. Because even though the winter may be cold and blustery, they’re charging headfirst into the season. Day — or night.

“We love night skiing,” Bridget says. “It’s so beautiful to ski under the stars and breathe in the crisp winter air.”

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SVJ Creative Designs Insulating the Shed Sale

Find great deals on most items at SVJ Creative Designs. Shop great gifts just in time for the holidays!

  • 30% off Statues Outside
  • 40% off Statues Inside

Some Exclusions Apply.

“‘A Small Part Of Something Really Huge’: Kellogg Couple Honors Veterans With Underwater Memorial”

SVJ Creative Designs had the privilege of honoring veterans by creating sculptures for very first under water war memorial. CBS Minnesota took an indepth look into the lives of Dave and Shelly Speedling, owners of SVJ Creative Desings.

“Dave and Shelly Speedling are part of the first-ever underwater war memorial. They’ve created military statues that are now on display about 9 miles off the coast of Florida.”

‘“Lions, bears, deer, all of that. This is my life. I love what I’m doing and I’m up here quite a bit,” said Dave Speedling. It’s a scenic drive along Highway 42 in Wabasha County. It gets even more scenic when you drive by the Speedling place. Their monuments and statues are literally lined up like soldiers. Not bad considering this all began 23 years ago with plant hangers.

– John Lauritsen, CBS Minnestoa

Read The Full Article Here

Lark Toys Holiday Special

Shop LARK Toys’ Holiday Deal November 29th thru December 24th. Spend $100 & get a free LARK t-shirt! Spend $150 & get a free LARK mug!

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Schedule Your Next Hair Appointment with Pure Identity’s Newest Staff Member

Pure Identity Salon & Spa would like to announce our new hire ~ Christal Ritscher!!! Christal joins us with 10+ years of cosmetology experience.

Call and book your hair appointment and we’ll put your name in a $160 Aveda gift basket drawing!

Schedule Your Appointment Today!

Job Opportunity: Accelerated Welding Academy

Accelerated Welding Academy is looking for men and women interested in a welding career. The Academy includes 40 hours of training in 6 weeks.

If you want to learn more or are interested in applying, contact Jaden Peck at [email protected] or 651-385-6456.

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Great River Homes Job Opening: Support Service Coordinators

Support Service Coordinators provide direct service to people with disabilities in accordance with the mission, policies and practices of Great River Homes, Inc. The Support Service Coordinator is responsible to and supervised by the Program Supervisor.

Applicants must be at least 16 years old and have a high school degree or the equivalent or evidence of working toward a high school degree or the equivalent. Previous work experience and education in human services is preferred, but not required. Applicants must pass a background study from the Department of Human Services. Employees with driving positions must have a valid driver’s license and have an acceptable driving record as verified by a motor vehicle record check.

The applicant must be capable of completing essential job functions without posing direct threats to the health and safety of others, they must prove they are free of tuberculosis and must be able to physically perform the duties of the job.

Support Service Coordinators are expected to successfully complete First Aid and Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation training and must successfully complete an approved medication administration course and become certified to administer medications. Support Service Coordinators attend team meetings and other training opportunities to develop their knowledge and skills as well as comply with training requirements.

The applicant must possess good communication skills and must be able to follow instructions, read, write and speak English, work under limited supervision, balance multiple and varied responsibilities, and have his/her own home telephone or cell phone.

Support Service Coordinators are members of a team who supervise and assist people in activities of daily living, recreation and leisure, community integration, housekeeping, and service outcomes.

Support Service Coordinators must exhibit good work habits, including appropriate personal appearance, regular and punctual attendance, dependability, a positive and caring attitude and accuracy. Employees must also be organized, self-motivated, observant, accurate in documentation and responsive to the needs of individuals receiving services.

This overview is not intended to be inclusive of all job responsibilities. The Support Service Coordinator is expected to perform the duties and responsibilities as outlined in the job description and the physical activity determination form.

Apply Online Today

“Southeastern Minnesota Statues Part of Nation’s First Underwater Veterans Memorial”

August 14 2019

“On August 4th, Shelly and David Speedling were in Clearwater, Florida for the dedication of the Circle of Heroes. The husband and wife team own SVJ Creative Designs – a statuary.

‘To see them cut the ribbon and the different veterans that went down to see the statues down there and to ask to be a part of it is very honoring,’ said David.

The Circle of Heroes is America’s first underwater veterans memorial. 12 statues are sunk in the ocean, roughly 10 miles off the shore of Clearwater. It’s a therapeutic dive site for disabled veterans and marine life will gradually attach to it, creating an artificial reef. The plaques of the statues will be regularly scrubbed to remain readable, but marine life will be allowed to grow on the statues.

Three of the 12 statues were made by SVJ Creative Designs: a kneeling soldier with a battlefield cross, a female Iraq Freedom Fighter, and a Southeast Asia war statue. Next year, the Circle of Heroes is adding 12 more statues to complete a 100-foot circle. Three more of SVJ Creative Design’s statues will go to Florida: a World War I statue, a World War 2 statue, and a custom Coast Guard statue…”

– Annalise Johnson; KIMT3 News

Read the Full Story Here

Guitar Lessons at Local World Gallery in Wabasha

Rob Trussell, of Local World Gallery has a way of getting people started playing guitar that is fun, easy and immediate. He has worked with many adults as well as children.

Please see the beautiful pottery and paintings, textiles and jewelry while checking in to guitar lessons. Open Tuesday thru Sun. Find us on our website, FaceBook, and Instagram.

We are located next to River Rider Cycle.
112 2nd ST E Wabasha, Mn
Or call 612-819-2176

For more information about Rob’s experience and musical background visit and