North metro news briefs: Anoka County reaches out with Adopt-A-Family program

  • Updated: November 19, 2013 - 3:00 PM

Take a trip back in time at the Fridley Historical Society’s “Christmas in the 1950s” exhibit. The History Center is open Saturdays and Tuesdays. (See below for more)

Photo: Fridley Historical Society,

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‘Adopt-a-Family’ aims to spread holiday cheer

Anoka County is asking people to donate gifts for its Adopt-A-Family and Giving Tree programs for people in need this holiday season.

Under the programs, public health nurses and social workers identify people most in need and work with them to create a wish list of items. Each individual’s list has a limit of $50 in value.

If you’d like to participate in Adopt-A-Family, call 763-422-7089 or e-mail gayle.alexan and indicate what size family you’d like to help. To help with the Giving Tree program, for individuals not connected to a family, call 763-422-7248 or e-mail The county will e-mail you the wish list and ask you to return gifts by Friday, Dec. 13.

Program will look at a Civil War Christmas

Costumed interpreter Vickie Wendel will discuss holiday traditions of the 1860s during a “Civil War Christmas” program on Thursday, Dec. 5, at the Anoka County History Center.

The presentation, offered by the Anoka County Historical Society, is free and will begin at 7 p.m. at the center, located at 2135 3rd Av. N. in Anoka.

The evening will include music, treats from that era and more. For further information, call 763-421-0600 or go to

Columbia Heights

Coming Friday: Taste of Columbia Heights

Food from a variety of Columbia Heights restaurants will be featured at this year’s “Taste of Columbia Heights” holiday kickoff, scheduled for 6-10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, at Murzyn Hall, 530 Mill St. The cost is $2 per sample.

In addition to food, there will be wine and beer tasting, music and a silent auction. Proceeds will go to the Columbia Heights Activity Fund, youth activities and the participating restaurants.

For further information, call Columbia Heights Recreation at 763-706-3733 or Mayor Gary Peterson at 763-706-3607 or 612-978-9858.

Church will offer free Thanksgiving dinner

St. Matthew Lutheran Church will host its 18th annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 28.

The dinner is open to any families or individuals in need of a welcome place to spend the holiday. The church is located at 4101 Washington St. NE. in Columbia Heights.

Reservations are not required but are appreciated. Call 763-788-9427. St. Matthew’s website is

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