in the Community - 2007
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 2007.
Donations - 2007
Kootasca Senior Center/ Community Center
Kootasca Sr. Citizens Treasurer Jim Pautzke (left) and Melvin Boquist accept a donation from PBT Director Gary Eklund (center) for the Kootasca Senior Center/Community Center building fund.
Northwoods Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers
PBT Director of District 5 Bruce Blanchard (left) presents a donation check to Matt Phelps, Legacy Family Services Director for the Northwoods Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers. This money will go towards reimbursement of mileage to volunteers as they travel.
Beltrami County Ag Association
From left: Kelly Fossand Building Project Manager, Sue Wells Association Treasurer, Paul Hokuf Facility Manager and Tom Lundberg. PBT made a donation to the Association to help in the building of a permanent structure at the Beltrami County Fairgrounds that will house musical acts and other entertainment.
District 1 Director Gary Eklund (left) hands EMT-P/Manager of Blackduck Ambulance Brent Sorensen a donation to upgrade medical equipment and mechanical work on their primary ambulance.
Bemidji Civil Air Patrol
From left: Airman 1st Class Joshua Mandrell, Don Dale and Officer Steve McGuirk of the Bemidji Civil Air Patrol accept a donation check.
Deer River Health Care
District 4 Director Jim Tarbell (center) presents a donation to Deer River Health Care for a new ambulance.
North Country First Responders
PBT Account Executive, Kari Gregg, is pictured handing Bill Caddy of the North Country First Responders a donation check from PBT.
Itasca County Historical Society
Lilah Crow (right) of the Itasca County Historical Society accepts a donation check from PBT Account Executive Marla Beaty.
Itasca County YMCA 2007
From left: PBT Account Executive Marla Beaty presents Joni Namyst and Betsy McBride of the Itasca Co. YMCA with a donation check.
Scholarships & Youth - 2007
ICC Scholarship Fund Drive
Paul Bunyan Telephone recently contributed to Itasca Community College's (ICC) Annual Scholarship Fund Drive which helps provide scholarships to students of ICC. Pictured from left to right: Mary Richie, ICC Director of College Development receives PBT's contribution from Derek Rolle, PBT Account Executive.
Oak Hills Scholarship
Brian Bissonette, Marketing Supervisor, presents the Paul Bunyan Telephone Scholarship to Linnea Lindstrom at Oak Hills Christian College.
$2,500 College Scholarship Brynn Stember of Bemidji was the recipient of a $2,500 college scholarship from Paul Bunyan Telephone and the National Telecom- munications Cooperative Association’s (NTCA) Foundation for Rural Service (FRS).
2007 Youth Tour Winner
Matthew Schnell of Bemidji, the the 2007 Youth Tour Essay Contest Winner, represented Paul Bunyan Telephone at the National Telephone Cooperative Associations annual Youth Tour to Washington, D.C.
Recognition - 2007
BSU President's Gala
Paul Bunyan Telephone was honored by Bemidji State University at its President’s Gala for over $100,000 in cumulative giving. Pictured left to right are: Rob Bollinger Executive Director for University Advancement; Becky Dawley President of the BSU Foundation Board of Directors; Paul Bunyan Telephone Board of Director Jim Sutton; and BSU President Jon Quistgaard.
Night We Light Parade
Gary, sons Matthew & Daniel, wife Denise, and daughter Rachel serve as Grand Marshall in the Night We Light Parade. Gary was chosen as the 2006 Volunteer of the Year for his contributions to the Bemidji Rotary, Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce, the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival, St. Phillip’s Church, and more.
Grand Rapids Chamber Customer Service Award
Workforce Development Committee representative, Sherry Frick, presents the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce Customer Service Award to Paul Bunyan Telephone technician Wayne Vredenburg for his outstanding customer service.
Gary Johnson, PBT COO, reports from the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas
Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Telephone Chief Operating Officer, was in Las Vegas for the 2008 Consumer Electronic Show on behalf of the cooperative and contributed an article in the Bemidji Pioneer.
Article: Electronics show hails cutting-edge gadgets
Events - 2007
Paul Bunyan Telephone Annual Cooperative Celebration a Great Success - Over 7,000 in Attendance
Over 7,000 attended the Paul Bunyan Telephone Annual Cooperative Celebration on Wednesday, May 30 at the Paul Bunyan Telephone Headquarters in Bemidji, making the event another great success!
The Cooperative Celebration was open to the public and featured a free walleye dinner prepared by the Bemidji Fire Department Fish Fry Crew, door prizes, kids activities like face painting, balloons, temporary tattoos, storytelling, animals and entertainment from the Headwaters Science Center, and special guests from PBS including Curious George, Cailou, and the Bernstein Bear Family. Bemidji High School’s Vocalmotive provided musical entertainment.
Special thanks to the 113 employees of Paul Bunyan Telephone 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, BHS Vocalmotive, Paul Bunyan Transit, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Headwater’s Science Center, Bob’s Econo Pump, Bemidji Police Department, and Raphael’s Bakery for all their help.
We look forward to the 2008 Cooperative Celebration!
Nick Live Rocks Grand Rapids
Paul Bunyan Telephone brought Nick Live to Grand Rapids on Saturday, July 21st in conjunction with the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce Crazy Days.
The interactive stage show featured a variety of high energy games and physical challenges with several local kids and adults on stage getting into the action.
Over 2,500 attended the two forty-five minute Nick Live! shows that took place in the Old Kremer’s Parking Lot across from the Central Square Mall. Tickets were free courtesy of Paul Bunyan Telephone.
In addition to Nick Live, over a dozen non-profit agencies from Itasca County had booths outside the seating area open with games, food, and fun for the entire family!
Thank you to all who made the shows possible, with special thanks to the City of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, and Itasca County Historical Society.
Paul Bunyan Telephone is proud to be Right Here and we look forward to another exciting Crazy Days in 2008!
PBT Smooth Operators take Media Cup, 2007 Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival presented by Paul Bunyan Telephone a big success!
The 2007 Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival was a big success, with 60 teams competing and thousands of spectators taking part in the festivities! Our cooperative had 2 teams competing, with the PBT Smooth Operators finishing 10th overall and taking home the Media Cup. For the second straight year, Paul Bunyan COO Gary Johnson served as Festival Co-Chair and Marketing Supervisor Brian Bissonette was the Festival announcer.
We commend the hundreds of volunteers, numerous businesses, and civic organizations that work to make this event possible. It has turned into one of the most talked about events in our region and Paul Bunyan Telephone is proud to be the presenting sponsor. Mark you calendars now and plan to be a part of the 3rd Annual Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival. For information throughout the year and many more photos, visit www.bemidjidragonboat.com
More Great Events in 2007
Cohasset Blackwater Barge Festival & PBTV Spongebob SquarePants Photosplash
The Cohasset Blackwater Barge Festival and the Paul Bunyan Television SpongeBob Squarepants Photosplash on Saturday, June 23rd was a huge success. Over 1000 attended the event to take part in the free community picnic, the SpongeBob Squarepants Photosplash, car show, vendors, canoe races, baseball tourney and other events.
2007 Lefse Cook Off
The Beltrami Historical Society 2007 Lefse Cook Off winner J. Seitz, son Owen, and judge Brian Bissonette, PBT Marketing Supervisor.
Treats for Tots
Paul Bunyan Net’s Steve Howard dons his best Bob the Builder costume to hand out candy to the kids at the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe’s Treats for Tots in Cass Lake.
Clifford the Big Red Dog at the Deer River Lion's Club Wild Rice Festival
Many visitors got their picture taken with the popular PBS character and Paul Bunyan Telephone Fishing Tackle was handed out to those who stopped by on July 7th, 2007. The festival closed with a packed crowd enjoying a free Kentucky Headhunters concert. We look forward to being a part of the 60th annual celebration next year!
Deer River Christmas Tree
The Deer River Christmas tree went up on November 27th outside of the Paul Bunyan Telephone office. An annual tradition, this year's tree was donated by the U.S. Forestry Service and was put into place by Paul Bunyan Telephone Supervisor Randy Dugas along with City of Deer River maintenance crew Ray Keller, Brad Marlette, and Jason Lundquist. (Photo Courtesy of Western Itasca Review.)