Area Events

American Red Cross Blood Drives (can find information and book an appointment at

Note: Amazon is thanking donors 8/1-9/3 with a $5 Gift Card* by email.

Friday, August 14: St. Mathias Catholic Church 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Fellowship Bible Church of Pierz, 12:00 PM -6:00 PM

Westgate Mall, 1:00 - 6:00 PM

Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby is again calling on community members for donations of hand-sewn cloth face masks to protect its patients and visitors. Masks may be safely donated from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at CRMC's main entrance screening station. For answers to any donation questions or an alternative time to make a donation, contact Jennifer Podsiadly at or 218-545-4455.

Enjoy local music a little differently this year by tuning into the Cuyuna Lakes Chamber’s Virtual Music in the Park. On the 2nd and 4th Thursdays in August, virtual performances featuring area artists will be posted to the Chamber’s social media and website for your viewing pleasure. It’s free to view at

The Captain Robert Orr Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution  will be cleaning historic tombstones at Garrison Cemetery Wednesdays throughout the summer at 9:30am. For more information, call Regent Sue Duff-Erkel at 320-282-0943.

Sunday, August 16th: At 10 a.m.Sunday, Aug. 16, there will be a drive-in parking lot church service at Bethesda Rossburg Lutheran Church in Aitkin. Drive a “classic” car, tractor, van, or motorcycle to a classic church service on the grassy parking lot of Bethesda Rossburg. For those who don’t have anything “classic,” come anyway. People may stay in their cars to watch the service or may bring lawn chairs to sit in front of their cars with safe distances apart. A sound system will broadcast the service

Saturday, August 22: The Backus Lions will have a Catch the Cash No Touch fundraiser 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 22 at the Backus American Legion parking lot.

Saturday, August 22: Join Smiles for Jake at their first annual Jake Haapajoki Memorial Wiffle Series Saturday, August 22nd! Watch as teams of 4-5 players compete from 8am - 8pm in the first annual Wiffle Series at Perch Park – just east of Perch Lake Public Water Access on Highland Scenic Rd in Baxter! Everyone is welcome! There will be a raffle at the tournament with prizes from Lakes Jam and more! All proceeds from the event and raffle go to charity to help support Smiles For Jake and suicide prevention. Can’t make the event, but still want to show your support? Donations are always welcome at
If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States. Call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, or go to

Saturday, August 22: The Whitefish Chain Yacht Club will host its first boat parade at 2 p.m. Boats will gather at the east end of the chain, behind the Commodore's boat, and parade through Trout, Whitefish, Rush, and Cross lakes and end at Moonlite Bay Family Restaurant & Bar around 5 p.m. Dinner and beverages will be served using COVID-19 compliant practices either dockside on boats or in socially distanced tables on the decks. To register your boat, visit Registrations must be complete by Wednesday, August 19th.

Sunday, August 23: The Brainerd Basketball Association will host its inaugural Paul Bunyan Summer Classic golf torunament on the Dutch Course at Cragun's Legacy Courses. The noon check-in will be follwed by lunch and a 1:30 p.m. shotgun start for the five-person scramble. Players can register their five-person team at Sign up by Wednesday, August 19th.

Sunday, August 23:A  special “Meal with a Mission”  to support the Malawi Orphan Care Project, which helps feed and educate orphaned children in Malawi, Africa will take place on Sunday,  Aug. 23 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Crosby.


Monday, August 24: PRODUCE Pop-Up Pantry FREE FOOD FOR ANYONE IN NEED 2:30pm – 4:00pm at Central Lakes College, 501 W. College Dr. Brainerd, MN 56425
• Stay in your car at all times and following signs to enter
• Food is available to those in need
• 1 food box per household
• Carpooling: Two boxes per vehicle (1 food box per household)
• If you have more than two households in your vehicle, you can receive additional boxes by going to the back of the line.
• No restrooms will be available

Brainerd Public Schools Meals: Curbside Pickup Weekdays through August 21st (closed July 3rd) 11A-12P, or while supplies last for all children 18 and under. Locations are Washington Education Building (804 Oak Street, Brainerd) and Forestview Middle School (12149 Knollwood Street, Baxter)

Staples-Motley Meals are for free pickup at the high school weekdays 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

The Pequot Lakes Community Library is open full hours once again! Masks and social distancing is required for patrons. For those that would like to use curbside delivery, request materials by placing holds using the library’s website at; emailing; or calling 218- 568-6181. Provide a phone number; a volunteer will call when the order is ready. Kitchigami Regional Library System pickup is also available.

The Aitkin Public Library is offering curbside pick-up several days a week now: Monday 10am-3pm, Wednesday 9am-12pm, and Friday 12-5:30pm. To request items for pick up, call 218-927-2339 Monday-Friday 9am-3pm or visit Book drop is open 24/7 for returns

Twice weekly family story times are available on the Brainerd Public Library Facebook page: Tuesday at 10:15 a.m. and Thursday 11:15 a.m. This is a great way to experience our newest picture books which are also available for check out.

The Cuyuna Lakes Lunch Bunch - organized by area churches and CRMC, will be providing area youth with free lunches again this summer. Lunches are available through Friday, September 4th. They will be at the following locations:11:15 to 11:35 a.m. in Ironton at Grandpa’s Park; 11:45 a.m.-12:05 p.m. at Crosby Food Shelf, 302 Cross Ave.; and 12:15 to 12:35 p.m. in Deerwood at Veteran’s Park across from the American Legion. Volunteers preparing and distributing lunches will take all safety precautions including wearing gloves and masks.The Cuyuna Lakes Lunch Bunch’s goal is to provide meals for students who normally receive free or reduced lunches through school programs. The lunches are prepared and distributed by several local volunteers. For more information or to contribute to the Lunch Bunch, contact Ellen Brandt at St. Vincent de Paul,

Baxter Cafe & Catering, continues to provide free weekend lunch meals for anyone in need. . Call 829-1739 between 8am and 10:30am Saturday to pickup order between 11:30 and 12:30. Bagging 2 meals per person for the weekend.

The Lakes Area Farmer’s Markets are back up and running for the season!  The markets are open TUESDAYS from 8:00-12:30 at The Franklin Arts Center parking lot.... THURSDAYS from 8:00 – 12:30 at the Nisswa American Legion...and on FRIDAYS from 8:00-12:30 at the Vikingland Harley Davidson parking lot in Brainerd.  Due to COVID-19, they will have a hand washing station at each market and ask that you wash your hands going IN and coming OUT of the market.  They ask that you not touch any of the products/food..the vendor will get it for you.  And they do NOT REQUIRE, but they do encourage you to wear a mask. 

Pine River Market Square is held 2:30-5:30 p.m. Fridays through September 25. The Pine River Chamber Info Center grounds will host the farmers market along the Paul Bunyan State Trail parallel to Highway 371 on the corner of Barclay Avenue and Highway 371 at the traffic light. Growers and crafters within 60 miles of Pine River and meet the market vendor guidelines are welcome for the upcoming season. For vendor guidelines and applications, visit visit or call market manager Mim Brien at 218-838-1943,

Ideal Green Market is held 9 a.m. -1 p.m. Saturdays through September in Ideal Corner, 34988 County Road 39, Pequot Lakes. More info at, email, or call 218-543-6565.

Cuyuna Range Farmer's Market is 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays in Crosby, located in the Crosby Mall Park, next to Iron Range Eatery—at the corner of Cross Avenue and Main Street, Crosby. More info at Facebook. Or call 218-251-5222 or email

The Aitkin Farmers’ Market at Butler’s Building is every Saturday through Labor Day. Located in the parking lot of the historic Butler building at 301 Minnesota Avenue North, it is open from 9 am to 1 pm. For more information call 218 678 2441.

Crow Wing County Household Hazardous Waste is again open for the season at the Crow Wing County Landfill and is a free service for all CWC residents.  HHW will be open the second Wednesday and second Saturday of each month from 8:00-4:00, through September. This is a time to dispose of old paint cans, cleaners, automotive products, rechargeable batteries and other chemicals.  Upon arrival at the site, stop in front of the Landfill Office and an attendant will direct you how to proceed.  Due to the pandemic, all items brought in must be on a trailer, in your trunk or in your trunk bed.  You must remain in your vehicle.  And the Product Exchange will not be open until further notice.  For more info, visit and search Household Hazardous Waste or call 824-1290.

Join the Northland Arboretum for a “Naturally Speaking” Nature Hike with Master Naturalists every Thursday at 10:30 at the Arb in Brainerd. Every week covers a new and different topic about nature...everything from bugs to scat, tracks to butterflies! The “class” is free to Arb members. Non-members pay $5 gate fee. Meet at the Holden Gazebo! For info, visit or call 829-8770.

Brainerd Salvation Army Food Shelf: 

Tuesday, we open from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday we open 1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Operation Sandwich:

Pine River- Distribution of a 5-day lunch supply bag will be Thursdays from 11:15-11:45 at the Pine River Dam. A new request needs to be completed each week by Wednesday at 10:00. Request forms can be found on the Operation Sandwich Facebook page and the Pine River-Backus Schools Facebook page and website.

-Pequot Lakes at noon

Nisswa at 12:45 p.m.

Pine River and Crosslake Senior Nutrition Program: The Senior Nutrition Program still offers a nutritionally balanced meal 11:30 a.m. Monday-Friday in Pine River and Crosslake. People must pick them up at the door of Heartland Apartments, 445 Snell Ave. in Pine River or have meals delivered by Meals on Wheels. To order a meal or Meals on Wheels in Pine River, call 218-587-2921. To order a meal by noon a day in advance or for Meals on Wheels in Crosslake, call 218-692-4271.

Region 5 Lutheran Social Services Meals Locations: Linked here.

Aitkin County Food Shelves: Linked here

Pine River Community Meals at Riverview Church is take-out only from 1-6 p.m. Mondays

Backus Meals at the Pine Mountaineer Senior Center are 1-6 p.m. Thursdays curbside take-out only.

The Cuyuna Range Food Shelf is open the second and third Wednesday of the month from 7 to 9:30 a.m. and by appointment in an emergency. The food shelf is located at 302 Cross Avenue North in Crosby. Please call 546-7444 for an appointment.

Emily Area Food Shelf, located at 20948 County Road 1, is open the third Wednesday of each month from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and the following day of the same week, Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. For more information contact Nancy Moritz at 763-3663. 

Lakes Area Food Shelf, 29316 Patriot Ave, Pequot Lakes,  is open from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as from 5-7 p.m. the first and third Thursday of the month.

Pine River Food Shelf open for curbside pickup (drive to the outside of the food shelf the 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Tuesdays 10:00-1:00; the 2nd Tuesday 3:30-6:00; and Fridays 10:00-1:00. For more information call 587-4292.

Crosslake Food Shelf is open from 9 a.m. to noon the first and third Friday of the month.

Sharing Bread Soup Kitchen, 923 Oak Street Brainerd: Operation Sandwich one day per week - Wednesdays - at the Soup Kitchen. Pick up time is from 5:30 p.m to 6:00 p.m. There are two kinds of food bags available-one for families who can cook and have a refrigerator and the other for the families who don’t. Families should ask for the bag that meets their requirements.

Motley Area Food Shelf is open 9 a.m. to noon most Thursdays and 6-8 p.m. on the last Thursday of the month. Anyone needing immediate assistance may call 218-352-6344.

The Journey North's Ruby's Pantry - Brainerd Lakes Area Ruby’s Pantry is “a hand up, not a hand out.” For a $20 cash donation you will receive a "share" with up to $120 or more worth of groceries.There is no limits of how many shares that can be purchased at this time. To comply with COVID- 19 guidelines, it will be an outdoor, drive-thru distribution. People are asked to stay in vehicles. Contact The Journey North Community Church at 218-824-5617 about volunteer
opportunities at Ruby’s.  Ruby’s Pantry has no government funding. It is primarily funded by the contributions of our guests.

(PR-B area)-4th Tuesday of every month at Faith Assembly Church. Register online at or bring your $20 to the church on the 4th Tuesday. Due to COVID-19 they will load the items into your vehicle.

When you arrive at a distribution for the first time you will need to register and then sign in. This is a simple registration that requires no documentation. After the first time you will need to simply sign in. The $20 is paid first, then your registration form is handed in/signed in and you will be given a number.

Contact The Journey North Community Church at 218.824.5617 about volunteer opportunities at Ruby's!

Pine River Backus Schools will have breakfast and lunch available for pick up from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10-Thursday, Aug. 27, at Door 19. These meals are free to anyone 18 and under.  

Meal resources for PR-B area at Lakeside Baptist Church: Call the church at 947-4995 or email any time of the day. If they are not available, please leave a message and they will get back to you. Because of COVID-19, boxes are being delivered to homes. They hope to reopen for pickup in the future.

Care-n-Share is now offering  prepared meals or pick-up. Meals must be reserved in advance by calling (952) 240-7936. Meals may be picked up at Emily Wesleyan Church between 1 and  2:30  p.m. on Wednesdays

Faith in Action: Those who are unable to get out may be able to call Faith in Action of Cass County for delivery of groceries, prescription medicines and some pick-up food (services may change as shelter-in-place orders change). Services are offered in Backus, Hackensack, Remer/Longville, Pillager, Pine River, and Outing. Call 218-675-5435 for assistance.

Raffle tickets are now available at local businesses for the Faith in Action for Cass County 2020 fundraiser raffle. The grand prize is a 2020 Polaris Ranger 570 with an Aluma Trailer. The machine and trailer will be on display at area businesses throughout the raffle period. The second-place prize is $1,000 cash and the third-place prize is a $500 gift card from Hackensack Lumber and Do It Best Hardware. Tickets are available individually or in packets of eight. The raffle drawing will be held Thursday, November 12, at Bites Grill and Bar in Pine River. Check with local businesses to buy tickets, and visit for a list of participating businesses.

Interfaith Volunteers is expanding their services to offer phone calling to the lonely, homebound, and isolated who may be in need of social contact. Interfaith Volunteers also will deliver groceries, medications, run errands, or help in other ways. If you or someone you know is in need of those services, please call Interfaith Volunteers at 218-820-7454. If you or someone you know is ready to help, call that same number.

There is a dire need for help and donations at the Mid Minnesota Women’s Center in Brainerd and the Alex & Brandon Child Safety Center. With many people forced to stay home, many are stuck at home with their abusers, and many are needing to leave their situation. That has put a strain on the centers as they want to help. The center is in dire need of the following items (MUST BE NEW... the only “used” items they can take are phones)- Gloves and masks, Bleach and other cleaning supplies, Antibacterial soap and Hand Sanitizer, Toilet paper, Paper towels, Personal hygiene products, Non-perishable food items, Stamps, Dial-A-Ride Tickets, Used/refurbished cell phones, and any donations of cash or in-kind support to make these items available. Those who can donate are asked to drop off the items outside of the facility at 1414 Maple Street in Brainerd and then call the office to let them know they are there. 218-828-1216.

The Pine River-Backus Family Center is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.

The Pine River State Bank in Emily is collecting school supplies for students attending school in the Pine River, Pil-lager, Breezy Point and Emily communities. Monetary dona-tions are preferred for the pur-chase of laptops as requested by the individual schools. For information or to do-nate stop by Pine River State Bank or visit:

Music in the Park in Crosslake is held Saturdays 6-8 p.m. in August, sponsored by the Crosslake-Ideal Lions Club. SCHEDULE: August 15th - Fathom Lane (Original Country/Rock); August 22nd - Cassie and the Bobs (Patsy Cline Review); August 29th - Doug Allen Nash (Johnny Cash/Neil Diamond tribute). 

Bands in the Park in Pequot Lakes will be held in the bandshell in Trailside Park 7-9 p.m. Saturdays through August 22nd.

Sunday Brainerd breakfasts schedule 8:30a-noon

1st Sunday: The Elks Club

2nd Sunday: Eagles Club

3rd Sunday: Brainerd VFW

4th Sunday: Brainerd Legion

5th Sunday: Eagles Club