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People make a community

Perhaps you will consider that today's "A Spirit for Growth," part four of four spectacular editions, is the best of all. After all, it's mostly about you. And, it is you, the people of our rock-solid southeastern Minnesotan communities, who make life worthwhile.

How do you do that? In myriad ways, as we have learned as we poked around your caring communities. Perhaps you belong to a church group that raises funds to provide food, shelter and clothing for the homeless. Many of us work together in civic organizations like Kiwanis, Rotary, Exchange Club, Sertoma and more, focusing upon filling the deficits in our society.

Perhaps your passion is the arts, and you seek personal gratification through performing or fundraising or ushering at performances. Yet again, there are many volunteer opportunities at social service agencies, and that's how you help to make our towns and villages better places to live and work.

Today's section, titled "People and Community," shows the breadth and strength of grassroots organizations in southeastern Minnesota:

• Reporters interviewed and photographers captured images at theater and performing arts companies that are building on their successes at a time when many arts organizations across the country suffer in this economic malaise.


• We took a deep look into nonprofit organizations that continue to relentlessly reap the generosity of area residents in terms of time, talent and treasure.

• For fun, we take a look back at Rochester's popular community art projects involving goose statues and artfully designed public benches.

Our in-depth center-spread story and photo project takes a look at the work of Ability Building Center, a Rochester-based nonprofit organization that provides rehabilitation and employment services to people with disabilities and special needs. Workers there perform services such as sewing, recycling and even computer programming.

Our popular community profiles today capture the beautiful communities of Chatfield and Plainview.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank the numerous subjects featured in the Post-Bulletin's annual "Spirit" sections. Reader feedback has been my gratification for the significant investment of resources.

I am fortunate to have a talented and passionate staff of writers, photographers and designers who added this immense project to their already hefty workload. Finally, two more words — "Thank you!" — to the businesses who agreed to advertise in support of "A Spirit for Growth." You have made this project possible. Together, we have created a lasting positive impression.


Randy Chapman

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