Community & People A look back on 2011 Published January 3, 2012 at 8:32 am Anita Isnor’s Dance Troupe was among the entertainment at the 10th annual Otsego Festival in September. Doris and Dan Anderson passed out American flags to children at the Elk River Independence Day celebration. The couple was also a recipient of volunteers of the month awards by Elk River Mayor John Dietz. Joshua Paul Smith lent his tenor voice to Elk River Community Theater’s production of “The Phantom of the Opera” this past summer. The show received wonderful reviews but attendance was a disappointment to ERCT. Alan Sakry, the president of the Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce, was one of 45 individuals to jump into Lake Orono this past winter at the first Shiver Elk River celebration. The event raised more than $10,000 for organizations. The second annual event is being planned for Feb. 25, 2012. Micah Sjerven, 6, and his sister, Madalyn, 2, were fascinated by the chicks at a Pick a Chick sale at Elk River Farm Supply in April. The chicks helped populate the family’s new Otsego hobby farm. Big brother Ethan Nesbit, then 11, was bound and determined to make good on his goal over winter break a year ago to teach his little brother, Fletcher, then 8, how to skate. Travis Tritt headlined the second annual Otsego JamFest, which also included a performance by the Marshall Tucker Band. Eric Bendl, his dog, Nice, and a very large globe made their way through Elk River in August to encourage people to exercise and avoid diabetes. The sight of a single white rose had Nicole Hansen awestruck. She became Elk River High School’s 2011 homecoming queen. Matt Madsen was crowned the king. “Elvis,” otherwise known as Chris Olson, was one of the two most popular acts at this year’s concert series at River’s Edge Commons Park in downtown Elk River. The other was Rubber Soul, a Beatles tribute band. Elk River citizens enjoyed a fireworks display on Independence Day thanks to the second consecutive community-led effort to make the event possible The Handke Center, which was the original Elk River High School, turned 80 this past year. The facility hosted its own party with cake, tours and plenty of old photos to help former students reminisce. Gary Lenz carried the cross for part of a Good Friday pilgrimage in April with his son, Anthony, 11, and his daughter, Kayla, 13. John Jarmoluk, 14, of Elk River crafted this very mean-looking pumpkin-eating pumpkin. A Feb. 7 fishing trip ended badly for a Vadnais Heights man when his Chevy went through the ice at Lake Orono. Ironically, the Grand Am located closer to the beach for Ice Break 2011 never did go through the ice. It had to be pulled from the ice after the Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce-sponsored contest was deemed illegal.