Here are some good things going on this spring.

The Gathering: This is a free meal offered to people in need, every Monday evening at St. John’s Lutheran Church in downtown Chaska. This dedicated group of people is celebrating its 10th anniversary of providing this meal. I’d be remiss to not recognize Carol Affeldt and her dedicated volunteers for their support of the needy and showing that people at St. John’s care about their brothers and sisters across the community. Congratulations and thanks for your service to the community.

Chaska Alumni Association: If any former Chaska High School grad wants to serve as part of an alumni association, please contact 612-414-1284. The primary purpose of the alumni association will be to communicate with alumni regarding activities, and the plans and accomplishments of the school and its students.

Some people think it’s just about raising dollars, but it’s about getting an association together and then building awareness of all the good things going on with Chaska High School. It will make alumni proud.

Chaska Cubs Lead Off Party: For those who aren’t aware of Chaska Cubs amateur baseball, the Lead Off Party will be held 4-7 p.m. Saturday, May 4 at the Chaska VFW Post 1791. Come and join the Cubs Dugout Club and receive two season passes and a free T-shirt if you join.

Chaska amateur baseball has a long and rich history and continues to provide affordable family entertainment and something for everyone. It will be a great way to spend some time at a great ballpark (once the water leaves), with the best hamburgers you’ll find in all of Minnesota Amateur Baseball. Come join us at the ballpark.

Christmas in May: For its 23rd year, Christmas in May will be held May 4, beginning with sign-up and breakfast from 7-8 a.m. at Guardian Angels gymnasium. You can sign up for a house that will be worked on during the day, with completion around 4 p.m. You can work for two hours or eight hours — it’s up to you.

Volunteers help people in the community deal with some home improvements that they aren’t able to address for health or economic reasons.

What this project says is Chaska cares. People show up and help out people they’ve never met. In one day, a huge difference is made in the life of a community member. It is a true community building experience for both the homeowners and volunteers. Join us and other people from this area and show how we care together. And don’t worry, you don’t have to be a handyman, because there’s work to be done for every skill level.

One of the highlights of Christmas in May is the involvement of Chaska High School and Southwest Christian High School students. Each year more than 100 students volunteer their time to help other community members in need. This isn’t counting the baseball team which helps with the set up and tear down at the Guardian Angels gymnasium.

But it does include the football team which shows up in numbers to do the tough tasks. It’s part of its commitment to the community and it’s impressive.

The commitment across the student body makes a difference each and every year. When you’ve watched this occur for years and years, it simply makes you proud of our students and those that teach and guide them to build their understanding and commitment to community service.

Another thanks goes out to the city, which supports this effort and ensures it is sustainable for years to come. Partnerships with businesses and groups such as the CAP Agency are also critical to making Christmas in May successful.

Chaska city services: Finally, Chaska’s city services regularly get high marks from citizens for the quality and timely delivery of services.

This applies to all of its departments, but needs to be reinforced as we’ve dealt with lots of snow and cold and now the melting and flooding. This has required a lot of extra hours, and those folks have done their work with dedication and pride in what they do. Thanks to all of you for that service attitude and commitment.

The largest threat from a high Minnesota River flooding has been from the backup into our creek system. The flood control project was built to address that problem and remove properties from the flood plain designation. Homes have been renovated and downtown redevelopment continues since the flood plain designation was removed. This ensured the long-term vitality and prosperity of our historic downtown area.

Chaska’s history is filled with major flooding events which have had devastating impact on properties. When the flood control project was built the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it couldn’t define an event the flood control project couldn’t address — something like a 500-plus-year event and more. Let’s hope such an event will never be experienced.

Bob Roepke is a former Chaska mayor.

Staff Reporter

Alex Chhith is a staff reporter at the Chaska Herald. In her spare time, she enjoys walking her dogs (Cody and Sam), catching up on the Game of Thrones and finding new restaurants. Follow her on Twitter @AlexChhith.

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