Author: Joanna Werch Takes

Melissa Redzuan wears her “work crown” when she makes appearances as a Lifetime Queen of the Global United Pageant. It’s a phrase the Eden Prairie resident adopted from her youngest daughter, Amiia Razman’s, reaction when Redzuan first won a crown in the 2019 pageant. “I told her, ‘Mommy worked hard because Mommy helped the community,’” Redzuan said. Community service is weighted as 50% of the criteria in judging the Heart of Global United award, which was Redzuan’s original title in the Minnesota-based pageant. (An essay question contributes 30% of the score, and a personality photo the remaining 20%.) The nearly…

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After 32 years at Eden Prairie Center, Great Mandarin Chinese Restaurant posted a notice on Facebook earlier this month that the restaurant will be closing after a last day of service on Dec. 31, 2022. The Dec. 19 Facebook post stated, “As many of you know, the pandemic changed a lot of things for all of us. It was a real challenge to make the food you love available to you while also protecting our health and yours. On top of that, supply chain made food costs higher, staffing shortages meant our family-owned restaurant had to work harder, and we…

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Sixty pheasants, nine geese, and 1-1/4 deer. Those are some of the statistics – and the ingredients – that went into the making of the Eden Prairie Lions’ 49th annual Wild Game Dinner. Held annually on the first Monday in December, this year’s Dec. 5 event raised $1,745 for donation to local charities supporting the sheltering and adoption of animals, including the Tribal Partnership Program of Secondhand Hounds and the Eden Prairie Outdoor Center. Steve Wilson, a Lions Club member and co-chair of the event, donated many of the pheasants from his and his friends’ South Dakota hunts. The wild…

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A crowd of 3,500 people attended an event headlined by national personal finance personality Dave Ramsey at Grace Church in Eden Prairie earlier this month. The Nov. 10 “Building Wealth Live” presentation was the Upper Midwest stop on a tour of the event described on the Ramsey Solutions website as teaching “how to build wealth – and keep it.” Ramsey’s keynote speech addressed that topic by citing The National Study of Millionaires. “Typical millionaires put money in their 401(k) and paid off their house,” Ramsey said. “It’s boring as crud.” Ramsey, a radio host and author, peppered his speech with…

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Visual artist Meena Subramanian finds inspiration along the trails of Staring Lake Park for many of her pieces, which are showcased online at meenasartroom.weebly.com. “Each day is a different scene; the scenery is spectacular,” she said. “I just love all the trees and all the seasons, especially fall. It’s just gorgeous, you know?” Subramanian lives close enough to Staring Lake Park that “no matter what season it is, I’m walking the dog around the lake,” she said. While there, she’ll take pictures with her cell phone of scenes that she’ll later try to capture in art or collect items, like…

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From a woodshop in a corner of his garage, Dan Little has created about 200 wooden baseball bats. Photos by Joanna Werch Takes When Eden Prairie resident Dan Little took a swing at making wooden bats, it was a hit. He’s now made approximately 200 of the bats, which he sells through his website apexbats.com. Both of Little’s kids, 12- and 14-year-old boys, play baseball, and Dan has found whittling to be a way to keep his hands busy while sitting at their practices. He originally picked up woodworking from building with the scraps from his mom’s woodshop when he…

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Baby Petra and mom Margo, who recently moved to the neighborhood, got to know some of their neighbors at the Night to Unite block party on Grant Drive.On an evening when temperatures reached the high 90s and humidity was above 70 percent, the kids on Grant Drive enjoyed playing in the cold water from the Eden Prairie Fire Department’s fire hoses.The Eden Prairie Fire Department visited Night to Unite parties with fire trucks and fire hoses. Kids enjoyed getting a chance to direct the powerful stream of water.On an evening when temperatures reached the high 90s and humidity was above…

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Miss Minnesota 2022 received her crown on June 17 at Grace Church in Eden Prairie. Rachel Evangelisto, formerly Miss Winona, is the first Indigenous woman to receive the state title. She will go on to compete in the Miss America pageant in December. The statewide pageant took place at its Eden Prairie location for the second year; prior to the cancelled 2020 event, the Miss Minnesota pageant was held at Eden Prairie High School for at least 10 years. The 21 contestants in the 2022 event began practices, which included learning choreography for group performances, on the Monday prior to…

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Eden Prairie residents Barry and Joni Butzow’s horse Zozos finished 10th in last weekend’s Kentucky Derby – after spending part of the race running in third and fourth place positions. Assigned a post position (placement in the starting gate) of 19 out of the field of 20 three-year-old horses in the week before the race, Zozos’s starting position was just ahead of the eventual winner, Rich Strike. Given a post position of number 20 and entered into the race the day before the Derby as a replacement for scratched horse Ethereal Road, Rich Strike seemed to come out of nowhere…

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Eden Prairie residents Joni and Barry Butzow own racehorse Zozos, who will run in this year’s Kentucky Derby. Photo by Joanna Werch Takes A horse owned by Eden Prairie residents will be among the field of 20 three-year-olds running in the Kentucky Derby on May 7. Zozos, the colt owned by Barry and Joni Butzow, qualified for the Derby at the March 26 Louisiana Derby, his third race. “We were overwhelmed” when watching that finish from the stands, Barry Butzow said. “He’d only had two races going in, and he was running against a whole bunch of experienced horses.” By…

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