American Red Cross blood drives: To make an appointment or for more information, download the Red Cross blood donor app, visit, call 800-733-2767 or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. As a thank for helping to ensure a stable blood supply, those who donate this February will receive a $5 Gift Card via email, courtesy of Amazon. (Restrictions apply. Additional information and details are available at

  • 10 a.m. to 4 pm. today, Feb. 24, Shriners Event Center, 5152 Miller Trunk Highway.

  • Noon to 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, St. Raphael Catholic Church, 5779 Seville Road.

  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, IRA Civic Center, 1401 Third Ave. N.W., Grand Rapids.

  • Noon to 6 p.m. March 11, LaQuinta Inn & Suites, 1805 Maple Grove Road.

Throughout the month of February, Life 97.3 FM is asking the community to make "Notes of Hope." This could be encouraging notes, fun stories, art, etc. -- whatever they think will bring a smile to a resident in an assisted living situation. They will be collecting and distributing them to assisted living centers across the Northland. Drop them off or send them to Life 97.3 Ministry Center, 1101 E. Central Entrance, Duluth MN 55811. Call Niki Corbin or Jill Mikkelson at 888-720-9730 or email with questions.

Nearly Naked Ruck March, a fundraising event where participants walk up to 10 miles with weight in their packs, is being held March 27, on the Skyline Loop at Enger Tower. The weight represents the emotional and psychological burden veterans still carry after returning home. All the money raised from this event supports 23rd Veteran’s 14-week program (23V Recon) aimed at helping Duluth area veterans living with trauma to have happier and healthier lives. Learn more about this program at This year all event revenue and donations will be matched up to $75,000. Enjoy a day full of live music, patriotism, food and drinks throughout the course. Mic Drop Entertainment will bring the beats at Ruck Village, Luke Heikkila will be performing at the Water Stop, and The Other Place will be serving food and beer to enjoy before, during and after the ruck. All in-person ruckers will receive a piece of NNRM branded swag, a finisher's coin, and those that ruck the full 10-miles receive an ALL THE WAY patch. This event is family, stroller, and dog-friendly. This event has been planned with the pandemic in mind to keep the Nearly Naked Ruck March safe and fun for everyone. All ruckers will have their temps checked upon arrival and we will maintain social distancing with staggered start times and one-way rucking. Go to to register, volunteer or donate.

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Ayusa is a nonprofit organization that promotes global learning and leadership through cultural exchange for high school students. Ayusa seeks families in Duluth, the Iron Range and surrounding areas to host students for the 2021-22 school year. Ayusa foreign exchange students come from more than 60 countries, are fully insured, bring their own spending money, and are proficient in English. A professionally trained community representative from Ayusa works with the host family and student for the entire program, supporting student and family needs.

Host families are in a great position to show international exchange students an especially authentic slice of American life, which is one reason we are actively looking for area host families. There is no “typical” American host family. Ayusa welcomes all interested families, with or without children, from both urban and rural communities. Host families provide three meals a day and a bedroom (either private or shared). All host families must pass a criminal background check and a home visit by an Ayusa representative.

Families interested in learning more about hosting an exchange student can visit or contact Daniel Miesle, Ayusa Community Representative, at or (218) 256–8020.