Building Community Through Adventure: St. Patrick’s Day Gathering Supports New Nonprofit

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In the centuries since Saint Patrick’s death (which is believed to have occurred on March 17, 461), the mythology surrounding his life has become increasingly entrenched in Irish culture.

Perhaps the best known legend is that he explained the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) using the three leaves of a native Irish clover, the Shamrock.

On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families traditionally went to church in the morning and celebrated in the afternoon. Lenten bans on eating meat were lifted and people were dancing, drinking and feasting on the traditional meal of bacon and Irish cabbage. Corned beef has replaced bacon at most festivals, but cabbage remains with potatoes and soda bread in many cases.

That being said, we’ve come to know it as a loud event but all in good spirits with green beer and wearing pixie hats and green accessories.

Not necessarily known as a family event, it changes this year to the Old High School Gymnasium from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Thursday, March 17. This is an open invitation to individuals, couples, families and people new to Mineral County to meet and socialize while eating, drinking and having fun at what is called the Indoor Beer Garden Party.

It will be inspired by a European beer garden with a touch of a Montana brewery. Indoor cornhole, music, pub trivia, adult games, children’s games, face painting, corned beef and cabbage, and a hostless beer bar plus Irish drinks for sale, sponsored by 4-Aces Bar.

This is organized by the new non-profit club, Mineral County Rec Club, whose slogan is “Building Community Through Adventure”.

“Growing up at Superior was a dream come true for me with all the outdoor activities we had,” recalls Andrew M. Hanson, aka Andy or Drew Hanson. “I was born and lived here until the end of the seventh year. Both of my parents are from here and graduated in 1967. My family owned Hanson Oil which was on top of the hill where Cenex operated. My mother’s parents, the Whitcombs, owned a motel and gas station in Forest Grove.”

Even after leaving the area, Hanson remained connected to hobbies and people. Today, he and his family live in Superior while he works remotely for Simpson Strong-Tie based in Pleasanton, Calif., as an instructional designer, and his wife, Debbie, teaches kindergarten at Superior Elementary. School.

“I was looking forward to sharing some of the experiences I had growing up with my two boys. However, things have changed. The pool had to be removed due to irreparable problems, some events stopped working and skiing -bus was not going to the mountain (Lookout Pass),” he said.

It happens, and in most cases it hurts. Good memories may not be repeated, but new memories can be created with the right people and the right attitudes.

“With a lot of support from colleges and a number of interested families, we launched a great idea: the Mineral County Rec Club,” smiles Hanson.

It is a 501C (3) with many ideas such as camps, clinics on fly fishing, kayaking, mountain biking and cross country skiing. The organization will support community events focused on recreation and sport and help develop new activities.

Hanson sits on the Mineral County Community Foundation and is part of their Pool in the Park Committee as the replacement of the pool at Eva Horning Park has been going full steam ahead for the past few years.

“We have one of the best outdoor access in the world,” he shares. “We have communities that embrace adventure. Hopefully, by organizing ourselves in this way, we can create experiences that are affordable for everyone. We can connect local families and children to resources they don’t may not have access. This is not a short or small mission, but one that will be long lasting and help grow the economy, connect residents and be fun.

The First Indoor Beer Garden Party is an effort to raise funds ($10 for individual entry and $25 for a family), hold a community function, and show off an exciting new club.

“It’s an event for everyone and I hope it can become part of our county’s culture in the future. With all the inevitable changes coming our way and we face divided times, coming together around common goals and beer sounds good. I don’t think anyone wants to lose the feel of Mineral County. We love the fabrics of our towns. So it’s important to get involved and make sure that our heritage lives on as our county evolves,” Hanson said.

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