By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The Valentine edition of “Truth Be Told” will be held in the Colfax Municipal Building auditorium’s historic Cozy Theatre February 11.
The event will feature four storytellers from the Colfax community: Jaci Ackerlund, Trevor Hovde, Lisa Hurlburt and Michelle Knutson.
Kobi Shaw and Steve Russell will be hosting “Truth Be Told,” which features “real stories told by real people.”
The Valentine edition of “Truth Be Told” follows a Halloween edition in October and a Christmas edition in December.
The “Truth Be Told” series came about after Troy Knutson, president of the Colfax Municipal Building Restoration Group, had asked Shaw and Russell for ideas pertaining to events that could be held in the municipal building to showcase the auditorium.
Shaw and Russell said they are big fans of the Moth Radio Hour on National Public Radio, which features “true stories told live,” and the rest, as they say, is history.
CMBRG has spent the last 20 years fund raising and has invested more than $100,000 upgrading the electric service at the municipal building and renovating the auditorium a few years ago.
Renovations in the auditorium included fresh paint, a professional cleaning of the stage curtains, refinishing the floor, and installing shades on the windows.
Knutson says he wants community members of all ages to enjoy the municipal building and the auditorium and to “make memories.”
The accumulated positive memories of hundreds of people will carry the building forward into the future and will ensure the preservation of the municipal building, Knutson said.
CMBRG’s current project is to raise money for an elevator in the municipal building.
The first step will be engaging with an engineering firm to determine where and how an elevator can be installed to service all of the floors in the building from the basement, to the police department, to the main floor, to the auditorium.
Patient and kind
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love can also be heartbreaking. And love can be funny at times.
The four storytellers will focus on some aspect of love for the Valentine edition of Truth Be Told.
Jaci (Bjurquist) Ackerlund was raised in Colfax and graduated from Colfax High School in 1995.
She is the daughter of Kathy and Lee Bjurquist. Kathy was a teacher, and Lee was district administrator for the Colfax school district.
The Bjurquists purchased the Viking Bowl, and Jaci and her family returned to Colfax in 2007 to help her parents’ with their new business.
Jaci has known tremendous heartache and grief, including the death of her first husband and their child in a head-on car crash and her second husband’s gambling addiction.
Jaci recently remarried and says she now understands “true love. It is pure, honest and easy. There is an appreciation for every day we have together,” Jaci wrote in her biography.
Trevor Hovde is the principal at Colfax Elementary where his wife, Nancy, teaches third grade.
The Hovdes have four sons, Tucker (20), Ty (18), Trey (17) and Theodore (12).
Trevor was raised on a dairy farm in northern Wisconsin, and he has 11 brothers and sisters.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from UW-La Crosse, and he earned a Master’s degree in educational leadership from Winona State University in Minnesota.
One interesting fact is that his mother, Jeanne W. Hovde, was a Wisconsin author who had three of her fiction stories published: “Winter of the White-Tail Buck,” “Bobcat,” and “A Horse for Cassie.”
“How do you turn the raunchiest piece of everything into the best piece of anything?” Trevor asks.
“I’m not sure, but my mother knew how to to do it,” he said.
Trevor’s story focuses on the impact of his mother’s love and the importance of putting unselfish love into practice.
Lisa Bragg-Hurlburt is the director of the Colfax Public Library.
She is originally from Rhinelander, “Home of the Hodag,” and has lived in Colfax with her family for about 10 years.
She and her husband, Jon, have three children who have attended school in Colfax. She also has three grown stepchildren and three grandsons.
Lisa enjoys reading, going to thrift sales, collecting “treasures,” and decorating her house. She and her husband enjoy raising a big vegetable garden, and they like to camp and spend time with their children whenever the opportunity is available.
Lisa’s love story is with books.
“These days I like to read about how things work, how things fit together, and what things mean,” she said.
Lisa also wants to help others and focuses on how she can interest them in the important endeavor of the reading that is so important to her “love story.”
Michelle Knutson is a history teacher at New Richmond High School.
She has lived in Colfax since 2012 and is married to Troy Knutson.
“I love to read, listen to music (especially Hickory!), play cards and board games, travel, watch movies, spend time with friends and family, and anything Troy wants to do,” Michelle said.
Her story is about “love in the auditorium.”
Truth Be Told
The Valentine edition of Truth Be Told is free and open to the public.
The event begins at 5:45 p.m. Sunday, February 11, with special music by the Colfax High School choir under the direction of Carrie Christensen.
The featured storytellers will begin their stories at 6 p.m.
Although the event is free and open to the public, CMBRG will gratefully accept any donations toward the elevator if someone is so inclined.
Concessions will be provided by the Colfax Commercial Club.