As I write this column, the Wahpeton High School Chamber Choir is on its way to our state capital to sing at the opening of the 66th Legislative Assembly. 

It’s quite an honor for both the choir and the city. I love that the name Wahpeton will be stated proudly at the capital. And I know it will, because I know the choir will perform with its usual brilliance.

Twenty-eighteen was another good year for the city in terms of grants and donations received throughout the year. Here’s a breakdown of how that looked:

The Police Department received over $19,000 in grants from the North Dakota Department of Transportation, the Department of Justice, and more; the Fire Department secured more than $206,000 in grants and donations, with a large sum coming from a Federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant; the Leach Public Library received just under $19,000; and the city received more than $26,000 for various projects, including the 150th celebrations.

That’s a lot of work on behalf of the city to write grant requests and obtain donations. Thank you to all who played a part in helping the city find these funds.

And a thank you goes out to the community as a whole for its response to a number of needs last year. I’ve talked about them in previous columns, but the latest is the 556 pairs of socks that were donated to the Leach Public Library, which in turn gave the socks to Three Rivers Crisis Center. That’s an impressive count. Tis the season for giving, and you gave in abundance!

I look forward to a very fun, busy, and exciting 2019.

And speaking of exciting, who’s looking forward to January 26? That’s the day the Wahpeton and Breckenridge high school basketball teams (boys and girls) face of in a day-long, cross-town rivalry that has to be held at the NDSCS Activities Center in order to contain it. It’s a great day of competition, comradery, and community spirit. And alliteration.

That’s also my mom’s birthday. Happy birthday, mom!


Chris DeVries is the Community Development Director for the city of Wahpeton. He can be reached at 701-591-2109 or


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