Howard Lake Organizations

Information updated October 2019

Howard Lake Orphans

The Howard Lake Orphans are an amateur baseball team that competes in the North Star League. They have had 25 straight years of winning baseball since the team was restarted in 1995, and have qualified for the Amateur State Tournament in 12 of the past 14 years.  Home games are played at Memorial Park.

The game schedule begins the first weekend in May, and could last as long as the Amateur State Championship, which concludes by Labor Day. The Orphan’s games also feature announcers, music, and scoreboard operators.

The Orphans manager is Mike Dockendorf. Assistant coaches are Shane Heber, Mike Kittock, and Chris Bickmann.

The Orphans rely on a group of volunteers to operate a concession stand to enhance a fun, family atmosphere for spectators to enjoy during afternoon or evening games.

The Orphans organization shares maintenance responsibilities with the City of Howard Lake for the Memorial Park Baseball Field.

The 2020 schedule and roster will be posted at

American Legion Post 145

The American Legion was established in 1922, as a national organization of veterans of all wars to serve God, country, and their communities, to ensure the freedoms that were fought for do not get taken away.

The American Legion conducts Memorial Day and Veterans Day observances each year. It sponsors Boys and Girls State, Boys and Girls County, Legion baseball, high school programs, and scholarships.

The Legion in Howard Lake conducts charitable gambling to raise funds to assist veterans in a variety of ways.

The Legion also provides military funeral honors for deceased veterans. The Legion sells flags, and collects old flags for proper disposal.

The local post meets the second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m.

Current officers are Legion Commander and Chairman of the Board Ed Johnson, Vice President Gary Schmidt, adjutant Josh Harincar, treasurer PJ Luhman, and gambling manager Russ Gausman. Board members are: Dave Thompson, Marvin Robertson, PJ Luhman, Josh Harincar, Bruce Dahl, Doug Frykholm, and Russ Gausman.

There are about 115 members. Membership dues are $37 a year. You must be an honorably discharged member of the Armed Forces, who served more than 90 days during a specific period, to become a member.

Legion Auxiliary

The American Legion Auxiliary was organized in 1922, to promote patriotism. There are about 51 members who meet the third Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Howard Lake American Legion hall.

The auxiliary’s annual events include Poppy Day, Memorial Day and Veterans Day observances, volunteering at the VA Hospital in St. Cloud by doing monthly tray favors and collecting paperback books, volunteering to help veterans at Good Samaritan in Howard Lake, sending care packages to local Armed Forces enlisted personnel, and sponsoring a college scholarship.

Officers are Jean Schmidt, president 320-543-2904; Deb Workman, treasurer 763-843-6572; and Birdie Johnson, secretary.

Membership dues are $30. To join, call Deb Workman or Jean Schmidt. Members may be a wife, mother, daughter, sister, granddaughter, or great-granddaughter of a member of the American Legion.

Sons of the American Legion

The Sons of the American Legion was created in 1932, as an organization within the American Legion. Members include boys and men of all ages whose parents or grandparents served in the US Armed Forces and are eligible to belong to the American Legion. The organization assists the American Legion with their programs, promotes American traditions and values, improves the quality of life for the nation’s children, and teaches the fundamentals of good citizenship.

The Howard Lake Sons of the American Legion Squadron 145 was chartered in 2000, and currently has 31 members. Meetings take place the second Thursday of each month after the Legion meeting, about 8 p.m., at the Howard Lake American Legion hall. Kirk Jensen is the commander, Todd Anderson is the adjutant/secretary, and Russ Gausman is the treasurer.

Dues are $20 per year, or $10 for members under the age of 18 and those who belong to the American Legion. For more information, call 320-543-2554.

Sons of the American Legion

The Sons of the American Legion was created in 1932, as an organization within the American Legion. Members include boys and men of all ages whose parents or grandparents served in the US Armed Forces and are eligible to belong to the American Legion. The organization assists the American Legion with their programs, promotes American traditions and values, improves the quality of life for the nation’s children, and teaches the fundamentals of good citizenship.

The Howard Lake Sons of the American Legion Squadron 145 was chartered in 2000, and currently has 31 members. Meetings take place the second Thursday of each month after the Legion meeting, about 8 p.m., at the Howard Lake American Legion hall. Kirk Jensen is the commander, Todd Anderson is the adjutant/secretary, and Russ Gausman is the treasurer.

Dues are $20 per year, or $10 for members under the age of 18 and those who belong to the American Legion. For more information, call 320-543-2554.

Good Samaritan Society Auxiliary

The Good Samaritan Society Auxiliary was organized in 1972. The auxiliary meets quarterly at the Good Samaritan Society-Howard Lake Care Center. It supports the center’s mission to share God’s love in word and deed by providing shelter and supportive services to older persons and others in need, believing that “in Christ’s love, everyone is someone.”

The main fundraiser of the group is the root beer float stand at Good Neighbor Days each year. Money raised at fundraisers support various needs of the residents. Throughout the years, the Auxiliary has purchased a large-screen television, a beautiful gazebo, and remodeled a room to use as a beauty shop. Most recently, money raised by the Auxiliary was used for a new AED machine, front door with automatic openers for the building, and a beautiful handmade wooden altar for the chapel. They continue to raise money for the facility bus, including a back-up camera and repairs.

New members are always welcome. If you are interested in joining, call Good Samaritan Society-Howard Lake at 320-543-4403, email Taylor Duesterhoeft at, or write 413 13th Ave., Howard Lake, MN 55349.

Howard Lake Lions

The Howard Lake Lions Club was chartered in 1978.  As part of Lions International, the Howard Lake Lions are dedicated to service projects in the community, across the US, and around the world.

The club currently has 33 members and meets at the Lions Hall at 625 8th St., the third Thursdays of each month at 7 p.m.

The club is devoted to drug awareness, diabetes awareness, conservation of hearing and sight, citizenship, education, environment, youth recreation, health, and international and social services. The Lions host a youth center Saturday nights at their meeting hall. The meeting hall has a pool table, foosball table, air hockey, video games, and other fun games and projects. All youth are encouraged to attend. The Lions serve pizzas and pop, and other snacks. A nominal fee is asked to help defray some of the expenses.

Some of the Howard Lake Lions Club’s accomplishments include Silent Santa, high school scholarships, donations to various local youth sports organizations, youth groups,  needy families in the community, and several contributions to other charitable causes.

Current officers are Judy Mattson, president; Gary Hagemann, vice president; Craig Brose, 2nd vice president; Jeff Wick, 3rd vice president; Terry Thorson, secretary; and Karen Hill, treasurer.

Membership dues are $60 per year.  Members are required to be involved in at least four Lions functions per year.  Attending meetings and/or participating in various Lions functions will meet these requirements. To join, contact a Lions Club member, or visit the Lions website at

Senior Citizen Club

The Howard Lake Senior Citizens Club has been dedicated to providing seniors with a sociable and friendly place to meet since 1969. The group, which includes about 20 members, meets every Friday in the Howard Lake Community Center.

The group takes trips during the year, including visiting the county and state fairs. They also promote the Outstanding Senior of the Year program. Officers are Myron Lahr, president; Burton Horsch, secretary; and Joyce Heuer, treasurer. There are monthly dues of $1.50. New members are always welcome. Anyone who enjoys playing cards is encourged join. For more information, call Myron Lahr at 320-543-3068.

Howard Lake City Hall Restoration Committee

Collector, protector and source of historical information about Howard Lake and most specifically, its signature, fully renovated 1904 historic city hall building located in the heart of downtown, now known as the South Shore Event Center.

This adhoc group is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the historic Howard Lake city hall facility through fundraising and seeking donations and grants, as well as, seeking to advance awareness and education of our community’s history through print and digital publications.

To book your event or for more information, please contact Nick Haggenmiller, city administrator, at or 320-543-3670.

Lakes and Prairie Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts encourage girls to experience new activities, develop team-building skills, explore and develop leadership skills, and be service-oriented in their community, county, and nation.

In Girl Scouts, there’s a whole world of opportunities waiting just for you!  You’ll always get to think big, try new things, and unleash your inner leader in an all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment.

The Lakes & Prairies Service unit encompasses the communities of Howard Lake, Lester Prairie, Waverly, and Winsted.  Troops will be formed potentially in all communities or based on school districts.

We are served by the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valley Council.

Girls meet every two to four weeks at the discretion of the troop leader, and are welcome to join any time during the year by paying the $25 registration fee, or grant money will be provided on a no-questions asked basis to cover all fees.

You can register at any point in the year, but typically it is in August/September timeframe.

Annually, the Girl Scouts participate in a Court of Awards ceremony, cookie sale campaign, and various service unit events, as well as other area and council events. Girl Scouts is open to all girls in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Program information is available at

For local information, contact service unit manager Lisa Baumann at 320-582-2623, or

Lake Mary Homeowners Association

Lake Mary Homeowners Association and all other lakeshore homeowners in the state of Minnesota have been challenged with addressing the threat of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS).

Fortunately for Lake Mary, it has only been infested with one AIS weed, known as curly-leaf pondweed, and it is the association’s goal to keep it that way. Past experience in Minnesota has shown that elimination of curly-leaf pondweed from lakes is not realistic.

Therefore, Lake Mary Homeowners Association is faced with very expensive methods of control, and is teaming up with PLM Lake Management Corp. to determine the best and most cost-effective way to treat. With limited amount of funding available from the state and government levels, the group has gotten creative with different fundraising events. One-hundred percent of all money raised goes to lake improvements.

Thirty-five members of the Lake Mary Homeowners Association participated in training with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to be volunteers for the clean-in, clean-out program. The training was put to good use this summer at the sportsmen’s landing on Lake Mary. The public and many cabin owners on the lake have been educated on how important “Clean, Drain, Dry” is to help prevent the spread of AIS. The association’s goal is to continue to educate the public on all recreational use of the lake. Experts have determined the best line of defense for AIS is inspecting watercraft at the landings. Please help do your part and remember to be “Clean In and Clean Out.”

The organization fosters an increase in lake quality in an environmentally safe manner, and monitors Lake Mary’s water quality. For more information, contact Joe Hartung at

HLWW High School After Prom Party

The HLWW After Prom Party organization was formed in fall 1988, to provide a safe form of entertainment for Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted High School juniors and seniors and their dates on prom night. The first after-prom party took place in 1989, and has seen a steady increase in attendance every year since then. The students enjoy an all-night party with food, fun, wonderful prizes, and entertainment.

This is a volunteer group that hosts many annual fundraisers, which include bingo during Good Neighbor Days, bake sales at the Howard Lake annual craft and art expo in November and the Business Expo in the spring, a concession stand at home football games, and an annual fall garage sale.

Anyone interested in helping is welcome. Meetings take place in the commons area at the HLWW High School.

Lake Ann Improvement Association

The Lake Ann Improvement Association was originally incorporated in 1984. In 2003, it was newly incorporated and reorganized with new by-laws and board members. The objectives of the association are to protect, restore, and preserve the water quality of the lake and its watershed, thereby enhancing the watershed community. Lake Ann is located between Howard Lake and Winsted, east of Wright County Road 6. There are 74 property owners who own land surrounding the lakeshore.

In its efforts to preserve and restore the lake, the original association succeeded in establishing a public landing and  stocking walleye in the lake. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Lake Ann Improvement Association alternate stocking the lake with walleye.

In 1996, the association participated in the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency-sponsored Lake Assessment Program (LAP), which refocused the association’s lake management activities. As part of the LAP study, the association has been successful at bringing septic systems around the lake into compliance. Since 1996, the association has continued to monitor precipitation records and DNR lake levels, reporting them to the state.

The association helped initiate the Wright County Lakes Monitoring Program in 1999, now in its 19th year. It monitors water clarity and sponsors testing for algae and phosphorous in the lake.

Annual summer meetings and other events keep the community educated about association activities and goals. Wright Soil and Water Commission received a grant to complete soil testing on watershed farmland in order to test variable fertilizer application, which will reduce the mineral content of agricultural runoff. The Lake Ann Improvement Association has received additional DNR grants to control curly leaf pondweed in the lake for the last six years. Grant applications are being considered for other projects to control excess nutrients, such as phosphorous which enters the lake from drainage ditches. The association does periodic carp seining.

The association has cooperated with farmers and the Soil Water Conservation District (SWCD) to install various french drains and other diversions to minimize agricultural runoff into the streams and lakes, which earned the association the Outstanding Wright County Conservation Cooperator of the Year Award from the Minnesota Association of SWCD in 2000.

The association’s board of directors meets the second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. For more information, or to become a member, contact association president Gerry McMillan at 952-657-2207. Annual membership dues are $50.

HL Area Chamber of Commerce

The mission of the Howard Lake Area Chamber of Commerce (HLACC) is to promote a thriving community in the Howard Lake area.

The Chamber seeks to cultivate new opportunities to establish Howard Lake as the premier destination for businesses, customers, and families. It provides innovative solutions and resources through social networking and business development, to enhance the quality of life and economic growth in the Howard Lake area.

The chamber sponsors a business expo each spring, which attracts more than 1,000 visitors. Revenue from the business expo, an annual fall harvest fundraiser, along with membership dues, provides the chamber with the financial resources to support community events, such as Good Neighbor Days, and to provide new business grants and royalty scholarships.

There are currently about 35 members.

If you are a business owner or official, or potential business owner in Howard Lake area, you are encouraged to join the chamber; the first lunch is free.  The Chamber meets at the Howard Lake Legion the third Wednesday of every month.

The chamber provides a great outlet for networking, staying abreast of community issues, and opportunities to give back to the community.

For more information, contact Bonnie at 320-543-2650;  email:; or check out the chamber website at

Howard Lake Farmers Market

The Howard Lake Farmers Market (HLFM) takes place each Thursday, June through October, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Lions Park, alongside beautiful Howard Lake and US Highway 12.

The market is a family-friendly event that features live music, Power of Produce (PoP) Club events, fresh produce, baked goods, and other artisan and handmade items – to create a fun and welcoming environment in support of locally grown and produced items. HLFM supports the FFA and offers kids’ activities, including rock-painting and eating healthy education.

Local 4-H Organizations

4-H is a youth organization for youth ages kindergarten through one year post-high school.  4-H focuses on leadership, citizenship, and life skills through project-based learning, with a variety of fun activities and events throughout the year. There are 19 4-H clubs in Wright County, open to all youth, wherever they live, from all backgrounds and interests. The Wright County 4-H program is part of the University of Minnesota Extension.

If you would like to know more about 4-H, you are encouraged to visit a 4-H club meeting in your area.  Club meeting times, dates, and locations may vary so please contact the 4-H club leader before attending to confirm the next meeting details.

• Marysville Merrymakers 4-H Club – meets the third Sunday of the month at 6 p.m. at the Howard Lake Community Center.  For more information, contact Nicole Karnes at 952-500-0034.

• Woodland Woodettes 4-H Club – meets the second Sunday of the month at 6 p.m. at the Oster Covenant Church.  For more information, contact Merle Friesen at 612-741-0131.

• Sunrise 4-H Club – meets the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at Victor Town Hall. For more information, contact Rachel Bender at 612-282-9246.

• Handy Dandy 4-H Club – meets the third Sunday of the month at 4 p.m. at the Howard Lake Community Center.  For more information, contact Joy Decker at 612-978-0296.

Whether it be shooting sports, engineering, fine arts, or other interests, Wright County 4-H has something to offer every family and youth members. For more information, contact Kelly Strei at or 763-682-7394.  Find us on Facebook or Instagram to learn more.


The Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted FFA Alumni was started in 1980, to help support the local FFA chapter and the agriculture department at HLWW High School.

The group, currently numbering about 65 members, meets the third Wednesday of each month at 8 p.m. in the high school ag room.

The group’s annual events include an auction in August, monthly meetings the third Wednesday of each month, and a picnic in July. The group has funded a variety of projects for the agricultural education department.  FFA members benefit from their mentorship and from scholarships sponsored by the FFA Alumni.

Membership dues are $30 per year, $125 for Minnesota lifetime membership, or $150 for a national lifetime membership. Potential members must have a willingness to support high school agriculture.

To join, contact the officers, advisors Jim Weninger or Seena Glessing, or call the high school ag department at 320-543-4614.

Ducks Unlimited

The Crow River Chapter of Minnesota Ducks Unlimited supports Cokato, Howard Lake, Montrose, Waverly, and the Winsted areas. The chapter hosts an annual membership banquet each spring, which currently consists of 180 members.

Since 1990, this chapter has raised more than $700,000 for conservation and wetland habitat. Eighty-two percent of DU’s expenditures are converted directly to conservation work. Some local projects that have benefited from these dollars would include Smith Lake (located two miles west of Howard Lake on Co. Rd. 5), Malardi Marsh MWA (located one mile north of Montrose on Meridian Avenue), Victor PWA (located three miles southwest of Howard Lake on Co. Rd. 5 SW), and Shakopee Lake (located eight miles west of Winsted on Platt Ave. SW).

If you are interested in finding out more about your local chapter, contact Zone Chairman Scott Schmidt at 612-875-8158, or You can also check out the chapter’s Facebook page (Ducks Unlimited-Crow River Chapter) or the DU website,, for more information.

Cub Scouts Pack 399

Cub Scouting is a family program that provides an opportunity for boys and girls to build character and leadership skills, while also participating in exciting adventures. Adventures may include: fall camp-outs, Spooky-Ree, Camporee, rock climbing, archery, biking, hiking, family camp, day camps, Pinewood Derby races, winter/summer parades, and many other activities.

In the Pack, Scouts also learn the importance of being a good citizen and making a difference in their communities, such as participating in Memorial Day services and the annual lakeshore cleanup around Howard Lake and Winsted Lake.

Cub Scout Pack 399 serves Howard Lake, Lester Prairie, Winsted, Waverly, and surrounding areas.

Boys and girls in kindergarten through fifth grade are eligible to join. If you are interested in joining Cub Scouts, email Check out the Facebook page by searching under Cub Scout Pack 399.

HLWW Boy Scouts, Troop 399

Scouts BSA Troops 399 and 5399 serve the greater Waverly, Howard Lake, Winsted, and Lester Prairie area.

Through its patrol meetings and troop activities, the Scouts work to develop the character, citizenship, and personal fitness of area youth.

The group has seen a steady growth in membership in the past 10 years. As an active troop, they participate in spring and fall camporees, go-karting, zip lining, skiing, canoeing, taking part in area civic events, and developing winter survival skills.

Each summer, they attend a week-long Scout camp, which provides Scouts the opportunity for such activities as sailing, archery, tower climbing, obstacle courses, and fishing.

Annually, they sell malts at the Wright County Fair, Christmas wreaths, and popcorn.

Steve Goebel (612-245-7157) is Scoutmaster, Jon Hucker and David Groff are the assistant Scoutmasters for the Scouts BSA Boy Troop 399, and Mandy Busse (612-418-2223) is the Scoutmaster for Scouts BSA Girl Troop 5399. Janeen Hucker is membership coordinator (320-310-3694).

Membership is open to boys and girls who have completed the fifth grade, earned the Arrow of Light Award, or are 11 years old, but not yet 18. The Scouts usually meet two to four times a month.

Howard Lake Sportsmen's Club

The Howard Lake Sportsmen’s Club was formed more than 50 years ago, to protect and maintain the natural resources in the area. Meetings take place at the Howard Lake Legion. Dates and times of these meetings are announced in the Herald Journal.

One of the group’s most recent accomplishments was working with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Ducks Unlimited to secure Legacy Amendment funds to restore Smith Lake, a shallow lake west of Howard Lake. A fish barrier was installed to keep fish from entering Smith Lake from its outlet, and a water control structure was installed to allow the DNR to control lake levels. The lake was drained during winter 2010-11. By fall 2012, it was attracting large populations of migrating waterfowl, much as it did more than 50 years ago.

Other major accomplishments of the group include land develop.m.ent in the Fish and Wildlife “Victor” project, purchasing two new aluminum docks for Lions Park and the north landing, and providing materials and equip.m.ent for the Howard Lake rearing pond. Events put on by the club include the winter fishing contest, helping to run the summer fishing contest, firearm safety training, and helping to fund Deep Portage.

The Sportsmen’s Club is a sponsor for Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever, as well as the NRA and the Deer Hunters Association. In addition, the club donates to the Cub Scouts to clean the lakeshore, and takes care of the carp trap on the south side of Howard Lake and the boat landing on the north end.

Officers are Dennis Decker, president; Ken Durdahl, secretary; and Kurt Forst, treasurer.

Membership dues are $10. Contact Denny Decker at 612-703-7824, or Joe’s Sport Shop for membership information. Write to the club at PO Box 805, Howard Lake, MN 55349.

Lake Mary VFW Auxiliary

The Lake Mary VFW Auxiliary 9232, chartered in 1963, supports many veterans projects, including the annual Troops Coming Home recognition event in McLeod County, Cancer Aid & Research, McLeod Emergency Food Shelf, four veterans’ hospitals, and five veterans’ homes. Its primary fundraiser is a chili feed, which takes place in January.

Meetings take place the second Thursday of each month at 2:30 p.m. at the American Legion in Winsted. For more information, call President Judy Pease at 619-261-4809, Secretary Mary Quast at 320-485-3831, or Treasurer Rhonda Decker at 763-242-9383.

Love INC - Heartland

Love In the Name of Christ (Love INC)-Heartland is a shared ministry in partnership with over 50 area churches, working together to help people in need. Love INC-Heartland serves people living in Delano, Independence, Loretto, Greenfield, Rockford, Mayer, Montrose, Howard Lake, Waverly, Watertown, Corcoran, Cokato, Dassel, Winsted, and Maple Plain.

The Thrift Store in Delano is located at 318 Railroad Ave., serves people in need, and sells to the general public to support the ministry of Love INC-Heartland.

The Howard Lake Thrift Store is also open to the public and serves neighbors in need, and is located at 801 Hwy. 12.

Last year, hundreds of families and people in need were helped through the combined effort of community volunteers and donations of time, items, money and prayer. Classes and programs are offered to help families move beyond their struggles towards self-sufficiency.

Financial donations and donations of items (new and gently used) are always welcome.

To donate furniture and items, call the store manager at 763-972-6547 ext. 2, and arrange for a time to drop off your donation. The organization is unable to take furniture that has holes, stains, bad scratches, odors, or pet damage; nor electronics and mattresses of any kind. It costs money to dispose of these items, and that takes funds away from the mission to help families in need. Contact LoveINC. for a list of items they cannot accept.

Monetary contributions, items, and clothing to be sold in the thrift stores, prayers said on the organization’s behalf, and volunteer work are always appreciated. To volunteer or for more information, call 763-972-6547 ext. 3. Both stores and offices share this same phone number.

Howard Lake Watershed Alliance

The goal of the Howard Lake Watershed Alliance is to help protect, maintain, and enhance the waters of, and surrounding watershed for Howard Lake. The organization provides educational resources, activities, and tasks to achieve this goal. Information is shared through local cable television and newspaper articles, as well as meetings and newsletters.

The original lake association was deeply concerned with the water quality of Howard Lake. In early 2002, Howard Lake was accepted into a joint study venture with Wright Soil and Water Conservation District and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, which includes the watershed area, as well as the lake. As a result of this broadening venture, the group’s bylaws and incorporation were amended in 2004, and the group was renamed the Howard Lake Watershed Alliance. This action promoted the group to become more focused on total lake and watershed management.

The lake has been monitored since 2000, for trends in clarity and nutrient loading. In 2003, a program to control nuisance aquatic vegetation was initiated. Grants were received in 2007 and 2011, to determine how invasive aquatic species and their treatment were affecting native aquatic vegetation. At present,  Eurasian milfoil is being treated every other year.

The alliance’s goals are met through voluntary efforts.  The alliance welcomes energetic volunteers.  The board of directors meets quarterly, with an annual meeting in May. A newsletter is published two times per year. Contact Curt Forst at 320-543-3736 for further information concerning the Howard Lake Watershed Alliance.

Howard Lake Friends of the Library

The Howard Lake Friends of the Library has been supporting library programs since 2004. There are about 30 members, and they work to bring public awareness to all the programs and services offered through the Howard Lake Library. Meetings take place the second Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. at the library. To join, or for more information, call the Howard Lake Library at 320-543-2020.