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Lighthouse helps others, one pancake breakfast at a time

Carlton County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Warnygora pours an orange juice for Maya Hansen, 6, during last Friday's pancake breakfast fundraiser at the Lighthouse in Cloquet. JanaPeterson/

It's not often a person gets to order a glass of juice from a sheriff's deputy in full uniform, but that's exactly what Maya Hansen, 6, did last Friday at the Lighthouse in Cloquet.

Deputy Jason Warnygora was on juice duty, while Sheriff Kelly Lake patrolled the dining room at the senior living facility, armed with a thermos container of coffee.

Lake and Warnygora were there representing the Carlton County Sheriff's Department, the latest beneficiary of the monthly pancake breakfast held at the Lighthouse of Cloquet. Lighthouse assumes all the costs - everything from pancake ingredients to advertising costs - but they give the proceeds to whatever organization or person they are spotlighting that month.

"We love to give back to the community," said Kandice Gulbranson, community relations director for the Lighthouse of Barnum and Cloquet. "If we can give back by offering people a pancake breakfast, that's great. It also gives people an opportunity to see what we do here as well. That was a bit of a gray area before."

Lighthouse has three buildings at its Cloquet site off North Road, and offers memory care, assisted living and respite (short term) care.

Turnout was excellent Friday, Gulbranson said, noting that Lighthouse was able to give the Carlton County Sheriff's Department a little more than $200 towards the purchase of an automated external defibrillator (AED) unit for a squad car.

From 8:30 to 10 a.m. Friday, May 4, Lighthouse will hold its next breakfast and will donate all proceeds to Dan "Tater Dan" Stierns, who has been with the Lighthouse "family" for several years. Stierns is currently battling cancer and the proceeds collected that day will go towards his cost of care.

Cost for each breakfast is $3 and they're open to the public.