Greenwood Pavilion Grand Opening — Building community in the heart of Lake Vermilion …


Greenwood Community Recreation Association members in front of the new pavilion. Picture from the left, Gene Baland, Renee Aro, Byron Beihoffer, Roger Butalla, Noreen Butalla, Dean Panian, Judy Politano, Jet Galonski and Jari Ankrum. Not pictured, Lorne Turner.

SEPTEMBER 10, 2016 —

Like an old friend, Minnesota’s famous September weather enhanced the festivities to create a perfect day. The sun was high and fluffy white cumulus clouds graced the azure skies. Temperatures rose to the high 60s and a light breeze kept everyone comfortable.

Friends, citizens and seasonal residents of Greenwood Township, the heart of the Lake Vermilion communities, gathered to enjoy the beautiful autumn Saturday afternoon and celebrate the completion of the pavilion project with good food, wine, beer and soft drinks, all of it served free. Everyone who has had the opportunity to see the new pavilion agrees that it is beyond beautiful and that the project must be declared a monumental success in every way. Built of sturdy timber framed construction, and set upon a sturdy foundation enhanced with natural stone, the pavilion will provide a place for families, friends, citizens and seasonal residents to gather for generations.

Looking over this inaugural gathering one could easily imagine the countless events which will be held in the shelter of the pavilion over the coming decades. Two hundred people attended the grand opening on Saturday. Although this celebration marks untold coming years of use, it is certainly not the first time it has been used. A couple of events were held under the pavilion and many families have already used it as its finishing touches were still being put into place. Over 200 people attended the grand opening Saturday.


“It’s about you,” Dean Panian, left, said addressing the crowd. “It’s never been about me. It’s about you … the people of Greenwood Township made this possible,” he said, referring to the success of the pavilion project. Brad “Bunkey” Skarich is pictured on the right. Mr. Skarich gave a warm tribute to Mr. Panian, representing a grass roots group of people who took it upon themselves to declare the pavilion the, “Panian Pavilion,” taking Mr. Panion quite by surprise. On Tuesday, at the Greenwood Town Board meeting, Mr. Skarich explained why he believed Mr. Panian deserved the credit and risked his ire over the dedication sign, “Anyone driving down highway 77 this summer has seen Dean working on the pavilion. You have led the way to make this possible. I know your going to be mad at me, but we appreciate everything you have done. I’m proud to call you my friend.”

More photos from the Grand Opening:

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