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'Welcome Wagon' sends gift bags to newcomers

Connie Vandermay/FOCUS Bob Beseman kicked off the Perham Welcome Wagon three years ago through Lakes Area Networking. An average of five gift bags a month (shown at left) are delivered.

There's a Welcome Wagon in Perham that delivers bags of goodies to the newbies in town.

The gift bags contain coupons, magazines and other information about Perham, as well as a phone book and other helpful supplies from local businesses.

The man behind the bags is Bob Beseman, who has been packaging and delivering them for the last three years.

Beseman served in the Perham Chamber of Commerce at one time, where the idea of a new-to-town gift basket or bag first came to light. The Chamber office didn't have the staff to pull it off at the time, so when Beseman started Lakes Area Networking, he offered to pick up the service.

Beseman relies on the community to inform him of new residents. Anyone can call or email the Chamber office or Lakes Area Networking to request a bag for someone new in town.

The bags aren't just for people within Perham city limits, either. Beseman considers the school district boundaries as part of the area, and has sent many baskets into Ottertail and the surrounding countryside.

Right now, Lakes Area Networking delivers an average of five packages a month.

Those who know of a person or family that recently moved to the area can go to to let the Welcome Wagon know.