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Group plans picnic to welcome area interns

BEMIDJI — With the influx of students, both local and abroad, gathering here to complete internships, area businesses are sponsoring an intern social to welcome the newly arrived work force.

Bemidji Leads!, the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce, Intern Bemidji, Greater Bemidji and Visit Bemidji are inviting interns to a picnic and social at the Diamond Point Park Pavilion on Tuesday as a way for interns to meet one another and to also learn more about the city and surrounding region.

Dave Hengel, of Bemidji Leads!, has been involved in organizing Tuesday’s event since the idea was first suggested.

"We (Bemidji Leads) had talked at length on promoting talent the interns bring here, and we wanted to make them feel welcome," Hengel said.

The free event starts at 5 p.m. and runs until 6:30 p.m., with food and beverages provided by the sponsors.

Helping to promote the intern social, Lori Paris, president of the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce, said the gathering is designed to share information with others.

"This will be an opportunity to get the various interns together who may or may not be from the area and might not be familiar with the Bemidji area to talk and connect," Paris said. "All our Bemidji interns have a commonality, and so this will be a chance for them to spread their wings and do some networking."

With an innumerable amount of interns in the area, Hengel said it’s hard to estimate Tuesday’s turnout, but is hopeful interns will learn of the event through e-invitations sent to businesses and posted on social networking sites.

"I want the interns to get comfortable with the area, with other interns and with people from the area," Hengel said.

Aside from a picnic and opportunity for interns to meet one antoerh, Hengel said area business leaders will be in attendance to share information about the city and what makes it unique.

"I want them to fall in love with Bemidji and maybe even consider staying here."