By Scott Carlson
A local man’s Ukrainian relief effort
As scores of people across the world donate to various charities to support the citizens of war-ravaged Ukraine, a local man has come up with a unique way to help in the disaster relief efforts.
Enter Tom Betz, 81, from the Como neighborhood and a stamp collector for close to 70 years. He has issued a semi-postal stamp with sales proceeds earmarked for Ukrainian disaster relief.
The limited edition, specially designed local stamp says “Support Ukraine,” “Como Park Post” and: “3 cents local postage +$1 Ukraine relief.” The extra charge will go to support Ukrainian disaster relief, Betz said.
People interested in buying one or more of the Ukraine local stamps should send a self-addressed, stamped envelope with a minimum $1 donation to Thomas D. Betz, 1337 Avon St. N., St. Paul, MN. 55117. You will receive a copy of the stamp on that envelope canceled with his own local post: “Como Park Post.”
Betz said that a semi-postal stamp is not real postage but more like a collectible label that stamp collectors trade among themselves and usually use as a fundraiser for worthy causes.
With the help of Scott Abbott, editor of the Local Post Collectors Society, Betz plans to have printed at least 200 of the Support Ukraine semi-postal stamps.
Asked why he has created the local stamp, Betz said, “I just don’t want to sit on my hands. I have to do something to help the Ukrainian people.”
Betz explained locally issued stamps are usually affixed to the bottom left-hand corner of envelopes, diagonally from the upper right corner, which is reserved for official postage.
Betz added that the postal club has a branch in Europe “that will likely notify members of this Ukrainian (stamp) issue, and we have a member that has a blog that I have asked to support my effort.”
This isn’t the first local stamp issued by Betz, who has been a stamp collector since age 13. He issued a local Falcon Heights stamp in 2013 when he lived there. That effort was chronicled in the January 2013 Bugle: www.parkbugle.org/229.
SAP Arts Festival coming June 4
The annual St. Anthony Park Arts Festival, which took a hiatus in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is returning this year on June 4.
This year’s featured artists are contemporary jewelry designer Louise Payjack-Guillou, Minneapolis potter David Menk, handbag creator Mariella Terbeest-Schladweiler and painter Emily Donovan.
In addition, the festival will feature a variety of musicians including Paul Seeba, who recently released “Votive,” his third album.
Other musicians performing that day will be Phil Rukavina, Sweet Rhubarb, Dan Chouinard and Ann Reed, the Ted OlsenTrio and Greg Herriges.
Look for extensive coverage on the SAP Arts Festival in the next issue of Bugle.