Helget is speaker, honoree at Women’s History Luncheon

NEW ULM – Nicole Helget, a Sleepy Eye native and author, will be both the guest speaker and the honoree as Women’s History Woman of the Year, at the annual Women’s History Luncheon, to held at noon on Saturday, March 15 at the New Ulm Country Club.

Helget is being recognized for her contributions to literature, historical fiction and the understanding of Minnesota history, says nomination documentation.

At the upcoming event, Helget will speak about her career and past and future books.

Helget is a writer, teacher and mother. She lives with her family in North Mankato. Helget recently released her third book, “Stillwater,” set in the eponymous Minnesota city during the Civil War. The plot of the book centers around fraternal twins, separated at birth, who live very different lives surrounded by fur traders, loggers, freed men and other richly drawn historical characters.

Helget’s other books, the memoir “A Summer of Ordinary Ways” and the fictional “The Turtle Catcher,” are set in southern Minnesota. She is already at work on her next release, due out in 2015.

Helget credits Minnesota historian William Lass for encouraging her interest in history when she studied at Minnesota State University.

She taught English literature at Cathedral High School in New Ulm before becoming an author.

Helget’s close connections to the area – and the fact she is a nationally-known, award-winning author with an upcoming book – were some of the reasons behind her nomination, explained organizers of the Women’s History Luncheon.

Helget’s selection fits in with the event’s purpose: to recognize women with strong connections to Brown County for significant achievements in a specific professional or leadership field.

Over time, the annual event, first started in 1987, has recognized women with contributions to fields as diverse as the arts, law, agriculture, medicine, education, community leadership, etc., recapped organizers.

Honorees include individuals (such as a physician who worked with Doctors without Borders, Dr. Laurel Gamm) or groups (such as teachers who taught in one-room school houses, or the graduates of the Union Hospital School of Practical Nursing).

The nominees are selected by a committee that often reaches out to the public for suggestions or information about potential honorees and speakers.

Tickets are available in advance only at the Brown County Historical Society, located at 2 N. Minnesota St., for $12. Call 507-233-2616 for reservations or additional information.

Dan Gislason and the Gislason family are sponsoring the women’s history speaker in memory of Dan’s mother, Marjorie Gislason.

For additional information, call Meghan Irwin at 233-2616 or Vicki Pieser at 354-6891.

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