WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 27, 2012, 10:24 AM

Beautiful Woman Of: The Beauty of Joy

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Some people create happiness wherever they go. That's the case for Forum Communications next Beauty Woman, who might be familiar to you, especially if you have kids.

By: Kerstin Kealy, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Some people create happiness wherever they go. That's the case for Forum Communications next Beauty Woman, who might be familiar to you, especially if you have kids.

She wiggles, giggles and sings; Penny Andrist touches the lives of all with her constant kindness, especially the youngest among us. Our Beautiful women team caught up with Penny at her north Fargo home, where she entertained us with her positivity, energy, and wit. She represents the Beauty of Joy.

If you have kids, you likely know her and her famous friends. Penny and her pals, The Penguin, Bernie the Bear and The Rocking Robot have traveled the region for more than 2 decades, putting smiles on children's faces.

Penny Andrist: “It's the best kind of love there is.”

With no children of her own, Penny Andrist has adopted all of our kids to teach them to embrace their differences, follow their dreams and be the best me they can be.

Penny Andrist: “You are amazing the way you are. You have a special place, special role in this world. Go out there and do it.”

It was a courageous leap of faith that brought her to today.

Penny Andrist: “Even to start writing and singing was hard for me, but it's just different with them, with kids.”

This once shy child from Crosby, North Dakota - one of 5 kids in a musical family - left her career as a teacher for special needs students in western North Dakota, packed up and moved east to Fargo .. And Kids collectibles .. Now Penny and Pals was born.

Penny Andrist: (singing) “Peanuts, pretzels and a piece of pumpkin pie, if we get a stomach ache - who cares? Not I.”

As a teacher, she learned a guitar and music were powerful tools. She carried that over to a new teaching role writing and performing songs mixing fun with important life lessons.

Penny Andrist: “I mean I think as an educator, that's what you're always after, you do what you can and you let them go and you hope something you've done will make them successful in that next place.”

Penny Andrist: “I do not know how to explain it - I just know that it's where I'm supposed to be - I don't feel that extraordinary or beautiful or whatever- I think if there's anything that's remarkable it's that, you know I figured out what I'm supposed to do - I think a lot of people don't.”

With an infectious laugh and fun-loving sense of humor, she says she was created to do exactly what she's doing.

Penny Andrist: “There's nothing put on about what I'm doing - I love them. I love that they're not judgmental - you don't have to guess what they're thinking. If you're doing a show at Island Park and you stink - they are off to the playground - there's your feedback - you better pick it up a notch.”

From respect to kindness to having a strong character, she now teaches the children of some of the children who came to her first shows more than 20 years ago.

Penny Andrist: “I get a lot out of it. I want to know it made a difference that I was here.”

Penny, whose inner child still shines brightly, plans to continue to teaching kids for years to come..

Penny Andrist: “I'm pretty sure I can outlast them.”

Penny Andrist: “What I hope they would say is there's joy when I'm there. I know clearly this is true. When I'm with kids, I'm addicted to that joy - and I think I'm like that for adults too - I'd hope they'd say I'm funny, charming, extremely good looking.”

Penny and her pals have released 7 CDS and 1 DVD. You can check them out along with their concert schedule and much more at . You can hear much more from Penny in Mondays Forum and the Christopher Gabriel Program.

Nominate a beautiful woman in your life today online at