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Voyageur's Best Generally Speaking Columns of 2003

Boosters dinner

A great boost for the Boosters
The worthy cause of the McGregor Boosters
by Lynne Gilfus  |  April 15, 2003

It's hard to picture a school around here without special activities for the students. Difficult as it is to imagine, that's the way it could be at the McGregor School without the Booster Club. Fortunately for McGregor, the local residents felt deeply about being able to give their children every advantage possible. So, the Booster Club got its start.

"We thought that the school organizations needed help," said President Larry Turner. "The school can't budget for some activities."

For instance, the shop classes at McGregor benefitted with donations from the Boosters, and the band got their badly needed music stands. When any of the teams go on long road trips, the Boosters arrange for comfortable touring buses rather than riding to Grand Marais or farther in a school bus. The Boosters donated the new goalposts at the school, and they sponsor the "Knowledge Bowl".

How can they support all of these activities?

"The community has done very, very well for us," said President Turner. "They've really supported us monetarily."

Besides President Turner, the other officers are Steve Meld (Treasurer) and Patty Jerdi (Secretary). Integral to the organization of fundraisers are Chris Pierce and Tracey Bodeway, who were instrumental in organizing the annual Booster Club Dinner held April 6th at Bann's Restaurant on Lake Minnewawa. I was fortunate to be invited to attend the festivities and see what it's all about. To add helping a worthy cause to the fact that I was also eating at one of my favorite local restaurants was icing on the cake. And yes, there was cake and icing.

The dinner started with an hour of socializing and getting to know the hosts and other guests. There were also drawings being held for wood duck houses and gift certificates from local businesses. All proceeds from the special ticket drawings went to the Booster Club. There were also drawings from the dinner ticket stubs for some pretty great prizes, again from local business. In fact there were so MANY prizes, it was difficult to go home without anything. That includes Dave and I, by the way. We came home with a wood duck house, gift certificates and a pretty spiffy baseball cap.

I had never eaten a banquet meal at Bann's, so I was eager to dig in as soon as possible. As usual, I sort of wormed my way into the dining room to get a quick peek at the food. Of course, a "quick" peek turned into a long note taking session.

On the salad bar were the usual greens and fresh veggies, but they also had their pasta salad for which alone I would take the drive. Add to that a giant pot of cocktail franks and meatballs, and that could have been supper all by itself.

The main banquet was as delicious to the eye as to the palate. Chef Darryl cooked up a feast of Barbecued ribs, fried chicken, chicken ballotine (chicken rolled with spinach, cheese and smoked sausage), wild rice hot dish (I want the recipe, Chris), creamy potatoes, and corn. For dessert, there were pieces of moist, spicy carrot cake with a cream cheese frosting.

The banquet was set up in the regular dining room, but we ate in the banquet room which faces the lake. Our old friend, Matt Enderle, was there to make sure our used dishes were whisked off as soon as possible, and to keep our water and coffee filled. He also provided us with a very quick account of his year at school in Grand Rapids, and greetings for the Boss.

Lisa Enderle, Matt's Mom, was able to take a short breather and join Dave and I at the table with Chef Darryl. As co-owner of the restaurant, Lisa is a busy lady most days, but enjoys having the banquet room filled.

"Our capacity here is about 140 or 150 people," said Lisa. So, there is plenty of room for anyone who needs a place to hold a BIG gathering. Chef Darryl will make sure that everyone leaves with a happy stomach and buzzing taste buds.

Joining the worthy cause of the McGregor Boosters with the exceptional food of Bann's made it a great evening out for us. Going home with prizes made the trip that much more fun. Thanks to the Boosters for a great evening!

Buen Provecho!

This article first appeared in the April 15, 2003 issue of the Voyageur Press.