For five years, a group of volunteers has been arranging for a free supper for anyone who wants it and recognizing people in the Dells-Delton community. Now that group needs some help.
Since 2013, a supper has been provided to between 150 to 250 people at Spring Hill School 10 months of the year. No supper is held in November and December.
Anyone can come and have a meal beginning at 5 p.m. There is no charge. Those coming can play bingo beginning at 4:30 p.m. and win a prize for each bingo. Children can try their hands at a craft table. Adults and children can take home a book to read or maybe drop off some books they read that they are willing to donate. A person could get their blood pressure taken, find about health services in the community, or discover other resources in the area. A person could even adopt a dog or other animal from the Sauk County Humane Society.
Those having supper receive raffle tickets at no cost. One raffle is for a $25 gift certificate to Maurer’s Market. Another will get the winner a donated prize generously donated by a local business.
After that, those coming can sit back and enjoy some music by a local musician or singer.
A small group of volunteers does this every month, and it takes a lot of work. As the saying goes, many hands make light work. The current group would like a few more hands.
Two of the people who do some of the work each month and who talked about what they do are Debbie Kinder and John Torgerson. Both also serve on a committee that has a monthly meeting for reviewing what was done at the previous supper and planning the next one. Kinder said she hopes people will come to help with the planning and organizing of the suppers.
Kinder has been lining caters and sponsors for each supper. Area restaurants have been asked to supply the meal, and the area restaurants have been forthcoming in agreeing to be caterers. She said many have been doing it for years, some even do it without reimbursement.
Kinder also lines up sponsors, who can be community groups, organizations or businesses. For example, some sponsors in recent months were the Lake Delton National Bank, Bethany Lutheran Church, Dells-Delton Bank and Community Action. The sponsors supply volunteers who serve the supper and pay a fee to cover expenses such as the catering.
Suppers have been provided in recent months by the Kalahari, Rivers Edge, Monk’s, and Pizza Pub, to name some of those supplying the monthly meals.
The job of lining up caters and sponsors is easier than when she first started, Kinder said. That’s because many do it each year.
Other jobs that need filling are picking up and dropping off the aprons volunteers wear to serve. Those go to the Church Street Laundry, which offers that service to the group.
Another job done by volunteers is picking up flowers. Thompson Full Bloom donates a plant each month for the community builder. The tables also have flowers or other decorations each month. A volunteer also checks to be sure the school is available for the supper, and the cater is on track.
Then each month, beginning at 3:30 p.m., a group of volunteers come in to set up tables and decorate them in the Spring Hill cafeteria. The same group or others take down the tables and clean up at 6:30 p.m. Cleanup includes washing dishes, and that takes a couple of people. The final step in cleanup is taking any leftover meals to the local police departments and EMS service so those working can have a hot meal.
Besides finding caters and sponsors, the community supper needs volunteers to recruit organizations for information booths or displays at each supper. Some of those are regulars, too.
Other jobs available for volunteers are greeters to say hello to people as they come in and to hand out raffle tickets. Another is needed to sign in volunteers and fill jobs that need doing. Kinder noted that Wyndham Resorts sends three or four of its workforce over each month to be volunteers on the night of the supper.
After the supper is done, volunteers do the finances preparing receipts and invoices and write thank you notes to caters and sponsors.
After supper is served, one person or group will be honored as the community builder of the month. The supper started out honoring elder members of the community, but has since switched to honoring someone who has contributed to the community. The August community builder was Lucas Killick. The community supper group also needs nominations or suggestions for community builders.
Those honored at the supper since it started are the following:
Honored Elders 2013: Bert Flemal-March; Karen Torgerson—April; Darlene Schultz-May; Virginia Weidling- June; Gisela Hamm- July; Beverly Maeves -August; Jan Thompson – September; Cheryl and Dan Boehmke—October.
Community Builders 2014: January canceled due to cold; Hiroshi and Arlene Kanno – February; John Campbell -March; Bud Gussel-April; Tom Dorner-May; Betty Heller Hobbs-June; Tom Diehl-July; Steve Stuelke-August; Kordells-September; Thad Meister and Adam Breest – October.
Community Builders 2015: Jerry Wolfram – January; Ryan Popinga-February; Cathy Borck-March; Kay James-April; Jay and Denise Heesch-May; no one-June; Sally Kopke (posthumous)-July; Doris Bass-August; Tanya Stroede-September; John Schoenherr-October
Community Builders 2016: January-Don and Anita Nelson; February-Steve Keller; March-none; April-Ross Curry; May-Mark Schmitz; June- Margaret Landeck; July-none; August-Michelle Schmitz; September-Friend of Supper Dells Delton Bank of Mauston; October-Al Pentel.
Community Builders 2017: January-Ed Wojnicz; February-Dave Clemens; March-Friend of Supper New Hope Church; April –Jean Brew; May-Tom Heller; June-no one; July-no one; August-Lucas Killick.
The community supper also needs more nominations for community builder. “There’s no magic formula” for being named a community builder, Kinder said. It does take someone nominating a person who is willing to state why the person is nominated. The nomination should state the ways the person has helped the community, she said. The supper committee, which has 12 members, then reviews the nomination.
Torgerson said he is thinking about putting forms on the tables at the community supper asking for nominations. It would be a simple form with the name of the nominee, why the person deserves the award and who is making the award.
The forms could be dropped off at the supper or sent to a member of the committee.