Don't Spend Christmas Alone in Roseau!
December 20, 2019
by Jeff Olsen
Pam Hetteen and the crew from the Roseau Eagles Aerie and Auxiliary will be serving Christmas Day dinner at the Four Seasons Center in Roseau from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, December 25.
"We've been doing this for over 20 years," said Pam, noting that they had served the meal in the old City Auditorium before the 2002 flood.
She gets plenty of positive feedback about their annual meet, greet, and eat.
Whether you're an octogenarian or just a tyke, the welcome mat is out at this annual event.
What kind of comments do you hear?
"They like having a place to go and having people to visit with during the holidays if they're home alone," she said, adding that some are elderly people who have families living out of town.
"It isn't just people who don't have children or families. Some of them don't have anywhere to go. For them, it's really nice to eat at the Four Seasons Center during Christmas," she said.
"It's just fun to see people who can sit and visit and don't know each other. Now, the community is changing so much. It gives them an opportunity to meet other people, and it's not like the old days when you knew everybody. It's a nice chance to get to meet new friends, too."
There are a number of past legends, who were noted in past articles, who are still fondly remembered.
There was one couple who appreciated the food and had their own doggie bags in their coat pockets. They were terrific, and they had to be Scandinavians since they absolutely loved the lefse.
When reminded of that colorful twosome, Pam chuckled, recalling a gal who had also taken a fancy to the lefse.
"She kept taking the plate of lefse from one table and bringing it to her table. So, we had to keep watching the lefse plate."
How's the turnout most years?
"Last Christmas, we served about 85 and delivered about 15 to 20 meals. This year, we're not sure how big the turnout will be because a lot of new people have moved to town," said Ms. Hetteen, adding that they are planning for a bigger crowd.
This year's menu will include ham and Swedish meatballs, baked potatoes, vegetables, lefse, desserts, and refreshments.
Who does the cooking?
"Doug's Supermarkets and Wally's used to do the preparations for us, and we'd just serve it. This year, we're going to cook it ourselves. We'll use the kitchen. We do receive a lot of donations from the churches, which is really nice," she said.
"Also, we're getting a Thrivent Financial grant to help us. When it's all said and done, it's pretty much all covered between the grants and the people in town."
She also credited those who take time away from their families to make others feel more special on Christmas.
"It's very nice that people take time from their Christmas Day holiday to come out and work. They have families to take care of, too. A lot of times you have to work from 11 to 1, clean up, and then get home and feed your own family a Christmas meal," said Pam.
"It is a little bit extra, but people appreciate doing it. We have great help. We have two guys, Jon Smebak and Boyd Olmstead, who will be delivering to the shut-ins."
The numbers to call for delivery within the City of Roseau on Christmas are 218-689-5340, 218-463-0008, and/or 218-463-3519. The whole affair is run like clockwork.
"We will have some food prepared ahead of time, and we have to be there pretty early. In past years, we've had Santa, but we're not sure this year," said Pam, adding that Santa might make a surprise visit.
Just one more reminder: The Roseau Eagles Aerie and Auxiliary will be serving on Christmas Day at the Roseau Four Seasons Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Put it on your calendar and don't be late!