Hammond Lions host successful formal dinner fundraiser
Event coordinator Cory Bonte said that by the time the ads hit the paper for the second annual Wine, Dine & Lions fundraiser, held Dec. 8, he had room for only six couples left out of 90 spots. That’s how popular this event has become in such a short time.
Bonte, a member of the Hammond Lions Club who stays close to his roots even though he lives in St. Paul, said last year’s dinner fundraiser was such a success, that he wanted to do it again this year.
“I always wanted to do something a little more formal than, say, a traditional meatball dinner,” Bonte said. “I plan to continue doing it every year, for as long as I can.”
The event, held at the Hammond Golf Club, raised money for three area families in need and the Central St. Croix Rec summer sports programs. Tickets were $100 per couple and included a prime rib dinner and two glasses of wine per guest.
“The event was very successful,” Bonte said. “However, after last year’s dinner we dropped off the gift cards and trees to the families, it was a little eye-opening that in a small town there is so much need.”
Bonte said the money raised for the families is used to give them a happy holiday. They receive Target gift cards to buy Christmas gifts for their families, gift cards to Nilssen’s Foods in Baldwin to buy food for a holiday meal and a fully decorated Christmas tree.
“Last year a lady was so thrilled that she had a Christmas tree for her children,” Bonte said. “They couldn’t afford to buy one themselves.”
Attendees were asked to bring a donated ornament for the Christmas trees. Funds were also raised with a silent auction.
Bonte said families were suggested to be the recipients of the fundraiser by area churches.
“The food was catered by Mainstreeter’s in River Falls and someone graciously paid for live music,” Bonte said. “All the old Copper Kettle staff was waiting on guests.”
The Central St. Croix Rec program also received a donation from the dinner. The program was founded in 1980 and provides children in Roberts and Hammond with opportunities to play in baseball, softball, volleyball, soccer and flag football leagues.