Trinity men honor women with a Valentine dinnerPublished 11:13am Thursday, February 13, 2014
When Gene Prause moved to Fergus Falls several years ago, he brought with him a Valentine’s Day tradition he had begun at his church in Hastings.
Each year, Prause organizes a Valentine’s Day dinner for the female members of the Trinity Lutheran Church congregation. The event started out strong its first year and the momentum has continued.
Prause began planning for this year’s dinner, set for Sunday at 10:30 a.m., about two months ago. About 45 women are signed up for the dinner, and Prause expects at least a few more to show up on Sunday as well.
“Any lady that wants to come to the dinner is sure welcome,” he said.
The women of the church are not asked to do any work in preparation for the event. Prause divides the male volunteers into different groups, each with their own responsibilities.
Some cook the food, others serve the tables and others still act as door greeters, among other jobs. On the day of the dinner, Prause oversees the entire operation.
But there is one woman who helps each year: Prause’s wife Jan. Jan Prause helps her husband buy the groceries for the dinner, which is made to serve 120 guests. She also acts as a general consultant, and Gene Prause gives her a lot of credit for her work each year.
The dinner is certainly a hit among the women, according to Jan Prause.
“It’s a beautiful day and the ladies really appreciate it,” she said.
The Trinity choir and bell choir will perform at the dinner, and Gene Prause said the praise band may play as well.
After the dinner, each woman is given a long-stem carnation to take home as a display of the men’s appreciation. The spirit of togetherness and fellowship makes the event one of the most anticipated at the church each year, according to Gene Prause.
Many of the same faces show up year after year for the dinner. Many church dinners draw around 50 guests, but Gene Prause said the Valentine’s Day dinner has as many as 100 attendees.
The meal is free for all the women, but the men pay a $20 charge. But as a display of gratitude once a year, it is entirely worth it, Gene Prause said.
“We’re just trying to pay back the ladies for all the work they do all year long at Trinity,” he said. “They are really the basis of everything that goes on at church.”