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At 6 p.m. Saturday February 4th, 2017, the Valentines Gala began in the Fellowship Hall at Central Freeborn Lutheran Church of rural Albert Lea, Minnesota.

The Gala was sponsored by F.R.O.G. (Fully Rely on God) of Central Freeborn Lutheran Church. F.R.O.G. is an outreach mission of Central Freeborn to Promote Fun-Food-Fellowship.”

With 72 people present, F.R.O.G. most certainly accomplished their mission. (The clans of Carol Bertelsen, Michelle Cardona and Phil Hensche were well represented.)

The Gala began with Bruce Stulaas giving the table Grace followed by pop and Domino’s pizza served by Bev and Wayne Inrelie plus Genie and Bob Hanson. (F.R.O.G. Co-Chairs)

Kesi Titus and Emery Brouwers were drafted to pass out a pencil and a sheet of 12 games of Norwegian bingo to all.

The players were instructed to fill in the blank squares prior to each game with a number of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. The caller rolls a dice and the first two numbers are “no good.” The caller then rolls the dice until someone yells bingo. Once verified, the Yeller is instructed to go to the bingo table for a free prize and then on to the treasure table to select an item from the donated white elephant table for a dollar. This continues until all 12 games are played and then the non-winners get their turn to do the same thing. The remaining prizes are sold for four for a dollar plus sold after church the next day. 

Most games ended with multiple winners. Brad Bjerke did a random act of kindness twice. (He gave his winning bingo both times to a young lady.)

The three left over slices of pizza were given to Erica and Jamylin Smith on the condition of sharing with Grandma Sharon Johnson.

Kesi and Emery picked up the pencils and sheets of paper from Norwegian bingo. Kesi held the bag of names registered for the door prizes while Emery drew the five winners. Lo and behold the first name was her own!! The other four were Gerry Gilbertson, Orville Goskeson, Bob Hanson and Jamie Hensche. 

During the Gala event (and after church on Sunday) Valentine cards with local food coupons were signed and mailed to members of East and Central Freeborn Lutheran Church whose getting around is limited in the Winter months.

The evening needed on a high note. (Ice cream with toppings and lots of fellowship.)

Many thanks to: Sara at Perkins for the Bakery door prizes, Gayla at KFC for the neat Valentine BOGO (Buy one get one free) coupons. Debbie at Arby’s for the BOGO sandwich coupons, DQ south for the free ice cream cone coupons, Trumbles for food coupons.

A special thanks to Shannon for the many Valentine stuffed teddy bears. 

The next F.R.O.G. event is a coach bus to church basement ladies “Rise Up O Men” (3 Roosters join 3 hens in the henhouse) on Sunday April 2, 2017 leaving from in front of Wok-N-Roll in Albert Lea at 11:00 a.m. $50 in advance no refund per person which includes: reserved seats at the live performance, buffet supper at Wok-N-Roll, Deal or No Deal prizes on the Bus, coupons for all, $5.00 cash back per person if the bus is full. Call Hanson’s at 373-8655 or Indrelie’s at 826-3267 for reservations. 


Bob is a retired AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) agent, currently working on his master’s degree in Volunteering. His wife, Genie, is a retired RN, currently working on her doctor’s degree in Volunteering. They have two children, Deb in North Carolina, and Dan in Vermont. Bob says if you enjoy his column, let him know. If you don’t enjoy it, keep on reading, it can get worse. Words of wisdom: There is always room for God.

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