Clubs gather for annual dinner

Published 6:49 am Sunday, December 16, 2012

Volunteers at First Lutheran Church serve lunch Friday at the 40th annual Albert Lea service club Christmas luncheon. At least 180 people attended. -- Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

Members of service clubs across Albert Lea united Friday for what has become an annual Christmas tradition.

Gathering in Bethany Hall at First Lutheran Church, almost 200 people took part in an hour of fellowship, lunch and holiday music.

“I think it’s a chance to get all the service clubs together and mingle, to show support for each other and what they do for the community,” said Brady Gooden, president of the Freeborn County Jaycees.

Diane Heaney leads the Albert Lea High School Chorale in a series of songs Friday at the annual service luncheon.

Email newsletter signup

It was the 40th year for the event.

Members of 14 service clubs attended, including representatives from the American Association of University Women, the Lions Club, Cloverleaf Lions, Exchange Club, Freeborn County Jaycees, Golden K1 Kiwanis Club, Golden K2 Kiwanis Club, Kiwanis Daybreakers, Noon Kiwanis Club, Lakeview Lions, Rotary Club, Sertoma Club, Wan-tan-ye Club and Y’s Men Club.

Each year, the organizations take turns hosting the event.

Gooden, who along with the Jaycees headed up this year’s luncheon, thanked the people present for their roles in Albert Lea, many of which are behind the scenes.

“Service clubs are a big part of any community,” he said.

Many of the people present belonged to multiple service organizations, including Albert Lean Larry Trampel who attended with his wife.

Bethany Hall at First Lutheran Church was filled Friday during the annual service luncheon.

Trampel, who is retired, said he is a part of the Sertoma Club, the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon committee and the Albert Lea Salvation Army, among others.

“I just think it’s something worthwhile to do, be it that I’m retired,” he said.

He said he enjoys coming to the annual service club luncheon to meet with other people he knows from the community. The Sertoma Club — which stands for Service to Mankind — helps people in need, often people who are hearing impaired.

Following a lunch of chicken, mandarin orange salad, peas and carrots, rolls and dessert, the Albert Lea High School Chorale performed a selection of music, including Christmas classic “What Child is This?”

“It’s officially in my life part of the beginning of the Christmas season,” said resident Jan Jerdee.

A First Lutheran Church volunteer hands a plate of food to a woman attending the annual service luncheon Friday.