Culinary Extravaganza helps Community Center

Clay Schuldt

Caledonia Argus


For the last 11 years the Four Seasons Community Center Board has hosted a gourmet meal as a fundraiser. This year the fundraiser will be held on Sunday, Nov. 10. Owing the nearness to Veterans Day, members of the Freedom Honor Flight will serve as guest speakers.

The Freedom Honor Flight is a La Crosse-based organization founded in April of 2008. Their simple goal is to fly local veterans to Washington D.C. to visit the memorials that stand in their honor.  There are many local people who have gone on the flights, including Tom and Manon Hoscheit.

In May of 2012 the Hoscheits volunteered their time and money to go along as guardians, assisting elderly World War II veterans as they toured the various war memorials of Washington D.C. Both Tom and Manon paid $500 each to be on the flight.

Once in Washington D.C. the veterans were guided through the Lincoln Memorial, witnessed the changing of the guard at Arlington Cemetery and visited the Vietnam Wall, Korea Memorial and, the highlight of the trip, the newly completed WWII Memorial.

Manon Hoscheit’s father (Ellsworth Klug) was a Pearl Harbor survivor, and she explained that helping with the Freedom Honor Flight is good way to honor his memory.

Four Seasons Board member, Jane Palen, explained that when it was decided the fundraiser dinner would occur the day before Veterans Day the board thought this meal would be a good way to further recognized local veterans and inform the public of Freedom Flight work.

However, this is not the only way the board honors veterans.

Every Veterans Day (Nov. 11) the Four Season’s Community Center is host to the Annual Veterans Day Meal, which is free to all veterans. The Four Seasons Board does not charge the veterans’ groups for the use of facility. Palen said, “It’s a great way to honor them and the work they have done and still do in our community.”

Since its construction the Four Seasons building has become a popular venue for events ranging from wedding receptions to business conferences. Palen and the rest of the Community Center Board believe it’s due to the relatively low cost of renting the building, which is why they hold an annual fundraiser.

“This is a fundraiser for the building to pay the utilities and keep it affordable for the public,” Palen said.

Those who choose to take part in the fundraiser are in for a treat.  The gourmet meal is prepared by professional Chef Thomas Sacksteder. The meal consists of five courses. The first course is appetizers and consists of cheddar, Swiss, and pepper jack cheese with fresh pineapple, grapes and sourdough bread.

The salad course is a mix of greens topped with tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, cheddar cheese and tortilla crisps served with Caledonia ranch dressing.

The third course is a fruit sorbet to serve as palate cleanser for the main entrée, a tender pork loin cutlet filled with cornbread stuffing and served with whipped sour cream redskins potatoes, country gravy and fresh green beans with toasted almonds.

For dessert Sacksteder will serve his signature toasted oat bourbon pecan pie with vanilla bean ice cream.

The cost to attend the meal is $40 a person but, as this a fundraiser event, $25 is tax deductible.  Tickets are available by calling 507-725-3194 or by contacting the Community Center Board. The doors to the Community Center open at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 10, and the meal begins at 6:30 p.m.