Friday, Aug. 2, was the start of a weekend filled with activities for the 55th reunion of the Froslan/Wright families.
Carrying on a long tradition, about 20 family members met at the First Lutheran Church early Friday morning for an industrious session of lefse preparation. Sixty pounds of potatoes were peeled, cooked and mixed into lefse dough before the group moved on in late morning for a trip to the Wildlife Safari Museum near Mankato.
Paul and Sherry Schaumburg, two retired teachers who are friends of Diane and Jim Stenson, have amassed an amazing museum of wild animals harvested by Paul over the years during several trips to Africa, Australia, New Zealand and other spots around the globe. The mission of the museum is to promote wildlife appreciation and conservation. Responsible hunters ensure the future of wildlife for generations to come and maintain the balance of animals while protecting their natural environment.
Throughout their museum and stunningly beautiful home they display a wide array of wildlife. The group watched an educational video coupled with a talk by Sherry who then entertained questions from the group.
Since it was lunchtime, the group traveled on to the dam at Rapidan, which was a short drive away. They filled the back room of the dam store and shared lots of laughter and conversation while enjoying a lunch with included some of their famous pies. Then it was time to return to St. James where Jerry and Roberta Nelson entertained cousins with a relaxing cruise on Long Lake, the perfect ending to a busy day.
Saturday, about 25 cousins met bright and early at First Lutheran’s social hall again to fry the lefse. A total of about 480 lefse rounds were fried and tested for quality at coffee time mid morning. The group broke for lunch at the Hometown around 1 p.m. and then some returned to fold and bag the lefse for sale as a fundraiser for the reunion.
The chicken fry at the Legion is a regular feature of the reunion and this year was no exception. Several family members stayed after dinner to set up the silent auction, held on Sunday, for the benefit for Nellie Wright.
Capping off the day was a bonfire by Kansas Lake at the home of Kaye and Bob Wright. A perfect fire on a night with no winds and cool temps that were perfect for making s’mores, games and extending our time together.
Sunday’s benefit for Nellie was a resounding success with an overwhelming response by the community. St. James has a reputation that is unmatched for coming together for these occasions and the generosity and support of the local people deserves special recognition. It is a statement of the strong character of both the individuals who live here and the community as a whole and serves as a model of the very best we all can be. Thanks to all of you.
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Brunch was served to 498 people from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and followed by a gathering of family that listened to a presentation by Tom Wright from Minnetonka.
Tom has been doing research into the Froslan side of the family and their history in Norway, background not covered in the Froslan Family History book written in 1988 by Doris Weatherford of Seffner, Florida. Tom has uncovered fascinating data he displayed visually and related to an attentive audience, answering several questions and promising to keep us updated on his research at future reunions. Desserts and snacks were served.
Four generations were represented and family members came from many towns and cities within Minnesota as well as out of state. This once a year event is a joyful affirmation of family and those who have gone before us and given us a precious heritage we wish to carry on to future generations.
Next year the group will meet again for fun, food and activities to be announced later in the year. The dates for 2013 are July 31 – Aug. 3.