Loie (Eloise) Hilgenberg loves going to luncheons; Jeannie Sheldon, not so much, but when Loie talked Jeannie into joining her in planning the first Have a Heart Luncheon, they found that their individual talents and personalities made for a great partnership: Loie was the creative; Jeannie, the detail person or “slave driver”, as she refers to herself. Over the years, they added seven other ladies to the committee: Peg Dluhos, Imogene Kasal, Linda Nelson, Mary Helen Schiltz, Joanne Henderson, Mary Jo Pucelik, Marilyn Aldrich, and Fran Millard, each bringing her own set of skills to the group. Together, they had a great time planning and presenting seven luncheons, showcasing a variety of themes, including “In the Heart of Mardi Gras”, “In the Heart of Rock and Roll” and this year’s theme “In the Heart of the Show Biz”.
Each year the event opens with the Saint Boniface Dance Group, “Grace Within”. These girls, who are mentored by middle school and high school women, dance in praise of God. This event also includes entertainment, a delicious salad luncheon, prizes, awards, and a raffle of one of Pat Broderick’s beautiful hand-made quilts.
To participate in the event, ladies rent a table and decorate it in the current theme. Some even dress to the time period of the theme. They are then waited on by the “Charming Waiters”, men of the parish who serve desert and pour beverages while wearing aprons embellished with a heart.
So, what was the purpose? What was accomplished? What was gained? Well, the guests were treated to two hours free of responsibility during which they were fed, pampered and entertained. The St. Boniface Community Outreach Ministry, a ministry that assists people with various needs, received over $12,000, including $2,100 in 2015. And for the committee: years of hard work, laughter and enduring friendship, the best gifts of all.
Despite their success, however, this year was the committee’s last year hosting the event. The torch has been passed, literally and figuratively, to Leslie Schneider and Brittany Schneider. The two sister-in-laws have already begun planning next year’s event with the theme “At the Circus…Under the Big Top.”
written by Kristen West