By John Andreasen, Lodge President
In my mind’s eye, I see a picture of two yoked oxen pulling a single blade plow to break the prairie sod. They work together to complete a difficult task. Our local Sons of Norway work moves forward with a Kringen team: The Lodge and the Club. Together they provide strength to turn vision into reality.
The Kringen Lodge serves as the local face of the Sons of Norway International organization. Lodge membership gives us cultural activities, scholarships, insurance, and the Viking magazine. It connects us with lodges across the United States, Canada, and Norway. Through lodge activities, we study the language, participate in arts and crafts, enjoy cultural programs to preserve our heritage and extend our culture. However, a local lodge cannot own property.
The Kringen Club, on the other hand, was formed to own and manage property. What a blessing! The Kringen Club purchased the building where we operate the Kringen café, the Troll Lounge, a library, a ballroom, as well as deriving rental income from the remainder of our facilities. The Lodge and Club operate as one team, each pulling a heavy load to move our Sons of Norway forward.
Both the Lodge and Club have been under great stress during the pandemic. Cultural activities have been shut down, membership and its revenues have dropped off. Our food and beverage service slumped dramatically. Our renters gave up their contract due to the need to work from home. We have dipped deeply into our re-serves. But all is not lost.
With assistance from forgivable government loans and gifts from generous donors we have completed major renovations and are now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. A Campaign Committee has been working to generate additional revenue to rebuild our reserve fund and complete the renovations. By mid-April, you will receive an update on our fund-raising efforts along with an invitation to join the campaign to move us forward as the local Sons of Norway. While the oxen look ahead, the farmer, and those of us with him, look back to see all that has been accomplished. The fresh soil is ready for planting.