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Grace Lutheran to host meatball dinner Saturday

For six years, Grace Lutheran Church has hosted an event that brings visitors from all over the area, no matter what the weather is like outside.

People are experiencing cabin fever by February, after a long, cold and brutal winter, so they attend to enjoy the food, company and to raise money for the church, organizers say.

One of the organizers, Ruby Kiihn, said even when one year there was no travel advised in the lakes area, the dinner was well attended.

"I was amazed that year when we had 300 people," she said. "That was a blessing."

This year, the "Cabin Fever Supper" will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12 at Grace Lutheran church in Detroit Lakes.

The menu will feature meatballs, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, buns, coleslaw, pickles, beverages, dessert and homemade lefse.

Admission to the dinner costs $8 for adults, $4 for children ages 4-10 and is free for ages 3 and under. Proceeds will benefit various church programs and donations to nonprofits including Hospice and the Boys and Girls Club.

Six years ago, the meatball dinner was originally scheduled to take place in the fall to help with costs of the church expansion. But renovations were taking longer than expected, so the dinner was pushed back to February.

Kiihn said although the idea to host the dinner in the middle of winter was just thrown out there for fun, members actually took it seriously and kept the tradition.

"We decided people are sick of winter in February and we thought, they can come out of hibernation," she said.

Last year, more than 300 attended the supper and helped raise about $3,000. Organizers are hoping to top that this year.

Serving will begin at 4 p.m. so those who can't stay for the evening, or have loved ones at home who can't make it, may take some food home.

"I just wanna invite everybody to come out of hibernation and enjoy good food and good friends and a night out," Kiihn said.