As summer comes to a close in northern Minnesota, August in full swing brings a favorite time of year for many…harvest. May it be the satisfaction of nurturing nature’s bounty from seed to produce, or the savory flavor of fresh vegetables or the fragrant aroma of fresh flowers, harvest has been a time to celebrate for generations.

ElderCircle’s annual Harvest Dinner, on Thursday, Sept. 5, will also celebrate the meaningful services that ElderCircle provides so our aging community members can continue their independent living.

This unique outdoor dining experience will be set on the beautiful grounds of Lunemann’s Luney Berries Farm, located at 41237 County Road 63, Cohasset.

The evening will begin with a 5 p.m. social hour featuring samples of locally brewed wine provided by Dennis & Madelen Schuemann, and locally brewed beers provided by Boreal Brewers Steve Benson and Chad Haatvedt. In addition, live music and entertainment will be provided by Bob Bridges. Using locally grown and freshly harvested foods, this sumptuous family-style gourmet meal begins at 6:30.

Following the family-style meal will be a live auction featuring, among other unique items, homemade cakes and pies provided by ElderCircle friends and volunteers. “While we enjoyed the delicious meal, the live auction was by far the most fun of the evening last year,” stated a 2018 guest. “We’ve already purchased our tickets for this year and are bringing some friends too!”

“The proceeds from this year’s Harvest Dinner will benefit ElderCircle’s Assisted Transportation Program. This service provides essential transportation to and from medical appointments anywhere in Minnesota for individuals who are 60+ and live in Itasca County,” stated Executive Director Renee Bymark. “Proceeds from this event will be used to reimburse volunteer drivers for the miles they drive while generously volunteering their time to assist those in need of medical transportation. By far, the largest expense for Assisted Transportation is the mileage reimbursement to volunteer drivers. In 2018, more than $27,900 was reimbursed to volunteers for driving a whopping 48,375 miles, which is a 27 percent increase from the previous year. As our community ages, the need for medical transportation keeps growing, we’re pleased to offer these services to help older adults,” said Bymark.

Because of the uniqueness of the event, seating is limited and reserved seating is required. Tickets are $75 per person and are available by calling 218-999-9233 ext. 277, by emailing gina@eldercircle.org, or in person at the ElderCircle office located on the Itasca County YMCA campus.

Harvest Dinner has a limited number of sponsorships available for four, six or eight guests, featuring unique recognition and added exclusive extras to the sponsor’s table. Sponsorships are available by contacting Gina at 218-999-9233 ext. 277 or gina@eldercircle.org.

So as the sun sets, and lanterns and candles are lit on Thursday, Sept. 5, glasses will be raised celebrating rural living, and recognizing the important services that ElderCircle provides to our aging parents, grandparents, neighbors, friends and family.

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