Started as a little event for the parishioners, the Sweetheart Dinner and Dance is continuing its Valentine’s Day tradition started in 2006.
By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Started as a little event for the parishioners, the Sweetheart Dinner and Dance is continuing its Valentine’s Day tradition started in 2006. Celebrating the tenth anniversary of the event on Feb. 14, St. Mary’s is opening up the event to the community and is hoping that interest in the romantic holiday event can give community members an evening of fun.
Back in 2006 Carol Robinson had a thought about hosting a Valentine’s Day event, something the church could do for its members to give them a special evening for the people. After floating her thought around, a few people, she was encouraged to go to the Father at the time with the idea.
He was in total support of it.
Though it was initially reserved for parishioners only, in recent years it has expanded to the community outside of the church. Robinson said after the first few years, people said they had friends from outside the congregation that were interested in attending the event. So they obliged.
The event has a max capacity of 24 couples but Robinson said they had one year where they hosted 28 couples.
The Sweetheart Dinner and Dance is held in the cafeteria area of St. Mary’s, but the decor is so full and ornate that attendees don’t even recognize the facility. Dubbed ‘St. Mary’s Candlelight Lounge,’ couples congregate for conversation, food and entertainment.
Robinson said that for the first years of the event they had Mark and Julie, a pair of local musicians, perform for the evening. They will be the entertainment at this year’s event too. In a few of the years the event featured a group that eventually became known as Rhythm’s of The Hart.
Heading into the first dinner in 2006, Robinson wasn’t sure how it might turn out for future events. But after the first evening ended she knew it might be an annual event for some time.
“After the first one was so popular, and people talked so highly of it, I was really energized to keep doing it,” Robinson said.
And she has kept doing it for the past 10 years.
This year the theme is ‘Wine and Roses’ and is featuring a new section that previous events haven’t.
A singles section.
Robinson was very conscientious about people in the community who have lost loved ones and wanted to give them an opportunity to honor them. The section is opened up and Robinson said it is intended to “celebrate the memory of a loved one.”
The main course at this year’s event is prime rib. Ray Veverka, formerly of The Elks in Dickinson, will be preparing the meat for cooking.
The cost of the event is $70 per couple and includes a champagne social, entertainment, food, desert, and wine. The social hour is at 6 p.m. with dinner being served at 6:30 p.m.
Space is limited, so if you’d like to participate in the tenth anniversary of the event, call for reservations by Feb. 9. You can reserve your spot by calling 701-579-4312.
Robinson wanted to emphasize that this is not a fundraiser, she said about this event that “it’s just for the people.”