Red Wing Masonic Lodge #8 has taken a leadership role in sponsoring,organizing, and executing a fundraiser to assist 20 non-profit organizations that serve the Red Wing community.
Four years ago an idea of a Salsa competition to raise money and create an awareness of the Non-profits and Community Service Organizations of Red Wing has become a great community event. Here are just a few of the organizations..Boy Scouts, Youth Soccer, Lutheran Social Services, Red Wing Environmental Center, Youth Out Reach, Sheldon Theater of Performing Arts, Goodhue Historical Society.
Each of the organizations would provide a table with decorations, a display about their mission in the community and their best salsa, in either a red or green tomato, bean or fruit based. Each group would also assist in selling of tickets to the event within the community. The profits are split among the organizations. Last year over $20,000 was raised.
This year the event was held at Sargents Nursery in one of their Green Houses. It was a very nice place that was filled with light and was warm on a cold Minnesota March Day.They also provided a coupon for $5 off all purchases at the nursery. (I am now the proud owner of a an $80 plant stand in the shape of a Red bicycle that has a rechargeable headlight on the handle bars so I can see it at night.)
The lodge had a very nice set of professional signs,cards and brochures about Freemasonry and about our lodge. The Lodge Brothers were very busy helping organizing, selling tickets, and getting the Judges started on the Judging of who had the Best salsa. The Brothers left their table thinking a Past Grand Master could handle any questions or important issues.
I will let you in on a secret.....it's not good for the Sponsor to win the competition. Our lodge has many professional Chefs and Restaurant owners as members. They have provided, in past years, a couple of gallons of salsa they thought that people would like and our lodge won the competition twice. So this year it was determined we needed to provide a salsa, but not something good enough to win.We provided a tomato salsa that came from a large plastic jug and sprinkled some cilantro on top. I placed it in little cups for the attendees to sample. I'm a whiz at this by the way and no spills on my shirt, a miracle. When asked what kind of salsa it was I described it as "a tomato based salsa, made from blended tomatoes, with chunks of savory onions, hand picked jalapeno peppers, with a medium heat that is appreciated in San Antonio, but not New York City. We got a lotta votes....and people came back for more. I'm so happy we did not win.
There were 305 people that came to throughout the day. It was a very steady stream, but enough time to talk and get to make new friends and renew old friendships.There was alot of excellent salsa served by hard working volunteers and professionals who are committed on making Red Wing a better place to live.
The Brothers were counting the ticket sales when I left and it is believed that we will exceed last year total... Some of us believe that Freemasonry is not something that just happens in a lodge room for the world is our Lodge.