Wheeler's Bar in Harmony, Minnesota was the setting Saturday afternoon/evening for the B&B Bowl fundraiser.  You'll recall that B&B Bowl in Preston was destroyed by fire on New Year's Day.  Since that time, the southeast Minnesota community and surrounding areas have come forth with amazing support in an effort to get their beloved meeting place rebuilt.  The fundraiser Saturday was an amazing example of that support.  While it's nearly impossible to get a handle on the number of people attending such an event, it's estimated that at least 1,000 people came out!  That is just staggering!  Folks came from every town in the southeast Minnesota, the Twin Cities area, Cresco, Iowa and vicinity, Ohio - yes Ohio!, and surprise guests - owner Shelly Hanson's brother and his family from Missouri!  Those attending dined on a fantastic pork dinner, enjoyed music by a live DJ, and generously donated by bidding on silent and live auctions.  Yours truly bought a cheese cake for $85.00 and it's been worth every penny and calorie!

B&B owner, Shelly Hanson took the mike and tearfully thanked everyone for the amazing outreach of support and added that small communities and the people who live there are simply the best in coming together at times of need.  Co-owner, Shelly's husband, Paul Hanson, added his thanks and also reminded us that we need to keep in our prayers others in our community who have suffered losses this year and are dealing with hardships.  Amen, Paul, well said.  Comments heard today around town include "the biggest benefit I've ever been to"; "there was no place to park anywhere, parked cars lining the highway and filling nearby parking lots"; "delicious food"; "excellent job by the committee members"; "soooooo many people!".

What's next?  Clean up of the fire debris begins tomorrow, Monday March 7.  While it will rip yet another hole in my heart seeing my place of employment for 13 years being torn down, it is also a positive step and a needed step towards new beginnings and new memories.

Once again, Shelly, Paul, Shawna, Lindsi and Beau, the employees of B&B Bowl in Preston, including myself, extend deep gratitude and love to the wonderful people who have done so much to support us.  God bless you, each and every one.

Photo credit Trica Katzenberger