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Operation Minnesota Nice Spaghetti Dinner

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Spaghetti dinner to raise funds for Operation Minnesota Nice. May 16th at the Eagles Club in Grand Rapids MN, social hour at 4pm, dinner 5-7pm, tickets $5. Door prizes, silent auction, and live music. Google the name.

In the early part of 2004 our founder Denise Jorgensen, had a friend whose son was deployed to Baghdad Iraq. He was serving with the 1st Cavalry out of Fort Hood Texas.

During his tour, many of their family and friends took turns every three to four weeks, sending packages of small reminders of home and simple necessities he might need.

In return for this generosity, when he would call home to catch up with his mom Vickie and she would then in turn email updates to all of us.

It was in one of these updates that Ben said “it’s so great to get these packages from home. I have been sharing mine though. There are guys over here that get very little from home. There are even some that don’t get anything. They are feeling forgotten. They feel like once everyone at home turns off their evening news, that no one cares about Iraq”.

This pulled at the hearts of anyone that read the words of a young soldier who was so concerned for his newly formed family living in the middle of a war. The thought of them being so far from home and feeling so forgotten was too much.

As a result of those words, Denise asked Ben for the names of these soldiers, as she would like to adopt them. She told him that in exchange for these names she would commit to send them a box every three to four weeks and see that they never feel forgotten again.

The first boxes were small. Some snacks, playing cards and of course the always requested beef jerky. Both boxes were then personalized with a letter written to each of them.

Soon word spread amongst Denise’s family and friends about the soldiers and the simple items that were sent. Everyone wanted to contribute or adopt his or her own soldier.

Within two months we were up to 17 soldiers all over Iraq and Afghanistan and 10 volunteers. Three years later OMN had adopted over 4,500 soldiers at 62 different packing locations, including Colorado and Ohio. Shipping a more then 250,000 pounds.

As long as there are brave souls serving our country in foreign lands in a time of conflict our group has committed to remain active.

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