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Larry Ornberg, Fargo, Published September 01 2012

Letter: Festival not suited for Rotary Club

As a volunteer organization, the Fargo-Moorhead AM Rotary Club has to balance the demands of our charitable efforts to allow our members to have balance in their own lives.

When the idea of the Lobster and Lefse Festival was presented to us four years ago, it was to be an event that would take a significant effort to get off the ground but would then take less effort in succeeding years. We had many members who put forth a very generous amount of time and effort to develop the event, often to the detriment of their business, family and social relationships.

This year was to be our third year, a year in which the event should be established and on-track. However, as we got close to the point when we needed to make certain commitments to sponsors, suppliers and the public, we had serious reservations about our ability to gather enough volunteers and sponsors to make this event a success.

Rather than have an event that might be less than mediocre, or even lose money, while demanding significant donations of time and effort from our members, our board of directors voted to accept the recommendation of the Lobster and Lefse Planning Committee and cancel this year’s event.

Later, at our next board meeting, we looked objectively at the Lobster and Lefse concept. We concluded that the demands of planning and conducting such a large-scale event, combined with the risk of selling a highly perishable and expensive product, made the Lobster and Lefse Festival a fundraiser unsuitable for our club.

We sincerely appreciate the support we have received from the other Rotary Clubs, our sponsors and the community over the past 2 years.

We wish Randy Long all the best in re-organizing a Lefse & Lobster event in 2013.

Ornberg is president, FMAM Rotary.