Making lefse to save local church

One local cemetery remains destroyed after last month’s flooding.

Several tombstones at the Skogdalen Church cemetery in Timber Coulee were knocked over and damaged by heavy floodwaters.

Every year, the Skogdalen Church has a annual fundraiser dinner, b ut this year, church members say it’s especially important. They need to raise enough money to restore their cemetery and rebuild the church’s parking lot.

They’re hoping to attract a lot of people to their dinner by serving homemade traditional Norwegian food like lefse.

Lefse is a Norwegian dish made from potatoes, flour and butter. Dozens of people gathered at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Westby to make it and prepare for Skogdalen’s big dinner.

One member of Skogdalen, Kiana Euler, said, “To see everyone here working together, it’s very uplifting.”

Kiana Euler has been attending church at Skogdalen her entire life.

“It’s a sanctuary in more ways than one. Literally it is a sanctuary where we worship, but it’s also a place of comfort, a place of welcoming,” Euler said.

Her family has relied on their faith to get through some difficult times.

“My sister, she just recovered from a heart surgery last summer, and we found so much peace in the church and our church members. It is a second family,” Euler said.

Her sister, Victoria, said knowing the church has her back makes things easier.

“July 9, I had my fifth open-heart surgery. It’s like another home to me. We’re all in this together,” Victoria said.

The Eulers were devastated when they saw a video of the damaged church.

“In the video, there was a ski-doo and a four-wheeler on top of my grandfather’s gravestone, and his gravestone was tipped upside down and it was displaced. Our family just kind of held each other and cried,” Euler said.

They’re now hoping their lefse and the fundraiser dinner can help restore the church.

“There’s people that are, you know, they’ve been a part of the church for 80 years, and then there’s people that have never made lefse in their life that aren’t even a part of this church, and that’s absolutely amazing,” Euler said.

A few Westby High School students and their teacher showed up to the event to help out.

Jennie Marx, a teacher at Westby High School said, “It’s a great feeling overall to be a part of something bigger than myself.”

Other church members, like Lisa Mellen, are also doing what they can to help.

“My great-grandparents helped build the church, and so to see things happening to our church and the cemetery, yeah, it’s quite emotional,” Mellen said.

Even though Euler is upset about the flooding, she’s confident the dinner will bring in the money they need.

“We have a plan, we’re a team, we’re moving forward,” Euler said.

You can go to that dinner on Oct.7 at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Westby.

It costs $10 for adults, $5 for children and donations are also being accepted at the dinner.