Attendees bring their appetites to FDLTCC's 'Food for Thought' fundraiser

The event, hosted by Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, was in person for the first time since 2020 and drew in over 200 people who raised $22,000 while enjoying dishes from 12 vendors.

Carmen's Bar and Restaurant serves up bruschetta and seafood bisque at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College for the annual Food for Thought fundraiser event, on Thursday, Jan. 19.
Amy Arntson / Cloquet Pine Journal
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CLOQUET — After two years without an in-person fundraiser, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College's Food for Thought Event raised over $22,000 on Thursday, Jan. 19.

Despite a fresh layer of snow on the ground, the inside of the college was filled with over 200 people eating and taking part in the fundraiser event.

This year's event, which has the intent of fundraising for college scholarships, is the 10th hosted by the FDLTCC Foundation,

Kate Mason, the foundation's chair, said it was great to have the event back in person again.

“The best part of this event is seeing how it benefits our community and students through the foundation’s scholarships,” she said. “These scholarships make a difference in students' lives, in turn making a difference in our community.”


Mason said there were 12 vendors at the event and featured Carmen's, Cold One Liquor and Streetcar Kitchen & Pub, to name a few.

Cold One Liquor was a sponsor of the Wall of Wine, which allows attendees to pay $20 for a bottle of wine or a case of craft beer, and select a random gift card worth between $10 and $50.

Friends Angie Soderberg, left, and Leah Gruhn share laughs while selecting wine at the popular Wall of Wine. Attendees had the opportunity to purchase a bottle of wine for $20. With each purchase, attendees could randomly select a gift certificate from a variety of local businesses, on Thursday, Jan. 19.
Amy Arntson / Cloquet Pine Journal

Mason said she was so excited to have it back in person for the community, as the foundation had hosted a virtual event last year.

Robin Anderson, a board member for the foundation, said it was great to have the event in person this year, not only to fundraise, but to give the community something to participate in.

"Community members are really wanting to come out and they are happy to support that," she said. "Everybody is donating because they know how important it is for the community and scholarships for our students," she said.

The event held a silent auction and raffle, where prizes included a $1,000 travel voucher, a television and more.

Attendees also voted for the golden and silver spoon, with the golden spoon going to the best food and the silver spoon going to the best dessert of the evening.

This year's winners were Route 61 for the golden spoon and Room at the Table for the silver spoon.


Teresa Kavanaugh, owner of the Streetcar Kitchen & Pub and one of the vendors at the event, said she has been a part of the event since 2012.

"It is just an opportunity for us to give back to the community and introduce people to our food," she said.

The Streetcar Kitchen & Pub, one of the 12 food vendors at the FDLTCC Food for Thought fundraiser, serves up walleye tacos for the attendees on Thursday Jan. 19.
Amy Arntson / Cloquet Pine Journal

Kavanaugh said she always has a lot of excitement for the event because it benefits a good scholarship fund that will help students.

"We are very fortunate to have a community college in this area and we like to support it any way we can," she said. "This is one of the best ways to do it."

Chris and Bradley Untiedt, a father and son, attended the event for the first time in person — they had attended the virtual event last year.

Chris Untiedt said he liked the opportunity to get on campus with his son, who will be attending the college next year.

"It is a great event, a good fundraiser for student scholarships," he said.

Chris Untiedt said everything he had tried so far was really good, but he had already been a fan of the Streetcar fish tacos.


"They're one of my favorites always, we eat there often," he said.

This story was updated at 10:45 a.m. Jan. 24 with updated information on the amount raised during the event and the number of people who attended.  It was originally posted at 9:42 p.m. Jan. 19.

Tom Sveine from Two Harbors, right, receives some Lumberjack sliders from Lee Harris at Holy Smokes Catering at FDLTCC's Food for Thought fundraiser on Thursday, Jan. 19.
Amy Arntson / Cloquet Pine Journal
Rich Powell of Castle Danger searches for a beer during the Food for Thought event on Thursday, Jan. 19.
Amy Arntson / Cloquet Pine Journal
Nancy Heller-Olson, left, talks with Louise Lind about the available auction items at the Food for Thought fundraiser at FDLTCC, Thursday, Jan. 19.
Amy Arntson / Cloquet Pine Journal
Michelle Eggen of Mom's Best Baklava hands out her baklava to attendees at FDLTCC's Food for Thought Event. A batch of baklava takes over two full days to make. Michelle has been in attendance since the event started over 10 years ago, on Thursday, Jan. 19.
Amy Arntson / Cloquet Pine Journal
Ryan Smith of Phillips Distribution pours wine during the fundraiser at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College on Thursday, Jan. 19.
Amy Arntson / Cloquet Pine Journal
Katelyn Mendoza, standing, and Barbara Dennany of Bearaboo Coffee talk to attendees during the fundraiser on Thursday, Jan. 19.
Amy Arntson / Cloquet Pine Journal

The second public hearing on the topic is scheduled for March 9, and is being held after residents provided comments and concerns during the first hearing on Jan. 26.

Dylan covers the local governments of Cloquet and Carlton County, as well as the Esko and Wrenshall school boards for the Cloquet Pine Journal.
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Gov. Tim Walz approved the relief funds Wednesday. Carlton County also received an undisclosed amount.
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