By A.J. Etherington
The Courier 

Lustre's Schmeckfest Celebration Marks 52 Years

 

James Walling/The Courier

Schmeckfest Kitchen Supervisor Carma Bartel (l) with Lavonne Toews (center-left), Tiffany Neufeld (center-right) and Marcia Fast (R).

March 24 was the 52nd Annual Schmeckfest in Lustre, which saw a crowd estimated at around 750 people in a grand show of support for the Lustre Christian High School fundraiser. Known as the German Festival of Tasting, the event featured a smorgasbord of German fares ranging from wursts and kraut to fruit pockets and peppernuts. Live dinner music featured Monica Haaland on the piano. A live and silent auction was also held to support the fundraiser with items ranging from lawnmowers and artwork to handmade quilts donated by Valley County locals and businesses.

The youth of LCHS performed an arrangement of Christian music with Michael Butler playing the role of Emcee, pieces included Francesca Battistelli and Anthem Lights' Made Alive performed by the LCHS Worship Team and Thomas Ken and Samuel Stanley's Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow performed by the LCHS Choir.

LCHS is a private state-accredited school that has operated in Lustre since 1928 as a Bible school and later as a high school with its first class graduating in 1949. The school focuses yearly on an international student enrollment due to declines in local enrollment and in 2006 the school was certified by Department of Homeland Security as an I-20 school. This meant that the school could host international students from enrollment until graduation. The school is operated by the people of Lustre as an international non-profit with a low tuition rate to allow all to attend. Most of the school is operated by gifts from the local community and Schmeckfest proceeds, making this a key event for the school and vibrant community.


Lyle Wahl of Lustre commented on this year's event saying, "Every year it gets better and better with the food and the people, so I would say this year has got to be the best year so far." Wahl was keen to point out the German heritage of the fest, but also noted the Russian influence and the traditionally German meals absent from the menu, because they were not part of the German-Russian heritage of the community. "I've had people say they wanted an authentic German meal, but this is German [food] modified with Russian foods like Grandma made it," explained Wahl referring to the Germans from Russia heritage that settled in northeastern Montana and parts of North Dakota.

Wahl also wanted to highlight this year's, and every year's, Steering Committee which consisted of Brant and Lynn Unrau, Bill and Trisha Reddig, Bob and Yvonne Brown, and Curt and Lisa Neufeld. Wahl praised the committee as, "Really the ones that get everybody lined up and everything done, and they don't really get talked about enough for what they do."


 

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