CHUCKWAGON 2018 was another successful event!! 

CHUCKWAGON 2018 was another successful event!!  We sold 96 tickets this year!!  The menu was three types of chili with all the fixings you could possibly imagine.  The American Legion cooked the main chili and we received lots of compliments on how wonderful all the chili’s tasted.  The auction was outstanding with wonderful items to pick from.

More inside...

Hats and Mittens – Please help this season

Nokomis friends,

Some of you may recall the Nokomis helped a charity called Hats and Mittens last year. This is a charity started by Rebecca Jorgenson Sundquist who is on my board at the National Lutheran Choir. Several other NLC members help out with this event and Karen and I attend each year. Hats and Mittens was started by Rebecca when she noticed kids at the bus stop without hats or mittens. People attending the gala bring a set of hats and mittens as a part of the admission. It doesn't stop there. Hats and Mittens also sponsors a youth-oriented organization each year. One year it was cookie cart which employs young people to give them purpose, structure, a place to go, and keep them off the street. A different group receives the donations of the gala each year. There are many worthy applications and the decision about what group to honor is a tough one. This is a worthwhile charity.

This is where you come in. Last year the Nokomis donated 40 sets of hats and mittens, up from 31 the year before. We did GREAT! The demand exceeds the supply and requests come from unexpected places such as Edina. Teen sizes are also needed. You can often find hats and mittens (or gloves as mittens are hard to find) on sale somewhere or on clearance. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Karen and I have a good start with 10 sets. Let’s see if we can break last year’s record. You can bring your contribution to the November meeting or the December Christmas party.

Thanks you for your kind contributions last year and for considering helping again this year.

Mark and Karen Uecker

ZooBoo’s Finale Time is Here!

Celebrate Halloween without the Fright

All proceeds support the plants and animals of the Como Zoo and Conservatory.  The Nokomis has been helping out with this event since 1994 (this is our 23rd year).  We really want to help keep one of America's last free-admission zoos free.

Como Zoo will be transformed for Zoo Boo October 21st, 22nd and October 28th, 29th. Gates Open: 4:30-7:30 p.m. We're just four nights this year, so let's make them count.


Como Friends are starting to gear up for our annual Como Friends ZooBoo at Como Zoo event and hope that you can join us again!  Even returning volunteers need to fill out the Zoo's signup online - it just takes a minute.  You can find it here. Sign up to let the Nokomis know you're coming - all of the dates are on one online signup sheet.


The week before the event we have a workday set to break down product and kick off the event.  Consider taking on a station leader's role and join us October 14th.

On the morning of the first event night, Saturday October 21st, we'll be in full-on work to complete setups before the event.  We start at 9AM and hopefully we'll be done before the gates open.


Our folks will be heading up the new Halloween station, just inside the front gate.  We need to get there early (3PM), but we get done first.    Be sure to sign in up on the second floor of the Big Zoo Building - there are goodies for you there, and perhaps a surprise coupon.


Be sure to check with our folks at the first station, we'll get details there about the night's repast!  Hope to see you all there, all the time!

Chuckwagon Dinner and Fundraiser 2017

Chuck Wagon Dinner
Sponsored by

APRIL 22nd, 2017
at the
Dan Patch American Legion – Savage
12375 Princeton Ave
Savage, MN 55378
(Note the new location)

Cost is $12.00 per person

Social Time and Auction Viewing 5:00PM to 6:00PM
Chuck Wagon Chili Dinner Served, plus Fun and Games 6:00PM to 6:45 PM
Silent Auction Closes 7:15 PM
Door Prizes 6:00PM to 7:00PM

We are keeping our Chili menu this year as it was such a success last year!!  Come try mild to spicy and white Chili’s certain one will be your “hearts” desire!!  Along with our auction items the “claw” machine will be back filled with toys and gift cards to some of our favorite restaurants and stores.  Grab your cowboy hats, boots, and your horse (if you have one), spouse, family, friends, quarters for the claw machine and come enjoy lots of fun with us!

Please reserve your spots by APRIL 10th so we can make sure there is plenty of Chili and fixings for everyone!

** Our 2017 benefit will be for the  Hospice and Palliative Care at the MN VA Hospital in honor of one of our member’s losing her battle to cancer.

Valentine’s Dinner was Wonderful!

Emma, Shannon and Harrison just keep getting better and better every year! The Valentine Dinner was enjoyed by twelve lucky attendees on February 20th. The menu included:

  • First Course: Love Bite Martini, Queen of Tomato Tarts, Sesame-Chipotle Beef-Wrapped Asparagus Spears and Red Grapes
  • Second Course: Cold Tomato Soup with Ham & Boiled Eggs
  • Main Course: Chimichurri Chicken on Pearl Couscous with Swiss Chard Bundles
  • Dessert Coures: Magic Horta Egg, Coffee and Liqueur

The dessert stole the show, as it was a presentation dish in which a globe of white chocolate was melted by hot fudge to reveal triple chocolate cake within. It was really awe-inspiring!

The event raised almost $125 for the club. It was a lovely evening of visiting and enjoying the company and the culinary creativity. Thanks to the chefs for another incredible evening!

Hats and Mittens

Rebecca Sundquist Jorgenson is a friend and member of the National Lutheran
Choir Board. One of her passions is Hats and Mittens charity.

It started one day when she noticed kids at the bus stop without hats or
mittens. This eventually developed into a non profit fund raising
organization for providing those in need of "hats and mittens". Each year
at their gala, they sponsor an organization that helps disadvantaged, needy
youth, or any organization in the twin cities area that helps tomorrow's
generation realize their potential. The common thread is always supplying
hats and mittens to those in need. Believe it or not, even Edina has this
need. The need exceeds the supply.

Karen and I support this organization.You can help by bringing a hat and
mitten set (preferred to gloves) to any of the next two Nokomis meetings.

If you know of someone needing hats or mittens, they do take orders
952-221-3400 or

Mark and Karen

Chuck Wagon Dinner & Auction

Chuck Wagon Dinner
Sponsored by
Gallagher-Hansen V.F.W.
111 South Concord Exchange
South St Paul
APRIL 19th, 2015
Cost is $12.00 per person

Social Time and Auction Viewing 5:00 to 5:30 PM
Chuck Wagon Dinner Served

(Geronimo Joes, Yosemite Slaw, Cheyenne Bean Casserole, Lakota Punch, Crazy Horse Cake and Crockett Cake for dessert)

5:30 to 6:30 PM
Silent Auction Closes 6:45 PM
Door Prizes 5:30 to 6:30 PM

Along with our auction items we will have a "claw" machine that you can try to pick up containers filled with gift cards to some of our favorite restaurants and stores (there might even be some toys to dive for). We will also have a cotton candy machine! We can even make some sugar free cotton candy. So grab your cowboy hats, boots, and your horse (if you have one), spouse, family, friends, quarters for the claw game and come enjoy the fun with us!

Please reserve your spot by APRIL 12th so we can make sure there is plenty to eat for everyone!

** Our 2015 benefit will be for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention due to losing one of our members to this disease. ***

Chuckwagon Dinner To Also Benefit “SAVE”

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States for all ages, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Every day, approximately 105 Americans die by suicide—that’s over 38,000 Americans every year. They leave behind an estimated quarter-million people—spouses, parents, siblings, friends—who become suicide survivors.

For our Chuckwagon Dinner, the U.S.S. Nokomis is directing a portion of the proceeds to SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education), a Bloomington-based organization with a national reach in suicide prevention. SAVE’s mission is “to prevent suicide through public awareness and education, reduce stigma and serve as a resource to those touched by suicide.” We do this in memory of Nokomis member Bill Bredesen, who passed in August 2011.

SAVE’s prevention and education programs are designed to:

  • Increase knowledge about depression, other brain illnesses and the need for assessment and treatment as suicide prevention.
  • Increase knowledge about symptoms of depression and the warning signs of suicidal thinking and behavior.
  • Increase understanding and the use of intervention skills that can help avoid the tragedy of suicide.
  • Increase knowledge about community resources and how to access and use them.

SAVE also provides customized training programs for:

  • Clergy.
  • Mental health professionals.
  • Medical professionals and others in hospitals and healthcare settings.
  • Law enforcement personnel.
  • Social services professionals.
  • Educators.

Issues such as risk assessment, community-based suicide prevention, environmental safety, gatekeeper training, intervention techniques, and documentation are some of the topics covered in SAVE’s professional education courses.

For every dollar raised, 92 cents goes directly toward programs. SAVE has earned the Independent Charities of America Seal of Excellence, which is awarded to nonprofit charitable organizations that have been independently reviewed annually and certified to meet the highest standards of public accountability, program effectiveness, and cost effectiveness. Of the 1,000,000+ charities operating in the United States today, fewer than 2,500 have been awarded this Seal. For more information about this worthy organization, go to