Prayer breakfast draws big crowd

For the second-straight year, the Kiwanis Good Friday breakfast at the Red Dog Inn here was a sell-out success, attracting more than 240 people.
That’s great growth considering the inaugural event 10 years ago only saw 43 attend.
“Every year it’s increased,” said Kiwanian Ken Koprowski, who organized the breakfast. “It has become so popular, I don’t have to do any promotion. It sells itself.”
The Good Friday breakfast has become a must attend Easter weekend event (the last available ticket this year was sold 10 days in advance) for young and old alike, as well as people from different religious backgrounds.
“There are representatives from 20 churches under one roof,” said Dr. Bob Lidkea, secretary of the local Kiwanis Club.
Koprowski noted the breakfast is about multi-denominational celebration. One feature is to have a guest speaker give an Easter message to the group gathered.
“The purpose is to get ministers from around the area to speak,” said Koprowski, adding they approach a wide variety of religious sects. “They’ve all been very willing to do that.”
This year’s speaker was Pastor Sandy McEvoy of the Joy of Life Fellowship Church. She intertwined her sermon-style message with religious musical selections with an Easter theme to the delight of all those on hand.
Music has been a recent addition to the breakfast.
“Only in the last four years have we had music,” said Koprowski. “It has added a tremendous feature to the breakfast.”
But the main purpose of the breakfast is to celebrate the true meaning of Easter.
“Easter isn’t about the Easter Bunny and the Easter eggs,” Koprowski told the group. “You know what it’s about. That’s why you’re here.
“We focus on the reason for celebrating Easter,” he continued, noting that it isn’t trivialized by holding draws or something else to get people in the door.
Koprowski was instrumental in starting the annual event after moving here from London, Ont. where there was a Good Friday breakfast. When he arrived, he immediately joined the Kiwanis and upon finding out there no longer was a breakfast in town, he volunteered to do it.
“One minister from International Falls commented that he was pleasantly surprised that a service group would put on a religious event such as this,” said Koprowski.
He explained the Kiwanis look to the community throughout the year to support projects and fundraisers, such as its Trip of the Month draw, Meals on Wheels, and Sunny Cove Camp.
The breakfast is a way for the club to give back to the community.
Koprowski also noted the $5 fee charged for the breakfast doesn’t cover the complete cost of the meal—and it’s not meant to.
“We supplement their tickets. It’s a way to return our gratitude to the community,” he said.
Koprowski added meal is made possible by the support given by the Red Dog Inn. The past two years the breakfast has sold out, but rather than finding a new, larger location to hold it, the club is showing its loyalty to the Red Dog by staying put.
“The Red Dog has been very accommodating to us,” he said, adding the agreement for the meal hasn’t changed over the 10 years. “They have great meals.”
In addition to the music and Easter message, the Kiwanis Builders’ Club from Robert Moore School made a presentation of canned goods—collected at the school—to Pastor McEvoy for “David’s Deli,” which is run out of the Joy for Life Fellowship Church.
The free community kitchen is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays to feed the less fortunate and many students from the nearby school.