MSU President's Newspaper Column

April 23, 2022

Community support shines through the Tables du Jour event

We are blessed beyond compare by the many alumni, friends, and community members who give of themselves for the benefit of Mayville State University. The number of students who cite their interaction with the community as a key reason for their happiness with being a Mayville State student is remarkable. We are grateful!

While there are hundreds of examples attesting to the support of our alumni and friends, a prime example is unfolding this week in the Tables du Jour event. The event has been on a hiatus since 2019 because of the coronavirus pandemic. We’re thrilled that it’s back this year for the 16th time!

The purpose of the event is to raise scholarship dollars for Mayville State students. Tables du Jour was begun to support scholarships for Mayville State students involved as members of the band and/or choir. Because that support has grown substantially with time, it was decided a few years ago that proceeds should go to general scholarship funds, where the need was greater.

I tip my hat to Kim Lauf and Shireen Grinager who founded Tables du Jour years ago. Their vision for the event and the effort they put into making it a smashing success each year is exceptional. They poured their hearts and souls into what became a labor of love for them for many years.

What is Tables du Jour? “Tables du Jour,” or “Tables of the Day,” features elaborately decorated tables, each with its own special theme. Décor ranges from fun and cute, to whimsical, to very elegant. Volunteer table designers are encouraged to think “outside the box” and to create with wild abandonment.

Volunteers are asked to come up with a theme and to decorate a table. They provide everything from the table linens, dishes, and silverware, to the many “extras” that make each table special. They are also asked to sell admission tickets to others who will attend the event and have brunch at their tables.

A sampling of this year’s 28 table themes includes “Legally Blonde,” “Giraffes,” “My Fair Lady,” “Summer of Love,” and “Listen to Your Heart.” One can only imagine the creativity, thought, and planning that has gone into preparing these tables. Planning for these elaborate tables begins months and sometimes years in advance.

Founders Kim Lauf and Shireen Grinager have passed the torch to a committee of community volunteers who are heading up Tables du Jour 2022. They are Lori Morkve, Kaliann Behrens, Molly Lenaburg, Pam Sedler, and Beth Swenson. Kaliann comes from quite a distance … the Twin Cities. She and her mom got involved in the early years and have continued to support the event year after year with their amazing table designs and more.

The committee has been extremely diligent and generous in their work to make this year’s event a big success. While many things are the same, there are a few new features, including live music by “Fallcreek Quartet” from Grand Forks and a raffle event that includes some really great prizes: a Kindle Fire HD 8 and a diamond necklace donated by Lori Morkve, a Visio 50” smart TV donated by Kaliann Behrens, and a Kate Spade purse donated by Marsha Behrens. Raffle tickets sell for $10 each and will be available for purchase during the event. Also, some members of the committee have gone above and beyond and designed additional tables so members of the general public have a chance to attend, as well as those who are invited specifically by table hosts and hostesses. The response to that has been great!

I would be remiss if I didn’t publicly recognized Jeff Miller of Miller’s Fresh Foods and Happy Harry’s Bottle Shops in Grand Forks and Fargo for their donations that are helping to support the event, which in turn supports Mayville State students. Thank you!

I hope you will join me in thanking the members of the committee, the table designers, the attendees, and all who are teaming up to make Tables du Jour a great event with an important cause. Their dedication, work, and generosity are opening doors and providing opportunities for students.

The Tables du Jour 2022 brunch event was held the morning of Saturday, April 23. A preview event, hosted by Sheryl Vinje and Jackee Lerol, took place Friday evening, April 22. The public was invited to view the wonderful tables, enjoy refreshments, and participate in the raffle and silent auction events. 

Scenes from Tables du Jour 2022

Click on a thumbnail below to enlarge the photo, then use the arrow key to scroll.