Czech dinner once again supports veteran causes

Published 8:18 am Thursday, December 6, 2018

More than $3,000 is going toward local veterans causes thanks to the fifth Czech It Out Meal offered in November at the Austin VFW Club.

With a sold-out event of 150 diners, the Czech-style meal on Nov. 17 raised funding to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 1216 Club in Austin along with the Mower County chapter of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

Since 2012, the Czech It Out event now has raised more than $20,000 for local veterans causes.

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The Ruzek brothers — Mike, Dave and Dan, all of Austin — established the Czech It Out fundraiser meal in 2012 to support local veteran groups as well as honor their late parents, Carl and Stella Ruzek. Their father, Carl, was a disabled World War II veteran, and their mother, Stella, often cooked Czech meals and made kolaches, a baked Czech treat.

The fundraiser’s traditional Czech meal included roast pork, corn and gravy along with the Ruzek family’s dumplings recipe and homemade sauerkraut. Kolaches from an area bakery also were served.

Hy-Vee Food Store in Austin the grand prize drawing of a $1,000 gift card to the grocery store. Austin resident Will Bjorndal won the grand prize and donated part of it to the Salvation Army Food Shelf. Numerous other prize drawings were done at the event along with a live auction.