Team Hee Haw celebrates after winning the final round of “Family Feud” at the Main Street Manning fundraising event Saturday night.
Team Hee Haw celebrates after winning the final round of “Family Feud” at the Main Street Manning fundraising event Saturday night.
November 18, 2013


Dressing the parts, teams Hee Haw, Six Feet Under, Goof Balls and City Slickers arrived in style Saturday night to show down "Family Feud"-style for the inaugural Main Event Saturday night at the Hausbarn Konferenz Center. The event raised more than $8,000 for the daily operations of the Main Street Manning organization.

Main Street Manning Board President Ron Reischl opened the evening on a celebratory note - through a $500,000 federal grant and matching local government and private funding, Manning has so far invested $1 million in revitalizing its downtown. This revitalization has included the restoration of 16 downtown building facades as well as remodeling on the insides of several buildings. Also, banners featuring the theme "Manning - It's refreshing" now grace the light poles throughout town.

Reischl challenged the event planning committee, comprised of himself, chair Jean Voege, Jean Behrens, Jamie Blum, Lois Croghan, Marsha Clausen, Gwen Jahn, Elissa Riesberg, Jen Riesen and Laurie Stein, to make the event as fun as the Manning Rotary's annual "Dancing With the Stars" fundraiser, and to do so without soliciting the Main Street businesses, instead providing "one-of-a-kind" auction items on their own.

The committee members delivered. The auction featured items ranging from regional food and wine baskets and sports memorabilia to Mary Sailer pies and a Lindsey Croghan hand-blown vase.

Six custom-cut black metal IKM-Manning Wolves sports signs, crafted by Jim Blum, sold for a total of $430 while a rocking horse hand-carved by Ryan and Jason Klocke in Templeton sold for $450. But stealing the show was a Texas-style barbecue for four, beverages and transportation home included, provided by Reischl himself. Auctioneer Keith Kerkhoff threw in a bottle of his own Templeton Rye whiskey, and the package sold for $675. Kerkhoff is assistant master distiller of Templeton Rye.

Funds were also raised throughout the evening when audience members used their dollars to vote for the losing team they wanted to challenge the winners in the final "Family Feud" face-off. The quiz game questions all related to Manning. Other than animals, what can be found at the local veterinary office? What is the longest street in Manning? What is Manning's favorite ice cream flavor? Other than potatoes, what ingredients are in the the loaded hash browns served at the Corner Cafe? The answers were collected via survey at Kinderfest in June.

Kicking off the entertainment was team Hee Haw, featuring Teresa Vonnahme as Lulu, Don Vonnahme as Junior, Nikki Sorenson as Baby and Paul Hiatt as Grandpa. Team Hee Haw faced team Six Feet Under, led by local funeral home owner Ruth "Digger" Ohde, also featuring John Ohde, Jackie Ohde and Michelle Meyer. Six Feet Under defeated Hee Haw with the answer "historic things" as something other than books that can be found in the Manning library.

In round two, team City Slickers, comprised of the flannel-clad and cowgirl-hat-sporting Dawn Rohe, Amy Ferneding, Anna Irlbeck and Carla Hacker challenged team Goof Balls, featuring Bob Stessman, Jeff Nelson, Todd Stadtlander and Doc Vonnahme, who lobbed golf balls into the crowd.

After the first question, the City Slickers' misplaced horses (who have opted to remain anonymous) arrived, prompting a "horse walked into a bar" joke from game show host Don Luesmann.

Despite equine efforts to throw the Goof Balls off their game, the men held the lead, moving on to face the undertakers in round three. But luck had run out for the golfers, who were shut out by Six Feet Under.

With $335 of the $910.57 total raised through audience votes, team Hee Haw returned to challenge Six Feet Under. Lulu, Junior, Baby and Grandpa won the final round, donating their $200 in winnings back to the Main Street Organization.

According to Reischl, 165 people attended the event. About $4,000 was raised through the auction and voting and about $4,500 was raised through ticket sales. He described the night as a success.

"This was intended to be both a fundraising event and a fun, social event," he said. "I think both were accomplished very well."