Coffee has bonded the Scandinavia community for the past 12 years.
About 30 to 40 people gather for coffee every Thursday morning in the Scandinavia Municipal Building.
Over cups of coffee and cookies, they reminisce, talk about current events and build friendships.
Cake is served once a month to celebrate area birthdays.
The idea for a weekly coffee social hour was conceived by area resident Sue (Krostue) Barlow. She received permission from the town and village boards to use the community room.
“I wanted to try it for a year and see how it went,” Barlow said. “It has snowballed. The crowd grew and grew.”
“Who would have thought it would grow into this?” she added. “I had no clue.”
In addition to Scandinavia, people come from Iola, Waupaca, Amherst, Ogdensburg, Weyauwega and points in between and beyond. The ages range from 2 to 100.
“It was meant mostly for senior citizens, but any age is welcome,” Barlow said.
On Wednesday nights, she bakes cookies to go with the coffee. When someone is celebrating a birthday, he usually brings the cake and other treats.
Barlow noted the coffee hour is a free event, but most people donate a dollar. “I donate it back to the community,” she said.
Barlow uses the money to help area nonprofits, such as the Scandinavia Food Pantry, Friends of Scandinavia History, Scandinavia Booster Club, Scandinavia Fire Department, Jorgens Park and area 4-H clubs.
The Scandinavia Coffee Hour is scheduled for 9 a.m. every Thursday, but most people are ready for coffee by 8:30.
“So if you’re here at 9, you’re late,” Barlow said.
She and her husband Brian arrive early on Thursday to start the coffee.
Barlow started the weekly get-together as a way to give back to the community.
“It’s my thing,” she said. “I’m the ‘coffee lady.’”