By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
The Little Falls Chamber of Commerce named Donna Kapus the September Employee of the Month. Kapus has been employed at LeBlanc’s Rice Creek Hunting & Recreation for 30 years.
“I followed in my mother’s footsteps when I began working at the Game Farm in the sixth grade,” said Kapus. “I would help by cleaning the clubhouse which the hunters used daily.”
As she got older, Kapus moved to cleaning and dressing the birds shot by hunters and eventually became the supervisor of the processing department. For the past 13 years, she has been the head cook for Rice Creek and now also the clubhouse supervisor.
“My duties are many,” she said. “I order food, plan the menus and prepare the meals. In the mornings, I have rolls and coffee for the hunters, and if requested, I make cinnamon rolls. The hunters are offered breakfast, lunch and dinner and their favorite is the wild game dinner.”
The wild game dinner includes pheasant, duck, potatoes, dressing, vegetables, coleslaw, cranberries, a roll and dessert.
While hunting season has not started as yet, Kapus has been busy with preparations. She is making pheasant pot pies for when the hunters arrive, along with duck chili.
“The hunters are able to trade their birds for the pot pies or the chili if they wish,” she said. “Or they can take their dressed birds.”
During the summer, Kapus does short-order cooking for those who come for sporting clays, There are also three different week-long summer camps for children.
“Donna has been with us from the start of Rice Creek. She has been essential in our growth and prosperity,” said owner Joe LeBlanc. “She is a great chef, but even more, a much greater person. Her personality is warm and caring and she brings joy to her fellow employees, our customers and all the people here at Rice Creek.”
Kapus said her favorite part of working at Rice Creek is the people she works with.
“I am very blessed to have a tremendous, dedicated staff to work with. I could not provide the great meals we serve without all of my dependable help. We all work well together,” she said. “I also enjoy all the people I have met. When many of them arrive for a meal, they have to come and see me and give me a hug before entering the dining hall.”
Kapus lives north of Freedhem with her husband Gene. They have three children and two grandchildren. Her free-time enjoyment includes playing cards, dancing, crafts and fishing.
For becoming the Employee of the Month, Kapus received gift certificates from Broadway Stylists, Perkin’s and the Dairy Queen. She had her photo taken by Silker Studio and was given a cookbook from the St. Gabriel’s Hospital Hospice Program.