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Vision of family

Odden remembers father in Tables Envisioned

August 16, 2013
Chris Bieri - Tribune Editor , Pierce County Tribune

Rarely does a day pass when Laurie Odden doesn't think of her father, who died of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1997.

The memories are crisp, of helping pack his lunch box before taking them to him out in the field every day.

It's those memories that Odden dedicated to her table setting for Tables Envisioned, a Lions Club fundraiser which will be presented at the Heart of America Library Aug. 22-24.

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Laurie Odden’s submission for Tables Envisioned is dedicated to her father. The theme is lunch boxes and will include some like the one Odden packed with her father, Roger’s lunch, and took it out to the field each day.

Odden's display will feature a number of her 25 lunch boxes and a number of other items that honor his memory.

"I have some other items from my childhood that remind me of my dad and things we had done together," Odden said. "I will have a photo of my dad and a couple games, etc. from my childhood. At this time I'm planning to put in on a picnic bench or something along that line."

It's not only her father, but other moments and people from her childhood that have the association with the lunch boxes. Those connections have extended to motherhood, when her kids gravitated to lunch boxes.

"I kind of like collecting things with meaning, if that makes sense," Odden said. "So I had come across a lunch box - just a plain black domed cover, one that reminded me of making lunches and taking them out to the field for my dad. The rest of the lunch boxes I have collected just remind me of different things in my childhood - TV shows I liked or my siblings liked. And once I had kids of my own I found a Scooby Doo one that my daughter loved then she was little and then a WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) one when my son went through a spell of loving WWE."

She'd gone to see the other Tables Envisioned displays in past years, but this year had the time to do her own. Her display will include a number of vintage boxes, along with the trusty box and thermos sets that so many used years ago.

"I have approximately 25 lunch boxes, but they will not all be on display," she said. "Most of them are metal and have the thermos with them. Some are the plastic but are from the 70s and 80s. I have bought them at auctions, my mom and friends have picked some up for me and I have purchased some on Ebay. I have a miniature Fisher Price one that was a toy we played with when we were little."

Odden, who is a community relations manager for the America Cancer Society, is also tying together daffodils in honor of Daffodil Days, a major ACS fundraiser.

Her interest in working toward cancer prevention also sprouted from the memory of her father.

"I started working for the American Cancer Society seven years ago, and one of our major fundrasiers is our Daffodil Days Campaign," she said. "I lost my dad in 1997 to Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. I started volunteering that next year with the American Cancer Society, and when a job opened in 2007 in the area, I applied."

Tables Envisioned will be available for public viewing at the library from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Aug. 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 23 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 23.

Admission is $5.



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