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Three to be inducted into Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame in ND this month

Daniel O'Donnell1 / 3
Julie Ingebretsen 2 / 3
Myron Thompson3 / 3

MINOT, N.D. — A Minot restaurateur, a Nordic marketplace and an international entertainer will be added to the honor roll of the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame at its annual awards banquet Tuesday, Sept. 25 at Minot's Grand Hotel.

Held in conjunction with Minot's annual Norsk Høstfest festival, the hall of fame honors persons of Scandinavian descent and bestows other special awards.

The restaurant chain owner to be honored is Myron Thompson, a native of Upham, who is of Norwegian heritage.

He has been in the restaurant business almost nonstop since 1970 and has built or purchased 23 Applebee's restaurants in California, Arizona, Minnesota and North Dakota. He also co-owns two Noodles & Company restaurants in Montana and, with his son Chad, four Qdoba restaurants in North Dakota.

Thompson has also been active in the temporary help industry. The company he started in 1989, Labor Force, has evolved into a publicly traded entity on the Nasdaq stock exchange. His son will present the award.

Julie Ingebretsen, granddaughter of the Norwegian immigrant founder of Ingebretsen's Nordic Marketplace, will accept an honor on behalf of her family.

The business is the Twin Cities' oldest retail business dedicated completely to Scandinavian foods and products. Family-owned and operated since 1921, it began as a meat market and deli catering to the area's Scandinavian immigrant population. Today, the business offers not only extensive food items, a kaffe bar, gifts and special sections devoted to needlework and children's interests, but classes in cooking, crafts, culture and stitchery.

Receiving a special award this year will be Irish singer Daniel O'Donnell, who will be honored with the Høstfest Humanitarian Award for his compassion for human beings and his philanthropic work, most notably with the Romanian Challenge Appeal, an effort aimed at helping assimilate into society thousands of young people left to languish in that country's orphanages in the 1980s and 1990s.

O'Donnell has used his fame to raise the profile of the organization. John E. Harris III, president and CEO of Prairie Public Broadcasting, will present the award to O'Donnell.

The annual hall of fame banquet starts with a social beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed by the dinner and program beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $60 per person and available online at or by calling 701-852-2368.