As editorial page editor for The Forum newspaper in Fargo, Jack Zaleski is used to making people squirm. But a few old friends are about to have some fun turning the tables on the former Devils Lake resident.
“The North Dakota Roast of Jack Zaleski” is set for 6 p.m., Sept. 25, at the Lake Region Heritage Center in Devils Lake, N.D.
Robin Huebner of WDAY/WDAZ and The Forum will emcee the event. Former U.S. Congressman Earl Pomeroy is among six roasters who will get to take some good-natured shots at Zaleski, the former general manager and editor of the Devils Lake Journal. The event benefits The Village Family Service Center office in Devils Lake.
“This is kind of a wonderful about-face,” Pomeroy said. “You know, he roasted me for my entire political career. And now I get a chance to shoot back.”
“Rarely does a politician get to take a shot at an editorial board guy,” said Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney, a Devils Lake native who’ll also be roasting Zaleski. “It’s like, ‘I get to take a shot at you with no repercussions?’”
Also taking part in the roast are North Dakota Lieutenant Governor Drew Wrigley, North Dakota State Senator Dave Oehlke, businessman Rick LaFleur, and filmmaker, former journalist, and former ND Cowboy Hall of Fame Executive Director Darrell Dorgan. There’s talk of a mystery roaster, as well.
Zaleski and his wife, Sandi, lived in Devils Lake for years before moving to Fargo in 1987.
“Devils Lake has a special place in our hearts,” Zaleski said.
The Zaleskis also have close ties to The Village, a Fargo-headquartered nonprofit with about 20 offices in North Dakota and Minnesota. Sandi is a Regional Program
Supervisor at The Village and has worked for the nonprofit family services organization for more than 25 years.
“The Village does such good work at a time when it seems more of that kind of work is needed in North Dakota and Minnesota,” Zaleski said. “Of course, we’ll have a lot of fun, but the goal here is to raise a pile of money for services in the Devils Lake office. That’s what this is all about.”
Pomeroy said, “First of all, I love The Village, love their programs. The fact that this is part of a fundraising effort to support the great work of The Village makes me very happy to participate. And secondly, it’s payback time, pal!”
In preparation, Pomeroy says he’s going through “a very careful review of (Jack’s) sordid past.”
“I collect all the dirt I can find on him, and work myself into a particularly foul mood, then I start to write,” he said.
Of course, Zaleski’s roasters should be warned; Jack will get some time at the mic, as well.
“It’ll all be in good fun, and I’ll probably have to squirm a little bit,” he said. “But they need to be aware that I do my homework too about them. They need to understand that.”
To purchase tickets for the event or to inquire about purchasing a sponsorship, contact Jenny Boe at (701) 451-4957 or email@example.com.