Smaller turnout noted for community Thanksgiving dinner
Attendance at Thursday’s annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner was down again, according to dinner organizer Freda Galer, but those who came to the dinner were thankful for the food and hospitality.
“We didn’t have as many as we wanted, but it was such a beautiful day,” said Galer, who noted that about 250 people were served at this year’s dinner, held at the Family Life Center at Evangel United Methodist Church. Of that total, she added, 50 dinners were carry-outs.
This year’s total was below last year’s count of 255 diners, which Galer said at that time was “the smallest turnout I think we’ve ever had.” It was also below the total of 262 diners at the 2012 dinner and well below the average of 300 dinners served at the community Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.
But while there weren’t as many people taking advantage of the Thanksgiving dinner — which is open to all area residents regardless of age, income or religious affiliation — those who did showed Galer and others involved with the dinner no shortage of gratitude.
“The ones who were there really enjoyed it,” she said. “I got a lot of phone calls from people telling me how good they thought it was.”
The lower turnout also provided an ironic blessing for the upcoming Community Christmas Dinner, set for Thursday, Dec. 25 at the Family Life Center, in that servers were able to freeze Thursday’s leftovers and have them on hand for the Christmas dinner. That means the list of food items needed for the upcoming dinner is smaller, Galer said.
“We have all the cakes we need, and we won’t need near as many pies,” she said. “What we’re going to need is green beans.”
The food list for the Christmas dinner includes four turkey cookers, one gallon of instant potatoes, two gallons of corn, nine gallons of green beans, six gallons of sweet potatoes, 25 dozen rolls, 19 fruit and vegetable salads, 10 Jell-O salads and 16 pies.
Volunteers also are sought to help set up the Family Life Center, serve the dinner and clean up after it is over, Galer said.
To make a food donation or pledge volunteer services for the upcoming Christmas dinner, or to reserve a delivery meal, call Galer at 364-4160. Those seeking delivery meals are strongly encouraged to call Galer in advance of the meal, it was reported.
Monetary donations also are being accepted for the dinner; contact Francis DeVader at 364-2507 for more information.