Preparations being made for Thanksgiving meal
Every Thanksgiving, people in the Holton and Jackson County area are invited to the annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner, and this year will be no exception.
The only difference this year is the location. Dinner organizer Freda Galer said that this year’s dinner, set from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 27, will be held at the Evangel United Methodist Church Family Life Center at Third Street and Pennsylvania Avenue — the first Thanksgiving dinner to be held at that location after being held at the St. Dominic Catholic Church parish hall for several years.
The EUM center was tested as the site of last year’s Christmas dinner after it was determined attendance at the 2012 Christmas dinner was too much for the parish hall to handle, and a larger venue was needed, Galer said. Moving the dinner site has worked well, as last year’s Christmas dinner drew a record crowd of more than 400 dine-ins and carry-outs, it was reported.
Galer said that with the larger venue for the dinner, the requests for food items are a little larger. And even if the dinner doesn’t draw as much of a crowd as last year — Galer said last year’s Thanksgiving dinner, with 255 diners served, less than the average 300, was the lowest turnout in many years — much of the leftovers can be frozen and stored for the Christmas dinner, she added.
This year’s dinner item requests include 12 20-pound turkeys, cooked and deboned; five 10-pound hams; seven gallons each of corn and green beans; five gallons of sweet potatoes; four gallons each of instant potatoes and baked beans; 35 boxes of stuffing; 20 fruit and vegetable salads; 15 Jell-O salads; 30 dozen rolls; 17 cakes; and 23 pies.
Donations of money and manpower also keep the annual dinner going, Galer said. Concerning the latter, volunteers are being sought to set up the Family Life Center on the day before the dinner, and servers, cooks, delivery drivers and clean-up crews are being sought for the day of the dinner.
As always, the Thanksgiving dinner is open to all, regardless of age, hometown, income bracket or religious affiliation, as it has been for several years. It’s also open to all those who may not feel like cooking a big meal or “if they just want some company,” Galer said.
To make a food donation or pledge volunteer services for the upcoming Thanksgiving dinner, or to reserve a delivery meal, call Galer at 364-4160. Money donations also are being accepted for the dinner; contact Francis DeVader at 364-2507 for more information.