Tim Leeds Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Planning for the annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner is under way, and organizers are looking for volunteers to help provide the feast. “Usually we have 70-plus people (working),” said coordinator Kitty Williams. “ We start at 3 o’clock Wednesday afternoon as we get as prepared as possible for takeout dinners.” Williams said the event, which has been sponsored by an anonymous donor for about 25 years, typically s e r ve s a b o u t 8 0 0 me a l s o n Thanksgiving Day, including about 250 dinners delivered to people who are shut in and can’t make it to the dinner itself, held in the St. Jude Parish Center. After preparing as much as possible on the Wednesday before the holiday, work starts at about 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving itself, she said. The dinners for take out are readied and then sent out for delivery, with the sit-down dinner starting at 11 a.m. “We have people coming in at 10:30 to get in line,” she said. Williams said everyone is welcome at the dinner. Some people who come simply don’t have any family coming and don’t want to prepare a holiday dinner for two, she added. “It’s open to anyone who would just like dinner,” she said. One of the more popular parts of the meal is the music, this year being set up by Mavis Filler. “(Last year) a lot of people stayed just to listen to the music,” Williams said. The prep work Wednesday includes preparing fresh vegetables, getting relish packages and cranberries ready; cutting and preparing slices of pie, and preparing stuffing, she said. The turkey and pies and dinner rolls are cooked by Gary & Leo’s IGA, where the food for the dinner is purchased. “I have a grocery list we use,” Williams said. “It’s pretty much the same every year.” Thursday involves getting the takeouts ready then preparing and serving the sit-down dinners. That takes many volunteers. Williams said the work after the take-out dinners are completed includes keeping the food available in the serving line, serving the people who come to eat, pouring coffee, removing the dishes and silverware and washing it, and then the finish. “The end of the day the hardestworking crew comes in and cleans up the center,” she said. Leftovers are donated to local services like the Feed My Sheep Soup Kitchen, Williams said. The organizers ask that each group of people sign in and list the number in their group so the information can be used to plan next year’s dinner sometimes a little more of this or a little less of that is needed, Williams said, depending on how many people show up. People interested in volunteering for the event can call Williams after 6 p. m. at 265-1007 or contact her by e-mail at kittywilliams57@hotmail. Com. Messages for Williams can also be left, telling what days and shifts and jobs people would like to volunteer for, at 265-6795 ext. 16 or at tleeds@havredailynews. Com.