Amanda Johnson Havre Daily News email@example.com
This year’s Community Thanksgiving Dinner preparations are well under way. Volunteers were gearing up this morning to prepare and serve the dinner, while Gary & Leo’s Fresh Foods employees were preparing to cook the turkeys and pies. “We will begin cooking the turkeys and pies at 1 p. m. today,” said Tracy Job manager of Gary & Leo’s Fresh Foods. "The anonymous donor doesn't ask for a discount for the food that is purchased, they simply ask that we help prepare the food." Putting on the annual community dinner is a community project. “The Boys & Girls Club makes and donates all the decorations that will be on the tables every year, which is wonderful,” said dinner co-coordinator Kitty Williams. "Things are moving along more smoothly now, because the High School Hockey team has volunteered to come in and help with the dinner." The Thanksgiving dinner will be held at the St. Jude Parish Center Nov. 27 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Everyone in the community is invited to the free dinner. On the Thanksgiving Day menu is turkey, pumpkin pie with whipped Cream, mashed potatoes with gravy, rolls, relish trays, dressing and corn. The Havre Community Thanksgiving dinner, held for more than 25 years, gives the community a chance to come together for a holiday dinner. The event has been sponsored by an anonymous donor each year. The work that began this morning will continue throughout today, with volunteers meeting again at the parish at 6 a.m. Thursday and staying busy throughout the day. “On Thanksgiving day itself the work actually begins at 6 a.m. where the dinners are readied and then sent out for delivery with the sit down dinner starting at 11 a.m.,” Williams said. “Thursday involves getting the takeouts ready then preparing and serving the sit-down dinners. That takes a lot of volunteers.” The volunteers will deliver about 250 take-out dinners to people who are unable to leave their home, Williams estimated. The take out dinners are for people who are physically unable to come to the Parish Center. “The dinner will begin at 11 a.m. and will go until 3 p.m. People start lining up at 10:30 a.m.,” Williams said. “Our work begins today when we begin preparing fresh vegetables, getting relish packages and cranberries ready, cutting and preparing slices of pie, and preparing stuffing. We will be getting as prepared as possible (today) for the dinner on Thursday,” she added. This year Gary & Leo’s is cooking more than 550 pounds of turkey for the dinner and 75 pounds of dried bread will be used for the stuffing. The turkey, pies and dinner rolls are cooked by Gary & Leo’s, where the food for the dinner is purchased. Any leftovers after the dinner are donated to local services like the Feed My Sheep Soup Kitchen, Williams said. People needing their dinners delivered should call the North Central Senior Citizens Center at 265-5464 by 5 p.m. today. Community Thanksgiving organizers are asking that each group of people who attend the dinner sign in and list the number in their group. The information will be used to plan next year’s dinner. "Sometimes a little more of this or a little less of that is needed, depending upon how many people show up," said Williams.