Community Thanksgiving Dinner set for Thursday


November 26, 2019

Havre Daily News/File photo

Will Rawn plates mashed potatoes, Nov. 22, 2018, in St. Jude Parish Center as a line of hungry people passes by the kitchen window during the annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner. The decades-old tradition continues this year, set for Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, in the Parish Center.

The annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner will be held Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Jude Thaddeus Parish Center, 440 Seventh Ave.

People who would like to order a meal must call the North Central Senior Citizens Center at 265-5464 to order one and meal orders must be called in by 4 p.m. Wednesday.

"We request people to order only one meal per person in the house," Community Thanksgiving Dinner Chairperson Debi Rhines said. "There are about 19 routes and the team delivers over 425 meals. People must be available at the address they provided between the hours of 9 to 10 a.m. to receive a meal."

People who are interested in volunteering for a route can call Melanie Zuidema at 265-1610. 

Rhines said the Community Thanksgiving Dinner started decades ago, funded by a a local resident and businessman who wanted to bring people together on Thanksgiving Day.

She added that from the first Havre Community Thanksgiving Dinner it has been free to the public. The expenses have always been paid for by an anonymous donor - the original donor died in 2004, but another stepped up to continue the tradition - and 100 percent of the preparations are done by volunteers.  

Gary & Leo's Fresh Foods bakes all the pies and dinner rolls and prepares all of the turkeys for the dinner.

Donations are not accepted at the event, and if any funds provided by the donor are left over they are donated to charity.

People also are invited to help with the preparations and serving of the meal itself.

Rhines said people can volunteer for Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. or Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Duties include food prep, food service, set up and clean up.

People who are interested in volunteering at St. Jude Parish Center can call or text Rhines at 945-2833.


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