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Subj: Thanksgiving Dinner
Date: 11/30/2002 4:51:54 PM Pacific Standard Time
From: kbwalk@mymailstation.com

Howdy Everyone!
   Well, I've been home for one week now, and survived fixing another
Community Thanksgiving Dinner.  We fixed enough food for around 600 people,
and had around 525 guests come and join us. 
   Several years ago I was feeling sorry for myself since I'm alone for the
holidays, so I decided to fix a dinner on Thanksgiving Day for anyone who
wanted to come.  So I made a flyer and walked up and down Main St handing out
the flyer and asking for donations.  I received five dollars that day.  Some
friends and I went ahead and fixed a dinner for 100 people, and actually 90
people came.  The second year I had much more support, and by the third year
it had gotten so big that I decided to incorporate it into a non-profit
organization.
   That all worked out successfully, so now it's a 501(c)(3) tax exempt, tax
deductible non-profit organization, and now we have a board of directors who
help run it.
   This is now our seventh year of serving a community dinner, and it'll be
our sixth year for fixing a Christmas Dinner.  We have the meal right on the
holiday -- Thanksgiving day and Christmas day, and we fix turkey and dressing
for Thanksgiving, and ham & scalloped potatoes for Christmas.  This is also
why I enjoy coming home for the holidays.
   This year we fixed 270 lbs of turkey meat, 150 lbs of potatoes (and had
only 4 scoops left over at the end!) 100 lbs of corn, stuffing, gravy,
cole-slaw, fruit salad, 650 dinner rolls donated by a restaurant (and none
were left!), pickles, coffee & iced tea, and pie for dessert.  We had over a
hundred volunteers, and during the dinner, several of them made up a
goodie-bag to hand to every person as they left.  The goodie-bags contained an
apple, an orange, a pack of cheese & crackers, and some chocolate candy.  The
little bags were decorated up beautifully and I think everyone really enjoyed
handing them out and receiving them. 
   The Community Building was decorated really nice, too.  We had pretty,
hunter-green colored table cloths on all the tables, with pretty fall-color
and green cloth napkins.  Each table also was decorated with a cornucopia.
Along with all the table and chairs being set up, there was also a corner
where people could sit and visit while they were waiting.
   Since we had so many volunteers, all the people who came to eat were able
to sit down and visit, and then we had the volunteers go through the serving
line and serve the people at the tables.  We heard many great comments about
how everyone really appreciated it that they didn't have to go through the
line themselves.
   One of my favorite policies about the dinner is that we gladly accept
donations 363 days a year, but when you come to the dinner, we will not accept
donations that day.  We had a great group of volunteers, including the kids
from the girls high school basketball team, and kids from the National Honor
Society.  I especially enjoy it when they are willing to get involved.  The
Senior Center provided transportation to those who couldn't drive in
themselves, and we delivered a few meals to some shut-ins.  Overall the meal
turned out great, and I think everyone really enjoyed it.  Now we have to gear
up for the dinner we'll be fixing on Christmas Day.
   Y'all take care, and I hope you had a great Thanksgiving Day!  KB

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