Volunteers serve almost 2000 Thanksgiving meals

With Thanksgiving upon us, it's a great time to reflect on all you are thankful for.

Kendrick said the mass volunteer effort to put the event on does not surprise her. The meal was free to the public but free will donations are accepted to cover the cost of next year's meal. Zimmerly said they expected to serve about 1500 meals.

This is Tedder's second year in a row coming to the church for Thanksgiving.

She said her volunteers make the event a possibility.

"They're nice people here", she said.

"Trinity is just really happy to have people come and spend Thanksgiving with us and join our family if they need a place to be".

"It's been wonderful. It's been a good turnout".

"Our church has been doing it for so many years that there are people that kind of like have their set job, they come in, they know how to do it", she said.

In addition to food and fellowship, a local band played songs for the guests including a rendition of "Sweet Home Alabama" with the words changed to personalize the song to Ashtabula.

At the church, volunteers celebrated the successful meal preparation with a toast with sparkling grape juice.

"We had 300 deliveries".

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Rachel Barber, who works on the committee that organizes the dinner, talked about how it all came together. After the deliveries were completed, the serving began at Corpus Christi Parish school cafeteria.

Neal Sulliman of Lower Burrell helped to peel 50 pounds of spuds for mashed potatoes.

To avoid a mashed potato starvation, volunteers went into high gear to mash all the peeled and cooked potatoes by hand.

"There are lots of needs, and not necessarily financial needs all the time", said Carleen Sanderson.

A couple of years after it was started, the meal grew too large for the East Topeka United Methodist Church, which at the time was at S.E. 7th and Lime.

Volunteers said the meal is a community meal offered to all.

Emma Maki, 5, was a volunteer in charge of handing out dinner rolls.

"We have some excellent volunteers that work so hard to ensure these people get a meal on Thanksgiving", said Ackerman.

He was working on Thanksgiving but decided to make a quick pit stop at the church for a turkey meal.

First Christian Church in Linton kept up its annual Thanksgiving dinner tradition. and this year's event was the biggest yet. "This is a lot better with friends".

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