By TERRI CASTELAZ
IRON MOUNTAIN – Five free Community Thanksgiving Dinners are being held in the area this year.
The annual Dickinson County Healthcare System dinner will be held at Dickinson County Memorial Hospital; the Pembine Area Christians is planning its 14th annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner; two Iron River churches are teaming up to host a community Thanksgiving dinner; Abiding Word Free Lutheran Church of Felch will serve a free Thanksgiving dinner, and Grace United Methodist Church of Norway hosted a free community Thanksgiving meal on Sunday, Nov. 17.
The Dickinson County Healthcare System dinner is provided for people who are alone for the holiday, or who cannot leave their home to enjoy a meal with family and friends, a spokesperson said.
The dinner will be held on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, in the Oasis Cafeteria of Dickinson Memorial Hospital from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Meals that are delivered will start at 10:30 a.m. with a limit of six meals for each address.
Reservations are required and can be made by calling 776-5320 before 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 26.
“Volunteers are needed to help with this meal. We welcome volunteers from the community to help us make this day a special one,” organizers said.
To help with the Community Thanksgiving Dinner, contact Sheri at 776-5404.
The Pembine Area Christians Community Thanksgiving Dinner will be held Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pembine Town Hall.
Everyone is welcome.
“This dinner is a wonderful way for folks in the community to come together in thanks for a time of sharing both a meal, and fellowship,” said Dan McClellan of the Pembine Area Christians. “It is especially great for those who might otherwise be alone or perhaps don’t have the resources for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.”
There is no cost for the meal. There will be a free-will offering for those wishing to contribute.
“If you know of anyone who is not able to go out, you are welcome to bring dinner to them,” McClellan said.
Donations of food and/or monetary gifts are welcome.
For planning purposes, notify organizers of food donations. For more information, contact Dan or Kris McClellan at (715) 324-5219.
A free traditional Thanksgiving dinner is once again planned by Abiding Word Free Lutheran Church of Felch on Thursday, Nov. 28 at the Felch Community Center.
They will be serving from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dinners will be delivered and rides are also available by calling (906) 246-3334 or (906) 246-3122.
“Everyone is welcome to attend for good food and fellowship,” said an church dinner organizer.
First Presbyterian Church and Grace Covenant Church in Iron River will host the sit-down meal on Thursday, Nov. 28 at 2 p.m. at First Presbyterian. Take out meals will also be available.
Menu includes turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetable, cranberry sauce, roll and pumpkin pie with whipped cream.
“We are counting on a generous community to help us fill out the menu,” said Marilyn Budzak, event coordinator.
They are still in need of 10 turkeys between 20 and 25 pounds, cooked, carved and brought to the church by 10 a.m. Thanksgiving Day. They also could use the gravy from the turkeys.
“This will save a mess and much needed time to get this dinner ready for noon deliveries,” she said.
Other items also needed are turkey gravy packets, large cans of chicken broth, boxes of stuffing, instant potatoes, large commercial cans of green beans or corn, canned cranberry sauce, rolls, butter and oleo, milk, lemonade and lemons.
Non-food items that people could donate include aluminum foil, paper plates for dessert, Thanksgiving napkins, paper tablecloths and hot and cold cups.
“It sounds like a formidable list, but I found out from year’s past that when asking for certain items, I usually get them by the end of the day. I am hoping the same will be so this year, but it’s in God’s hands and see what he will bless us with,” says Budzak.
The Grace Covenant Church has pledged 30 pumpkin pies, she notes.
Organizers are also hoping they will have a variety of side dishes to go with the traditional meal. Coffee is being provided by Jeanne Lake.
“This dinner is done on faith in the community with the knowledge that many are so happy to have a nice Thanksgiving meal delivered to them based on the generosity of the public,” said Budzak. “We acknowledge all those who have helped and may help again this year.”
To have a dinner delivered or picked up, call the church at 265-2018 or Budzak at 265-2258.
Anyone who can help prepare the meal, get meals ready for delivery or clean up after the meal, is asked to call Budzak.
On Sunday, Grace United Methodist Church of Norway served more than 60 people at the church to at a traditional sit down meal and also delivered 132 meals to residents in the community.
“We went through 120 pounds of turkey,” said Chris Spence, meal coordinator. “We cannot stress to the community the importance of making reservations so we have an accurate head count for meal planning.”
The next community free meal will be there Christmas dinner on Dec. 15. There is no cost for dinner, but a donation basket will be available for those who want to make a contribution toward the free meals program.
The church is located at 130 O’Dill Drive behind the Jake Menghini Museum.
Terri Castelaz’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.