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Thanksgiving Dinner Served Up For Community
You can tell by all the smiles that the enthusiasm and excitement still continues after 19 years. The Spirit of Oakdale committee is just as thrilled to celebrate another Thanksgiving dinner with the community, as they were from the very first day. - photo by Virginia Still/The Leader

The Spirit of Oakdale committee is continuing to do what it does best. They will be hosting the 19th annual Thanksgiving dinner at Oakdale’s Gene Bianchi Community Center, 110 S. Second Ave., on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 22. They will be serving from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and seating people as they come through the door.

Mickey Peabody and Vickie Thompson originally started this community dinner in 1994. They had more volunteers attend the dinner that year than they had guests. However, every year since then the attendance has gone up. There has been no shortage of volunteers, but they have seen a decline in donations.

“The people in the community are very giving and by the day of the dinner, we manage to have enough for everyone,” stated Peabody. “We are one big family.”

She added that she no longer makes Thanksgiving dinner at home. Instead she likes to enjoy it with her family and community family at the community center.

They are in real need this year for turkeys, desserts, and donations. The turkeys need to be cooked, unstuffed, and brought to the community center either the Wednesday night before or on Thanksgiving, Thursday morning. If you are traveling out of town and need to drop them off earlier than that, you can drop them off at the H-B. They have allowed the Spirit of Oakdale committee to store turkeys in their walk-in refrigerator.

On the night before Thanksgiving, volunteers will be out in full force, preparing for the big dinner. Several volunteers will be prepping dishes and peeling potatoes. Peabody and Thompson expressed that the idea is to make sure everyone eats on Thanksgiving and that no one has to be alone. There are no fees or restrictions to attend this event. Everyone is welcome to come out and enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal, with homemade recipes and all the fixings.