Last year’s Community Thanksgiving Dinner, sponsored by The Generous Hearts of Augusta, went so well that there was no question when it came to planning a second one.
The Second Annual Thanksgiving Dinner for everyone in the community will be held on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28th at Frye Auto, 603 W. 7th. Serving will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The meal is free and open to all.
“It’s a community re-connection - reunion of sorts. It’s a chance to enjoy Thanksgiving and seeing people who you may have not seen in a while,” co-organizer Sue Hoefgen explained.
The Generous Hearts of Augusta prefer anonymity, but the idea of the dinner was something local businessman Kelly Modlin had kicked around for a number of years.
“I thought about it for several years and most people agreed that it was a great idea, but the idea never really got off the ground. Then I called Sue last year. You know how she gets things done,” Modlin continued, “We didn’t have much time, but we pulled it off. Sue’s a major player and she made it happen.”
Both Modlin and Hoefgen agree that the location on the main thoroughfare not only makes it easy for local residents, but it helps draw in travelers who might be looking for a good traditional Thanksgiving meal.
“One of our goals is to keep it open and community friendly - that’s why it’s not held at a church. Some people feel more comfortable coming to “non-denominational” setting,” Modlin explained.
No one is asked to purchase food, but volunteers are needed to cook the items. The food and containers may be picked up at a designated time at Augusta Rentals and then after preparing the food it can be dropped off at the location on Thanksgiving morning.
The system worked very well last year.
The menu includes turkey breast, green beans, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, rolls, and pie. The only donated food items are pies.
“Last year we did have a couple of folks bring in smoked turkeys and pulled pork. We won’t turn anything away,” Hoefgen advised.
A group of Augusta High School young men volunteered last year to help set up tables and more youth helpers are expected this year.
As early as August, people wanting to help this year contacted the organizers.
“It’s a great way to get the youth involved. And it’s a family opportunity to give back to the community Everyone really enjoyed themselves last year,” Modlin said.
Page 2 of 2 - “We had people who came to help and stayed all afternoon. Everyone really enjoyed it. We’ve got people coming back and they’re bringing their families,” Hoefgen added.
Last year the food left was taken to a women’s shelter in El Dorado and anything left this year will also go to Butler County location.
The organizers want to stress that the meal is open to everyone - not just people who are alone on the holidays, or shut-ins. It’s a community celebration.
Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks, which include: assisting people dropping off the food, serving people, seating people, delivering food those who requested a delivery, assistance with parking, greeting people, serving beverages, and clean up.
Financial donations - For business donations, call Kelly Modlin at 258-1598, to drop off a financial donation, Security 1st Title, Angie Engels at 260-5634.
Work schedule for events - Sue Hoefgen, 644-8537
Meal delivery - Sue Hoefgen, 644-8537
Pies - Dana at McCollom Construction, 775-1208
Cooking food for the dinner - Penny or Kelly at Augusta Rental, 775-5050.