The Saratoga Sun -

Thanksgiving stuffing

21st annual feast serves up 156 meals


Keith McLendon

A crowded St. Ann's Parish Hall was home to the 21st annual Platte Valley Helping Hands Free Thanksgiving Dinner Thursday.

Platte Valley Helping Hands served up 156 Thanksgiving meals this year's at St. Ann's Parish Hall. Though that number decreased by 23 from last year's record of 179 the mood at St. Ann's on Thanksgiving seemed no less happy.

There was no shortage of food this year as nine turkeys-two more than last year-were donated by Valley Foods and the Wolf Hotel for the occasion.

Keith McLendon

Left to right, Chris Shannon, Chris D'Amico and Doug Campbell use Wednesday afternoon to get turkeys prepared for cooking the following morning.

Aside from the turkeys, menu items included traditional Thanksgiving fare like mashed potatoes and gravy, ham, dinner rolls, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin pies and more.

With the abundance of good food available, men and women of all ages seemed almost grandmotherly in their intent to make sure no one left hungry or with someone at home that might want a to-go order.

Speaking of to-go orders, Helping Hands served close to 33 of those, taking dinners to on-duty police and other people who had to work that day.

Merlynn Hoopes noted one difference between this year and previous years was that fewer take-outs were ordered.

Hoopes said of the event, "Every year, it's really quite exciting opening the doors to see who's here this year."

The success of the dinner keeps the Helping Hands volunteers, "stay amped up all year, thinking about next year's Thanksgiving," according to Hoopes.


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