Community Thanksgiving Foundation getting ready to deliver meals Thursday morning

Community Thanksgiving Dinner Foundation celebrates giving out Thanksgiving meals for 54 years
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 10:20 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Community Thanksgiving Dinner Foundation volunteers gathered again in the Agriculture Hall turning all your donations into Thanksgiving meals.

Foundation President David Braun said they also hit their financial goal for the year.

“We did reach our goal of $15,000, that was our monetary goal this year to pay for the extra expenses related just to delivery so that was great,” he said. “We had people coming in all day handing in a few dollars here and there and we had some bigger donations from around town and that really helped. The businesses came through.”

Braun said a group will come in around 4 a.m. Thursday to warm it up, they’ll start packing boxes at 8 a.m. and then, around 3,000 meals will hit the streets for delivery. For the second year in a row, the meal won’t be served in the Agriculture Hall on the grounds of the Stormont Vail Events Center.

“First deliveries will go out 9-9:30 depending on how we’re moving and yeah, so, we’re getting pretty close,” he said.

It wouldn’t be possible without people like Pauline Johnson, who helped start the annual feast in 1966. She’s going to miss not eating alongside people because of their COVID-19 precautions.

“Things have changed so much and thank god we can still send dinners out because those boxes over there are going to be full of dinners and we’re going to be delivering them and we’ve got a lot of people here delivering for us and it’s going to be good,” she said.

The next generation is seeing what their work can do for people. Cecile Thornburg, a 7th grader at Cair Paravel Latin School, started volunteering for the dinner a few years ago.

“It just feels very good and like the look on people’s faces when I go around to like deliver meals to them, it’s just very heartwarming,” she said.

Braun said, even if the meal looks different, he’s glad to keep the 54-year history going.

“The whole idea that ‘no one need dine alone on Thanksgiving.’ Just really comes through when everyone shows up throughout the week. I think we’re going to have about 400 volunteers when everything is said and done that’s come in and helped in some way for this dinner and it’s a great show of what Topeka really has to offer,” he said.

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