BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – With the Thanksgiving holiday just around the corner, the Fort Madison Community Thanksgiving Dinner Committee is busy finalizing last minute details. With over 900 meals served to the community last year, efforts are being ramped up this year.
Fort Madison Chamber of Commerce Coordinator Savanna Collier, said the Nico Pothitakis family has agreed again to purchase the turkeys for the annual lunch. Last year the committee used more than 700 pounds of turkey.
“We’re ticking right along,” Collier said of this year’s planning. “The committee has done it for so many years, pretty much everyone knows what’s going on.”
“We go through 700 lbs. of turkey and the prison will be cutting up and cooking the vegetables for us again. They enjoy that and they’re also going to be providing some cookies this year.”
She said the committee will be looking for volunteers to help staff two days of preparation and a day of serving. She said the Community Thanksgiving Hotline will be active beginning Nov. 12 and those looking to volunteer their time or make a donation to the event can do so by calling the hotline at 319-371-1277 beginning Nov. 12.
“We’re already getting people calling but we will have the hotline ready starting that Monday,” Collier said.
The dinner will take place on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, in the Fort Madison High School Multi-Purpose Room from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers will be available to assist with trays, beverages, and of course bringing a choice of homemade pies to tables.
Deliveries are available to shut-ins and those with transportation issues. Deliveries will be made on Thanksgiving Day from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. To arrange for a delivery, residents can call the Thanksgiving Hotline phone at 319-371-1277 beginning Nov. 12th. Area residents are encouraged to dine at the high school, but carry outs will be available after 12:30 pm.
Collier said the committee appreciates the efforts of the greater Fort Madison business community and Fort Madison Community School District who partner with them to help make this free event happen.
“It is the goal of the group to see that no one is overlooked this Thanksgiving so getting the word out to community members in need and to those who may not have a family to share a holiday meal with is of utmost importance,” she said.
Volunteers are needed to chop, mix, bake, count, greet, serve, deliver, setup, and cleanup in various shifts on Tuesday (4-8pm), Wednesday (8am-4pm), and Thursday (8am – 3pm). Volunteer slots are limited so calling the hotline starting on the 12th is encouraged.
“We are in need of pie donations, as well. Financial donations continue to allow us to bring the free meals to those in the community who otherwise may not have one. All monetary donations go to the Community Thanksgiving Fund and are used for Community Thanksgiving expenses,” Collier said.