LA CROSSE, WI (WKBT) -

Thousands gathered at the La Crosse Center for the annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner.  It's the 32nd year for the event.

More than 2,000 people enjoyed traditional Thanksgiving favorites and about 1,000 meals were delivered to people's homes if they couldn't make it out.

Preparations for the big event started earlier this week and planning has been going on for months.  Orgainzers say it's about the entire community coming together.  "People looking for work to people who own businesses," says organizer Ellen Rasmussen, "single people, families, families with children, it's everybody is welcome here."

More than 600 volunteers help put on the event.  That includes Tom Rand, who has been volunteering every year of the event since it started 32 years ago.  Rand is active on the planning committee and says there is one thing that makes this dinner special.  "Community," says Rand, "it's all about community, it's about getting to know your neighbor, creating a better understanding of the people of la crosse, we're a pretty diverse community and you can see from everybody here, we're having a good time."

The event is free and supported by donations from the community.