LA CROSSE, Wis. - Thanksgiving may be a day to relax and spend time with family, but for volunteers at La Crosse's 35th Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner, it was all about working hard to serve the people who live here.
Over 500 volunteers showed up at Thursday's dinner. For the last 35 years, the dinner was a way to remind the community that regardless of who you are, sitting down to share a meal should be an option for everyone.
"We want everybody to come down here and share the day with us, and have dinner with their fellow neighbors, a lot of people come down year after year so they get to know each other, which I think is awesome, but it's for the whole community because its provided by the community," said Ruth McQuiston-Keil, the dinner's planning committee chair.
For some volunteers like Tom Viner, who has been volunteering at the dinner for ten years, says each year there is something more special about taking the time to serve others.
"We have a lot of fun with it. There is a lot of comradery with the people down here and a lot of old friends and it's a good thing," Viner said.
The dinner was almost cancelled about a year ago due to a lack of volunteers, but this year there was an overwhelming amount of people signing up to help.
"There's a lot of hugs, there is tears at the end of the day with some, I mean we've been doing it since some kids were five or six and now they're in their twenties, a lot of kids have grown up with us," McQuiston-Keil said.
The dinner's planning committee said they are looking for new members to join the committee and help with future events.
Thursday's community dinner took place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and included a variety of family activities along with a magic show.
- Popular Netflix series starts suicide conversation
- Local police, organization work to reduce excessive drinking behavior
- Wisconsin plan seeks to cut achievement gap in half
- Kenosha teen stabbed at school dies
- APNewsBreak: Syrian who sued Trump brings family to US
- Congress OKs bill averting Saturday gov't shutdown
- Local program offers veterans extra healthcare
- Young students urge high schoolers to be safe during prom
- Police: Man pepper-sprayed autistic man eating free cookies
- La Crosse celebrates Arbor Day with a tree planting