Volunteers make final preparations for Community Thanksgiving Dinner
Hundreds of volunteers lend helping hand to prepare for community tradition
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — Hundreds of people are working hard to make sure this year’s La Crosse Community Thanksgiving Dinner goes off without a hitch.
A group of volunteers gathered at 8 a.m. Wednesday to start transporting items for the dinner to the La Crosse Center. They’ll be back at the Center three hours before the doors open on Thursday morning to make any last-minute preparations.
Ruth McQuiston-Keil, who serves on the Community Thanksgiving Dinner’s planning committee and has been volunteering at the dinner for more than 20 years, says she’s thankful the community came together to keep the event alive after it was briefly cancelled earlier this year.
“I think it’s a wonderful thing, honestly, I myself cannot imagine what it would be like not to have the dinner,” said McQuiston-Keil. “It would just truly, truly be so heartbreaking not to have the dinner and not to be among family and friends and be a part of this amazing community that we live in.”
As always, the dinner is open to the entire community. The event starts with a multi-faith worship service at 10:30 Thursday morning before the meals are served from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
The dinner will also have live entertainment, activities for kids and a big-screen TV showing the traditional Thanksgiving football games.
McQuiston-Keil says she doesn’t know what Thanksgiving would have looked like without the community dinner.
“It would just truly, truly be so heartbreaking not to have the dinner, and not to be among family and friends and be a part of this amazing community that we live in,” said McQuiston-Keil.
Thanksgiving meals are also available to be delivered for those who are unable to leave their homes. To order a meal, you can call 608-782-8726. Orders for deliveries must be made before 11 a.m. on Thursday.