MINSTER – A Thanksgiving Day tradition which was started by a religion student in Minster more than 10 years ago to promote fellowship has grown and continues to provide an outreach to the community.
The 11th Annual Thanksgiving Fellowship Dinner will be served on Thanksgiving Day from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Minster Knights of Columbus Hall, 40 N. Main St. The event is free and open to the public.
The meal serving outreach program started 11 years ago by Deacon Roger Klosterman, who was studying to become a Catholic Deacon, according to co-organizer Shawn Sharp, of Minster.
That first year, the volunteers served 190 dinners. Steady growth over the last 10 years led to serving more 360 meals last year.
Volunteers cook around 180 pounds of turkey roasts, 22 pounds of potatoes, 10 gallons of corn, and 15 pounds of noodles according to Sharp. The menu includes turkey, corn, noodles, dressing (with raisins), bread, soft drinks and coffee.
“Mary Dahlinghaus is our cook for the meal and is incredible at creating everything. She will also bring a lot of homemade items such as gallons of broth, dressing, etc. We expect to serve 360 to 370 people, but each year is different so we have no way of determining how many will come.”
Many of the desserts and pies are made by volunteers from the community who drop them off at the hall. The St Augustine Mission Commission arranges various items to be dropped off also.
“Typically we have 20 to 30 volunteers. Many are high school students who are working on community service hours. K of C officials are gracious in allowing us use of their hall.”
Sharp said, “We start working Wednesday chopping celery and onions; arranging the hall; wrapping silverware; and putting down table cloths. A fun tradition, which has evolved from our event, is the children decorate the place mats. They are really hilarious and creative. Our guests look forward to seeing these place mats every year.”
“I am amazed how much generosity and good will exists in our area. We are truly blessed. This event arose by seeing a need for fellowship on Thanksgiving.”
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.