Local residents will have the chance to enjoy a free Thanksgiving meal next Wednesday, Nov. 21, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Whitley County High School thanks to the efforts of several volunteers.
“We have four foundational principles we operate by here. The fourth one of those is community investment. It’s important that communities work together. Parents, students, community stakeholders, all those things equal a better place for Whitley Countians,” Whitley County High School Principal Bob Lawson said about the reason for the community dinner.
“We’d love to have everyone out. We look forward to it. We are thankful for our community. It is a great place to live.”
This is the fourth year for the program, which has fed more than 2,000 people so far.
“The community part continues to grow. That is the most fun part. We are getting more alumni involved. It has always been designed to be a community event around the holidays,” Lawson said.
“We’ll take as many people as we can get. We want everybody here to just enjoy each other this Thanksgiving season.”
Lawson said there has been a misconception by some that the event is just for the needy, which isn’t the case.
“It’s for everyone. We just want a sense of togetherness feel for the dinner. Some folks think it is just for the needy, but that is not just who it is for. It’s for the needy. It’s for everyone. Everyone come out, let’s get together, eat and have a community dinner,” Lawson added.
The community meal is at no cost to taxpayers.
A food drive is conducted in support of the program. Several ladies in the cafeteria take care of a lot of the side items, and many people will donate desserts.
“It is really a great team effort,” Lawson said.
Lawson said that about 20-25 guys will get together and cook the turkeys outside over the course of several hours.
Typically 50 – 100 volunteers participate in either cooking the meal or helping serve it.