Community dinner today

18 turkeys and all the fixings are on the menu

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— A few good eaters from all walks of life are wanted at the Steamboat Community Center.

Actually, organizers of the Thanksgiving Com-munity Dinner today need more than just a few good eaters. With 18 turkeys and countless quantities of homemade fixings, there is enough food to feed anyone who needs a place to go on Thanksgiving Day, Routt County United Way Director Millie Beall said.

All the food and volunteers have been lined up for the event. Now all that's needed is someone to eat the food.

Businesses and residents in Steamboat Springs provide for the dinner, with most of the food being made as part of a local family's Thanksgiving dinner, and then brought down to the community center. That means the food is the real deal ? home cooked, just like it's supposed to be. There's turkey, stuffing, potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, pies and a variety of other holiday goodies.

Once the food is brought to the community center, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. Executive Chef Liz Wahl and a crew of Ski Corp. cooks prepare it to be served.

"They just take over the kitchen," Beall said. "They sharpen their knives and go. They just go crazy."

The dinner, which is sponsored by the Routt County United Way and LIFT-UP, is an annual tradition in Steamboat Springs. Every year it feeds members of the community who want a special meal for the holiday. From young people away from their families while working for the winter in the Yampa Valley to longtime locals who enjoy being with members of the community, many people turn out for the meal, Beall said.

"It's all different walks of life," she said. "It's great. It's just really fun."

Last year, about 300 people showed up for the event, as well as scores of volunteers. This year, Beall expects just as many guests. There are about 50 volunteers.

"It serves a lot of different people's needs in a lot of different ways," she said. Beall added that even for the volunteers, the event supplies a sense of community during a time when family and friends are important to have.

The dinner is from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Steamboat Community Center, which is the building on the east side of Bud Werner Memorial Library.

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