Feast donations needed

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With Thanksgiving just a week away, the Routt County United Way is in dire need of food donations for its annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

"We're in trouble," executive director Millie Beall said. "I'm starting to feel a frantic heartbeat."

Call Vectra Bank at 870-4210 and ask what is needed for the dinner. Pledge to bring selected items, then drop off the food at the community center next week.

Beall said the organization needs 20 stuffed and baked turkeys every year; usually by this time, she only needs about six more.

"I only have eight turkeys pledged, so far," she said Wed--nesday.

Side dishes such as vegetable casseroles, sweet and mashed potatoes, green beans, salads and rolls and butter also are needed, Beall said.

Only one of the 16 or so containers of mashed potatoes needed for the event had been pledged, she said. The same goes for sweet potatoes.

Last year, Routt County United Way served about 450 people a free Thanksgiving dinner.

Beall said the group feeds all sorts of people, including Colorado Mountain College students who can't make it home, workers who have evening shifts, ski resort workers who haven't received a paycheck, senior citizens and many people who otherwise wouldn't have a Thanksgiving meal.

Bus drivers often come in for to-go containers, she said.

"It's a very eclectic group that shows up," she said. "You could have a table with senior citizens sitting next to snowboarders. It's all about community."

Dinner will be served from 2 to 5 p.m. Nov. 24 at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. Alpine Taxi will transport seniors at any address in the city limits to and from the meal, Beall said.

Live music and entertainment will accompany the food.

Desserts and beverages also would be helpful, Beall said. A receptionist at Vectra Bank is handling telephone calls for donation pledges and has a list of what food items are needed.

Beall said all food should be packaged in disposable containers and should be ready to serve. After calling to pledge food, donators can drop it off at the community center Wednesday evening or the morning of Thanksgiving Day.

"Everything that is served has to show up there," she said. "I can't buy containers of prepared food."

Drop-offs Wednesday night should not include turkeys, if possible, because of limited refrigeration at the community center, Beall said.

Silverware already is at the center, and plates and napkins have been purchased. Beall said she has enough volunteers to serve food.

To pledge a donation, call Vectra Bank at 870-4210.

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