Thursday, November 24, 2005
Twenty turkeys, 19 sets of rolls and 19 pies -- plus other desserts.
It takes a lot of food to feed a community.
But the hundreds of people who benefit from Routt County United Way's dinner are grateful for their free taste of Thanksgiving.
That taste is pretty good, said Donald MacDonald, who was one of the first to attend the three-hour dinner event at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. The dinner came together through a partnership between the United Way and Vectra Bank.
"Outstanding," MacDonald said as he scooped up forkfuls of turkey. "And we're not to the pies yet."
MacDonald, who attended the Thanksgiving and Christmas community dinners last year, said he enjoys the dinners so much that he offers to volunteer.
MacDonald said the dinner is a typical small-town custom. MacDonald lives alone and likes to come and talk to fellow diners.
"The people, the crowd, the company -- it's the ambience of the community," he said. "That's what Thanksgiving is about."
The community dinners remind MacDonald of being with his large family.
"They're so big, it's really nice," he said.
Sam Mott has spent winters in Steamboat for seven years, and he's been to the Thanksgiving community dinner for six of them.
Mott lives downtown and says the community center is a great location. He can walk to the Yampa River Core Trail after eating.
Also, he said, "It's easy to come here, instead of going to a restaurant and paying $25 for a meal."
Mott's friend, Devin King, also said the dinners are easy.
"My roommates are gone, so this is just easier," King said.
Mott said he's met people at the dinners, and still knows some of them even though it's been a few years since they met.
King looked around the room and agreed with Mott.
"I see a lot of familiar faces," King said.
Last Thanksgiving, organizers had enough food for 500 plates. Fifty plates remained unused, said Millie Beall, executive director of Routt County United Way. They planned for another 500 plates this year.
On Thursday, about 20 volunteers were helping during each shift. Beall said it was great to see so many volunteers choose to spend their time at the dinner.