Area churches host first annual Mabel Thanksgiving dinner

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All are welcome at the first annual community Thanksgiving dinner in Mabel.

The event, hosted by the Mabel and Newburg United Methodist Churches, is Thursday, Nov. 22, beginning at noon at the Mabel United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall (111 W. Newburg Ave.) in Mabel.

Event organizer LeeAnn Howard said hosting a community meal was something she has had in mind for several years, but it never seemed to come together before this year.

“I really felt it was important to have a community meal in Mabel, as I don't believe anyone should be alone on the holidays,” said Howard.

She said, as the idea percolated, she had a “lightbulb moment” and thought maybe it would be a great outreach project for her church.

“I mentioned it to our pastor, Pam Seebach, and she was in favor of the idea,” said Howard.

Seebach mentioned the idea to others at a church meeting, which set the wheels in motion for the event.

“I then contacted coordinators of a similar event in Preston each year at Christmas to get some tips and helpful hints from those who had been doing it for a while,” she said.

Howard and other organizers also were able to form a Thrivent Financial action team, which helped with some seed money to start planning.

“I mentioned the idea to a few people. The excitement seems to be growing and others have offered to bring things,” she said.

About the dinner

The menu for the day includes turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy, vegetables, dinner rolls, cranberries, pies, desserts, milk and coffee, among other things.

Admission is by freewill donation, and Howard asks that people call or text 507-450-9596 if they plan to attend.

“All are welcome. We just need to know how many are planning to attend so we have enough food,” she said.

Howard said the committee also is looking for anyone interested in helping with the day, prepping for the meal or making a donation of food or money.

Come one, come all

“We really want to stress that this is open to ALL . . . families, people who aren't able to cook, people who don't want to cook, single people, whatever. Let us do the work, and come and enjoy,” she said.

After the meal, Howard said everyone is welcome to stay into the afternoon and “hangout, talk or play cards or games.” Anyone interested is encouraged to bring board games or cards along.

“I am very excited about this project. We hope that it goes well and is something that lives on for many years,” she said.