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American Legion opens its doors on Thanksgiving


November 17, 2010
NORTHFIELD —American Legion Post 49 is extending a hand to the community and inviting people to join them on Thanksgiving Day for a free dinner, a little camaraderie and some warm holiday wishes.

The Whiteman-Davidson American Legion family, consisting of Legion members, the Ladies Auxiliary and members of the Sons of the American Legion, is preparing to serve massive amounts of turkey to anyone who wants it for the second year.

Charlie Harris, known for his cooking skills at the Legion, said he hopes to be feeding a big crowd this year.

"We had a nice turnout last year but we'd like to see more this time. I want to invite everyone to come out to join us this year and let us cater to them for awhile," he said.

The meal will be the traditional turkey and all the fixings, with fresh baked pies and other treats for dessert. Harris said everyone at Post 49 has been pitching in with donations and offers to help but more is always welcomed.

"If anyone would like to donate food or money to the day we'd greatly appreciate that, too. Any nonperishable food left over will go toward the annual Christmas baskets we put together for local residents, so all of it will go to feed our neighbors," Harris said.

The Legion came up with the idea of a Thanksgiving dinner last year as a way to give back to the surrounding communities that support them. With a bad economy and many struggling to make ends meet, Harris said it was one way for the veterans and members of the Legion Family to help others. Their hope is that those who may live alone, families or people who just don't feel like cooking a meal of that size will join them.

"It's a day for anyone to come down and let us wait on them and do all the cooking and clean-up. I know a lot of elderly couples who might not want to cook that day and we're here to cater to all of them on Thanksgiving," he said.

As a private veterans organization this dinner will also give the public a chance to meet members of Post 49 and experience their hospitality and community spirit.

The dining hall at Whiteman-Davidson Post 49 seats 100 people so there is plenty of room for everyone throughout the afternoon. Harris said he spent time in the Army as a cook and "big crowds don't scare me."

While the members of the Legion will do all of the work, they also welcome anyone from the public who might like to come down and lend a hand that day.

"There's always plenty of dishes to be done and other work when you do a big meal like this, so we won't turn away any volunteers," he said.

The free dinner will be served will be from noon until 3 p.m. on Nov. 25. Donations may be dropped off at the Legion Hall on Park Street in Northfield after 2 p.m. any day of the week or they can call 286-7786. Anyone wishing to assist in the community dinner can also contact the Legion or come to the hall on Thanksgiving day to volunteer.

"We're looking forward to seeing a lot of people come out to join us for a great Thanksgiving," Harris said.

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