Volunteers expect to serve 1,000 plus meals for community dinner

by Toni Hopper
In this November 1995 photo, Jack Taylor, L.M. Harris, and First Christian Church Pastor Kent W. Strahan announce the first Community Thanksgiving Dinner, which has now grown to serve more than 1,000 meals, all prepared by volunteers in Marlow. The meal is free and this is the 27th year. First Baptist Church Life Center will be open 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for meals on Thanksgiving Day. Meals will also be delivered to homebound residents. In this November 1995 photo, Jack Taylor, L.M. Harris, and First Christian Church Pastor Kent W. Strahan announce the first Community Thanksgiving Dinner, which has now grown to serve more than 1,000 meals, all prepared by volunteers in Marlow. The meal is free and this is the 27th year. First Baptist Church Life Center will be open 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for meals on Thanksgiving Day. Meals will also be delivered to homebound residents.

Turkey and all its trimmings will fill the air with home-cooked goodness when volunteers gather on Thanksgiving Day to begin their duties for the 27th annual Community Thanksgiving Day dinner. According to Pam Spurlock, one of the volunteers and organizer, the event has grown and they anticipate serving more than 1,000 meals this year.

It started in 1995, she said, at the First Christian Church, and moved to the First Baptist Life Center in 2005. To cook that much food takes a team of volunteers ready to cook, bake, wrap and serve, not to mention deliver to homebound residents and Spurlock is hoping the community will answer the call. So far, she’s never been disappointed.

And of course, there’s more than just the meals. An effort is made to create a home-style environment, with decorated tables and entertainment also provided.

“The event provides an opportunity for those who, for whatever reason, find themselves alone, to be with others and have fellowship for the holiday. Volunteers are blessed every year to witness how God uses a simple meal to touch someone’s life, and that is what it's all about,” she said.

“Being alone, especially on holidays, can be extremely hard and sometimes all they really need is just to know they are not forgotten and that someone cares about them. The food is just a bonus.”

Meals will be served 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and everyone is welcome. Volunteers prepare and deliver hundreds of meals to those who can’t get out and come to the event. Order calls should be placed to 580-658-5413. “If you know of someone needing a homebound delivery, please call the church office,” Spurlock said.

“Another tradition that began once the event was moved to the Life Center was cooking enough meals to feed those incarcerated in Stephens County Jail and it will continue again this year.”

Volunteers are asked to arrive by 10 a.m. Thanksgiving Day and clean-up crews to arrive at 1:15 p.m. Monetary donations are accepted at the church office and desserts can be dropped off in the Life Center.



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