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Community Thanksgiving relies on volunteer spirit

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This past Thanksgiving, hundreds of people filtered through Scott Hall at the Johnson County fairgrounds for a holiday dinner. Dozens more received meals through carry-out.

Some of the diners were people without family or close friends to share the meal with. Some were having what might be their only hot meal of the day. Others were there because they believe a more-the-merrier approach makes the holiday even more special.

The dinner was considered a success by the volunteers putting it on and those enjoying the meal and the fellowship. In just a few years, the effort has become a local tradition.

Now organizers are reaching out to the public for help putting on this year’s event.

Johnson County’s annual Thanksgiving Banquet will be conducted from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 24, again at Scott Hall at the fairgrounds in Franklin. Community activist LaTheda Noonan again is spearheading the effort.

The meal is open to all county residents. The dinner will include turkey, ham, rolls, vegetables, mashed potatoes, stuffing and dessert.

The committee that is putting together the dinner needs donations to help pay for food and supplies. Donations may be sent to Johnson County Banquets, with checks payable to JCB, P.O. Box 93, Whiteland, IN 46184.

People interested in attending the dinner should register by sending their family name, phone number, address, number of people attending and the ages of any children to the same address.

Organizers will provide transportation for those who need it, as well as home delivery for housebound residents.

People who want to volunteer their time serving or providing desserts, as well as those with questions, may contact Noonan at 560-3189 or by e-mail at banquetcmt@jcbanquets.org.

Thanksgiving is a traditional time for families to get together and enjoy a meal. But not all families can do that because of distance, economic issues or other circumstances. The dinner gives these people the chance to meet and share a meal with their larger family in Johnson County.

But to make it a success, the dinner needs your help. So if you can help pay for the food, please send a check. And if you want to have dinner with dozens of “relatives” you never knew you had, sign up.

The annual dinner is an event the community truly can be thankful for.

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