EATON — The 22nd annual Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner was served at Bruner Arena at the Preble County Fairgrounds on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 23.
Every year the dinner serves hundreds of meals to local residents, providing everyone a place to go and share in the holiday spirit with others.
According to Keelie Gustin, Director of Community Action Partnership (CAP) in Preble County, the meal is made possible through donations made to CAP and community volunteers.
“This meal was free to anyone. They could come, we had transportation to the meal, and then we also coordinated delivery to 260 Preble County residents. We had volunteers box up the meals and get them out to 260 residents in the county,” Gustin said.
“Preble County is a place like any other. Everything is really community run. You don’t find that in a lot of places. Here, anyone can come and get a meal and not feel like it is an odd thing to be here, because everything is community run anyways.
“This was a great community event and everything was free. People here are just really had to share in this sense of community together.”
Gustin added, the event was volunteer-run. While CAP received the donations to purchase the food, the volunteers did all of the leg work.
Three such volunteers were Rachel, Heidi, and Luke Metzger. They spent their Thanksgiving, as a family, preparing the delivery meals.
“We came out to help out with the volunteers,” Heidi Metzger said. “We don’t normally have people come out for Thanksgiving and everyone else already has plans. This is the third year we’ve come out to volunteer.”
Luke Metzger added, “We love knowing that we can help out the community. People who don’t have someone to spend Thanksgiving with. It is important to us to spread the love around. We do it in the name of Jesus to help other people. God loved us, so we try to love other people.”
“This event is important, because if people don’t have a place to go they can come here and get a meal,” Rachel Metzger said. “They don’t have to spend Thanksgiving alone. They can come out and have fellowship with others.”
Donations and volunteers make an event like this possible for the community. Gustin thanked all of the sponsors and volunteers who helped her make the day a success.
She said, “We had large donations through churches all over the county. Timken, Silfex, and a lot of the businesses get really involved here. We had a ton of private donations, even as small as $10 or $15 that make a huge difference. We are so appreciative to the county for the use of the fairgrounds and also to all of the volunteers and community members who made this possible.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH