La Crosse Community Thanksgiving Dinner preparations - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

La Crosse Community Thanksgiving Dinner preparations

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The La Crosse Community Thanksgiving Dinner will take place Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the La Crosse Center.

The event is entering its 32nd year and will feature live entertainment, a children's craft area and a TV room.

"We are hoping to serve 3,000 meals and that includes carry out meals," Ruth McQuiston-Keil, the 2014 Thanksgiving Dinner Chair, said. "Our carry out numbers have gone up over the last few years because the need for delivery to people who can't make it down here has gone up."

McQuiston-Keil said volunteers will serve nearly 800 pounds of mashed potatoes and stuffing, 80 gallons of gravy, hundreds of pounds of cranberry sauce and green beans and will serve the equivalent of almost 1,200 turkeys.

"Our dinner is strictly funded by donations," she said. 'There's no way we could put on a dinner this size without the donations from everyone."

More than 50 volunteers worked on Wednesday to prepare the for the dinner.

Groups and individuals from around La Crosse county set up the dining room, hung decorations, and worked to prepare foods to be cooked tomorrow.

Millie Bauer, a sixth grade student at Onalaska Middle School volunteered for the second year in a row.

"I think it's good to give back to the community for what they do for us," she said. "I enjoy cooking and cutting carrots, so it's a lot of fun."

McQuiston-Keil said volunteer positions became available on Nov. 1, and two weeks later, all the spots were filled.

"I think it says a lot about the community," she said. "It's a great sign the community does want to be involved which is great. It's for the community and it's sponsored by the community."

Donations for the La Crosse Community Dinner are accepted year-round and can be mailed to LCTD P.O. Box 622 La Crosse, WI 65401-0622.

Doors will open at 10 a.m. on Thursday morning, followed by a worship service at 10:30.

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