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Holiday feast

Hundreds turn out for St. Michael’s third annual Thanksgiving dinner

Quotable…

“The greatest thing was all these young people who came and pitched in. All I had to say was, ‘I need this done,’ and they were on it. Not only that, they cleaned all of the dirty dishes and took out all of the trash last night before they left.”

Volunteer Robin Schiffbauer about Craig’s younger community members who helped with the Thanksgiving dinner at St. Michael’s Catholic Church.

Quotable…

"The greatest thing was all these young people who came and pitched in. All I had to say was, 'I need this done,' and they were on it. Not only that, they cleaned all of the dirty dishes and took out all of the trash last night before they left."

Volunteer Robin Schiffbauer about Craig's younger community members who helped with the Thanksgiving dinner at St. Michael's Catholic Church.

For a few hours Thursday, St. Michael's Catholic Church ceased to resemble a typical community soup kitchen, giving way to a more traditional family gathering.

A really, really big family gathering.

Volunteer Robin Schiffbauer estimated about 150 to 200 Craig residents attended the third annual Thanksgiving dinner Thursday at St. Michael's, 678 School St., to visit with friends and to fill their bellies with traditional holiday fare.

All of the food — including nine turkeys, trays of mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and pies of all kinds — were donated by Safeway, City Market, Meadow Gold, Brothers Custom Processing, The Memorial Hospital, Carelli's Pizza, Twentymile Mine, the Altar & Rosary Society, local hunters and members of the community, Schiffbauer said.

In addition to all of the folks who attended Thursday's Thanksgiving dinner, Schiffbauer said volunteers delivered more than 35 holiday meals to residents who were unable to leave their homes.

Schiffbauer was pleased by the turnout, and even more grateful for the more than two dozen volunteers — many of whom were children and teenagers — who helped prepare the feast.

Volunteers arrived Wednesday afternoon to prepare the desserts and side dishes and then returned early Thursday to cook the main courses, serve and clean when the meal was finished.

"The greatest thing was all these young people who came and pitched in," Schiffbauer said. "All I had to say was, 'I need this done,' and they were on it. Not only that, they cleaned all of the dirty dishes and took out all of the trash last night before they left."

Beginning next month, the St. Michael's Community Soup Kitchen will enter its fourth year of offering free lunches and dinners. Community members are invited to take part in free lunches from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and free dinners from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursdays.

Volunteers make deliveries to homebound residents on those days, as well.

For more information, call 824-5330.

Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or jmoylan@craigdailypress.com.