Community Thanksgiving Meal dishes up goodwill and memories

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The 35th annual Community Thanksgiving Meal served just shy of 800 people Thursday, according to co-chair Leah Bervig. This includes 350 hot meals delivered to the homebound.

"It was fantastic. Our volunteers were fantastic. It's a wonderful place to be on Thanksgiving," Bervig said.

Coborn's cooked 40 turkeys for the event. "I can't say enough about Bob Seifert and Coborn's," she said.

Uncooperative ovens slowed down the serving line, but Coborn's offered their ovens, Bervig said.

Sisters Pauline Wambolt and Crystal Brown have volunteered for 20 and 24 years, respectively. They bustled around the kitchen, tending to green beans, gravy, dressing, sweet potatoes and more.

"It's a lot of hard work, your feet are tired, but your soul is happy," Brown said.

Sandy Drury, one of the meal's founders, was present.

"Who knew when you started with two turkeys and 22 people it would end up being 700 or 800 people and 40 turkeys?" Drury said.

Maggi and Tony Yerkes worked on the serving line. They've volunteered for a decade.

"We enjoy giving back to the community and the fellowship," Maggi said.

Volunteers came from as far away as Fargo and Bemidji.

Nick Palmer and his mom, sister and brother were staying in Park Rapids for the Thanksgiving weekend and helped at the community meal.

Dale Kaswoski brought his grandkids who live in Fargo. They assisted with serving pie and setting the tables.

Any proceeds from freewill donations will be split between Kinship of Park Rapids Area and the Headwaters Intervention Center.