McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

November 21, 2012

Aromas mean preparations under way for Community Thanksgiving Dinner

By James Beaty
Staff Writer

McALESTER — The aroma of everything from sautéed onions to baking turkeys wafting through the George Nigh National Guard Armory in McAlester means one thing for certain this time of year.

It means volunteers are busy at a variety of tasks needed to make the annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner a success once more.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, volunteers were hard at work at their assigned jobs, helping get everything ready for Thursday’s holiday meal.

Tommy Graham, a former inspector from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation’s Eastern Regional office in McAlester, assisted with baking the turkeys for the yearly event.

“We’ve got them all done, but about five,” he said Tuesday as the preparations continued. `

Once again, the annual Pittsburg County Community Thanksgiving Dinner is open to anyone who wants to participate, with no age or income guidelines in place.

Jim Kelley, a former Pittsburg County assessor who serves as one of the organizers of the event, said there is still time for those who want to participate, but who have not yet made arrangements to do so. The number to phone is 918 423-7379.

Plans called for the holiday meal with trimmings to be served at noon Thanksgiving Day inside the armory at the corner of Third Street and Polk Avenue.

Those who participate in the sit-down meal are only part of those who will be served.

Volunteers plan to start delivering meals Thursday morning to Pittsburg County residents who are unable to make it to the armory for the meal, and who made arrangements for a home delivery in advance.

The volunteers plan to start delivering in some of the rural areas around 9 on Thanksgiving morning, with deliveries in the McAlester area set to start around 10 a.m., according to Kelley.

Those who have made arrangements to pick up carry-out meals at the armory can do so beginning around 11 a.m. Thursday, volunteers said.

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