Holiday dinner labor intensive

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November 17, 2011 - 12:00 AM

For the fourth consecutive year, Iolans are invited to a Thanksgiving Day feast prepared by St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church members.
The serving starts at 11:30 a.m. Thanksgiving morning and runs through 1 p.m., said Jan Cubb, St. Timothy’s pastor. The church is at 202 S. Walnut St. in Iola.
In preparation, church volunteers are cooking up 10 turkeys, 60 pounds of potatoes, at least 20 pies, six gallons of green beans and two roasters filled with stuffing.
There is no asking price for those who eat, although free-will donations will be accepted, Chubb said.
Proceeds go to St. Timothy’s outreach services, which include monthly meals, and of course, the Thanksgiving get-together.
“The part I like is when people show up to eat, but then stick around for visiting,” Chubb said.
Others also volunteer to help with the rest of the meal, by serving or cleaning up afterward, she said.
“We always accept helpers,” Chubb said.
Least year’s meal served more than 125 guests.
“And some of the people showed up hungry,” Chubb said with a laugh.
Preparing the holiday meal has become a model of teamwork and efficiency, Chubb said, and makes what otherwise would be a Herculean task seemingly routine.
The preparations start a day or two before when casseroles, pies and other foods that can be refrigerated are cooked.
The Thanksgiving Day effort utilizes three shifts of volunteers. The first will arrive around 9 a.m. or so to brew up fresh coffee, tea and other drink while warming up the refrigerated foods that need serving.
The second shift — the serving — is when the activity hits high gear. Volunteers dish out food, arrange place settings and package to-go orders for those looking to eat at home.
The final shift arrives as the meal is winding down for clean-up.
“We split the work so nobody has to be here all day on their feet,” Chubb said, and so volunteers can go home to their families.
The meal will have a few extra helpers on hand.
Members of Allen County Community College’s cross country team unable to return home for the holidays likely will be on hand to help the volunteers, and of course, eat.
“They’ve been great,” Chubb said. “They arrived for school at a time when their dorms were open, but the cafeteria was not, so we treated them here.”
The athletes have become regular visitors to church meals and other events, Chubb said.

IN ADDITION to the meals, diners will have a chance to win a quilt made by church member Joyce Roath.
 A drawing for the quilt will be held New Years Day, Chubb said. Drawing chances are available for $1 apiece and six for $5.
Those proceeds also will go to St. Timothy’s outreach fund.

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