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Shared Thanksgiving is fine tradition

Making this holiday festive for the entire community is the goal

Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday that features family, food, and yes, the occasional football game.

In the spirit of the holiday, thousands of people in the Fort Dodge region gathered around tables with relatives and friends for a traditional feast on Thursday. Dining room tables throughout the area were laden with turkeys, stuffing, corn, cranberries, green bean casseroles, pies and all kinds of other delicious things.

But some of our neighbors couldn’t afford such a meal.

Perhaps some lost a job; perhaps others had been hit with unexpected and high medical bills. The result was that their financial picture didn’t include the means for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Still others were all alone for the holiday and couldn’t justify putting together a big meal.

Those factors, however, did not mean they had to miss out on Thanksgiving dinner.

Others among our neighbors volunteered their time and energy to hold a free Thanksgiving dinner in Fort Dodge for anyone who couldn’t afford one or wanted some company on the holiday. Some of those volunteers rose very early on Thursday to make sure everything was done just right.

Sixteen years ago, the Johnson family — Casey, Deb, Matt, Abigail, Nick and Jordan — began holding a Thanksgiving dinner at their business, Fort Dodge Ford Lincoln Toyota. They came through again on Thursday.

They were joined by the culinary arts students of Iowa Central Community College, who did the cooking. The staff of the dealership and volunteers from throughout the community worked hard to make the meal a success.

The entire effort was in the finest tradition of Iowans helping Iowans. The Messenger salutes everyone involved in preparing and serving a fine meal.

And in this season of Thanksgiving, we thank you.

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