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FD Ford dinner honors Olson

November 23, 2012
By HANS MADSEN ( , Messenger News

Former Fort Dodge City Councilman Curt Olson was never afraid to roll up his sleeves and work in the community.

He did this, quietly and without fanfare, for the past four years at the annual Thanksgiving dinner at Fort Dodge Ford.

Olson, who died on Oct. 23, was remembered at this year's event.

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Danielle Case, of Fort Dodge, gets a pretty definitive answer about whether or not her son, Daniel Essing, 1, wants another bite of mashed potato Thursday during the annual Thanksgiving Dinner at Fort Dodge Ford.

Owner Casey Johnson, holding back a tear, recalled the first year Olson showed up.

"The first year we didn't even know he was here," he said, "He just showed up, went in the back and started working."

Johnson was always impressed with his friend.

"He never asked for anything in return," he said. "This year, we needed to dedicate this to him."

Olson's older brother Tom came this year as well, he said he wanted to help as a tribute to his brother.

He said he was glad he was finally able to make it,

"He's asked me for years," he said.

Olson's son Curtis was also attending as a volunteer to pay tribute to his dad.

Participating gave him another benefit.

"It helps take my mind off it," he said. "I have some big shoes to fill."

Another volunteer at the event that remembers Olson was Gary Edgerton, of Fort Dodge, who was delivering meals in a Santa hat.

"I grew up with Curt," he said. "He was great."

The Santa hat was a big hit when he made his meal deliveries.

"They just smile," he said. "That's worth a million dollars."

To cook all those meals, the Culinary Arts students from Iowa Central Community College roll their sleeves up.

James Bockoven, of Otho, was one of those.

"It a great experience," he said. "I was taught to give more of yourself."

Michael Hirst, the head of the Culinary Arts program, provided some food statistics.

"We had 55 turkeys at about 20 pounds each, 190 pies, a lot of Brussels sprouts, 130 pounds of green beans and gallons and gallons of gravy," he said.

Even with all that, the increase in participation from last year caused a minor issue.

"We had to go buy two cooked turkeys from Hy-Vee," he said.

He even managed to put some of his own family tradition into the meal.

The cranberry sauce came from a classified recipe.

"It's my mum's," he said.

He said that the students packed about 620 meals for delivery and served between 500 and 550 meals at the dealership.

While they may have had to get more turkey at the very end, one thing the event was not short of was volunteers. Beside the 82 students, about 100 others showed up according to Casey Johnson.

"We never asked for one volunteer," he said. "People come to us, they magically showed up at 9 a.m."



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