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Auburn Salvation Army serves gourmet meal for all

Volunteers step up to serve
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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Anyone looking for food or fellowship this Thanksgiving can share a bounty of both at the Community Thanksgiving Dinner being hosted by Auburn Salvation Army Thursday. Angela Atteberry is coordinating the event for the ninth year with her husband George. She said preparations began all the way back in August. “This is my ninth year and what I enjoy is the blessing that it is to see people come and have a wonderful meal and great fellowship, not be lonely, and be fed. It’s for our entire community,” Atteberry said. “It is truly a manifestation of what we are supposed to do for each other.” Volunteer crews were hard at work Wednesday at the Gold Country Fairgrounds setting up for the feast, scheduled from noon to 2 p.m. “We have a cooking crew that is preparing all the veggies for the stuffing and getting ready to bake down all the turkeys for the gravy,” Atteberry said. “We have people unloading all the equipment.” The menu will include traditional Thanksgiving faire, including roasted turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes. Atteberry said many of the top-notch chefs have been cooking at the dinner for close to 20 years. E. Ken Tokutomi, Salvation Army of Auburn Chairman of the Board, said the Auburn-area community always steps up to volunteer their time, talent and money. “We have never not had enough money to put the dinner on,” Tokutomi said. “During the holidays, people want to feel good about doing something for others. After you have fed 1,200 to 1,400 people meals, then cleaned it all up, it’s a pretty satisfying feeling.” Mayor Dr. Bill Kirby, knows a thing or two about the joy of serving others at the dinner. He has been volunteering there for years and even took his kids along when they were younger. Kirby said he is part of the turkey carving team. “I cook a turkey and I take it there and carve,” Kirby said. “I get up at 5 or 6 a.m. It’s really a great experience for the entire community. It’s for anybody who is alone or doesn’t want to cook or a buy a meal. We have so much food.” He tells many of his patients who may be alone on Thanksgiving to join others for a good meal at the community dinner. For those who can’t get out of their homes, the Salvation Army is also offering a delivered Thanksgiving dinner. Sign-ups for this year’s meals on wheels program ended yesterday at 3 p.m. Atteberry said the demand for the community dinner has been much greater since the economy got tough. She encourages all types of people to make their way to the fairgrounds. “I have a lot of really good memories. It’s not one particular for me. It’s knowing if someone wants to come on Thanksgiving, have a meal and be treated with kindness, they can. That to me is the most rewarding feeling. As a Christian person that is how we’re supposed to be. I feel that’s what touches people’s hearts. That’s what touches my heart.” Reach Sara Seyydin at saras@goldcountrymedia.com.