Hundreds of Families Turn Out for Thanksgiving Celebration at West Fargo Church

It's a tradition going back at least three decades

WEST FARGO, ND — Hundreds of families didn’t have to worry about cooking, cleaning or buying food for their Thanksgiving meal thanks to a West Fargo church.

It’s a tradition going back at least three decades.

“I have been doing it for 33 years,” said Steve Perreault, who is the Thanksgiving dinner coordinator. “We have fun. It’s a fun thing. We really enjoy it.”

“Happy gobble gobble!”  Sue Baron, one of the volunteers, calls out to greet guests.

Families line up to eat a complete Thanksgiving meal cooked and served by about 200 volunteers.

“It’s for the community,” Perreault says. “The ides is to just give people a chance to get together and talk and have fun.”

For many turkey eaters, a free lunchtime stuffing is a convenient way to make sure they get a piece of the pie.

“We didn’t want to do any cooking at home,” said Bob Sullivan, who lives in Fargo. “I think the cherry pie is really good. I was glad they didn’t listen to the nutritionists and go with smaller plates.”

“I didn’t know where the church was,” said Joan Miller, who lives in Moorhead. “My friend was driving, and we come from Moorhead, and we were driving all around on the east side.”

Back in the kitchen is where all the action happens.

Perreault says they had about 160 birds cooking earlier this morning.

“They don’t have family in town, or there’s just a couple in the family and making a whole dinner for them isn’t practical,” said Perreault.

From wing to leg, every turkey, helping of mashed potatoes and slice of fresh baked pie was donated.

For many early meal eaters, the holiday about family has also become a holiday about meeting new friends.

“Wishing everybody a nice thanksgiving,” Miller added.

Church staff members say they’re putting on the Thanksgiving meal again next year.

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