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Thousands enjoy Oak Harbor’s Thanksgiving dinner
Hundreds of volunteers spent their Thanksgiving making sure thousands of people had a festive ham and turkey dinner.
The army of volunteers was necessary to make sure North Whidbey’s Community Harvest at the Oak Harbor Elks Lodge took place without a hitch. Volunteer Roger Anglum said people started arriving at 5:30 Thursday morning to start cooking the 600 pounds of ham and 150 turkeys that provided the main course for the Thanksgiving feast.
“It’s a good time. We’re down here every year,” said J.D. Krueger, who was cooking ham and turkey outside on a damp and windy Thanksgiving day.
Service started at 11 a.m. and shortly thereafter, the line of people waiting for food was stretching out the door.
“We come here every year,” Oak Harbor resident Sarah Marrufo said while helping her son, Joshua, carry a plate of food. Marrufo, her husband and two children were also thinking about lending a hand after they finished their dinner.
Thursday’s feast was the 10th year of the North Whidbey Community Harvest.
Scott Fisher, who was frying turkeys, said a small group of friends got together one night at the Elks Lodge to discuss a celebration that would include everybody. They came up with the community dinner.
Volunteers helping Thursday included chefs from local restaurants, Navy personnel, scouts and families looking for an opportunity to help on the holiday. Dale Sundri noted the group of firefighters who clean up at the end of the day.
“We’re always appreciative of the Oak Harbor Fire Department coming in and doing that at the end of the night,” Sundri said.
In addition to serving thousands of people at the Elks Lodge, other volunteers delivered plates of food to the homebound or people who were working Thursday.
“If there’s somebody around here who needs a meal, we try to make sure they get one,” volunteer K.C. Pohtilla said, adding that Midway Florist donated roses that were given to homebound people.