When Leslie Youngsteadt heard that United Methodist Church in Sturgeon Bay would be serving the only community Thanksgiving dinner in the county this year due to a lack of volunteers to make the meals happen at other locations, she was immediately thankful for the volunteers who will make this 38th annual Thanksgiving meal.
“We get a lot of volunteers,” she said. Almost 100 volunteers – both members of the congregation as well as folks from the larger community – chipped in to make last year’s record-setting holiday meal a success, with 356 meals served, 150 eating at the church and 206 meals carried out or delivered.
“We deliver to shut-ins only,” she said about the deliveries, “and really only in the Sturgeon Bay area.”
On Nov. 2, the Baileys Harbor Community Association announced: “Due to lack of volunteers this year’s Thanksgiving Community Dinner will have to be skipped. We will most likely be bringing it back next year but we hope more will be able to help on this day.”
Two years ago the free community Thanksgiving meal at Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church in Ellison Bay was discontinued, also due to a lack of volunteers to make the meal happen.
United Methodist began the Thanksgiving meal tradition in 1979. Leslie and her husband Duane began volunteering in 2007, and two years later took over coordinating duties from the late June Peterson, who had run the event for 26 years.
Serving of the Thanksgiving dinner begins at the church at 836 Michigan St., at 4:30 pm. The church asks that you call ahead at 920.743.3241 by Nov. 20 to make meal reservations or to request a carryout or delivered meal. Those who want to volunteer to help prepare and serve the meals, contact the Youngsteadts at 920.746.8643.