Large Turnout For 10th Thanksgiving Ecumenical Dinner
PAT VON NIDA (center) founder of the Thanksgiving Dinner, with many of the volunteers. She was honored for her many years of service.
STORY AND PHOTO BY MARK FETTERS
Once again the Ecumenical Thanksgiving Dinner provided a banquet of fun, food and fellowship for the North County community. This year was it was even more special because it was the tenth anniversary of the dinner. It was estimated that approximately 400 meals were served free of charge at this year’s event, which was held in the gymnasium of St. Ferdinand School on Thanksgiving Day.
The 2008 Ecumenical Thanksgiving Dinner was sponsored by six area churches including St. Sabina Catholic Church, St. Ferdinand Catholic Church, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Halls Ferry Christian Church, St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church and St. Angela Merici Catholic Church.
“One of the best things about being involved is working with a variety of people that come from different churches,” said Cathy Wombacher, a volunteer and member of St. Sabina Catholic Church. “It’s also great to see the unexpected generosity of countless people who show up to help on Thanksgiving Day,” continued Wombacher.
The Ecumenical Thanksgiving Dinner has been organized and prepared entirely by volunteers for 10 years in a row.
To mark this special anniversary, founder Pat Von Nida was presented a single, long-stem rose, a Precious Moments angel statue and an engraved clock commemorating all of the time she has donated to the cause. Von Nida received her honors with noted humility; stating simply “This has been worth every minute.”
In addition to providing food on Thanksgiving Day, the volunteers that organize the Ecumenical Thanksgiving Dinner are committed to using all of their resources to support individuals and not-for-profit organizations throughout the area. Left-over food is given out to the homeless. Freewill offerings collected this year and are being donated to TEAM, a collaborative food pantry serving.
Although, Thanksgiving Day comes only once each year, the volunteers that make the Ecumenical Thanksgiving Dinner possible are busy throughout the year. A committee meeting has already been scheduled for early January. For more information, to make a donation or to find out how you can get involved visit Freedinner.org or write to Ecumenical Thanksgiving Dinner, P.O. Box 1076, Florissant, MO 63031.
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