A turkey feast
Last year, it was estimated that more than 1,100 people packed into the Owatonna VFW on Thanksgiving Day. This year, that number was easily reached and possibly surpassed as family members enjoyed a turkey meal.
“It is normal to have a lot of people,” said Jim Gasner of Owatonna, who along with his wife, Lauretta, was enjoying a traditional turkey meal that includes turkey, potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes and dessert. “Last year it didn’t die off until around 1 p.m.”
Dr. John Henry (retired) has been volunteering at the event for at least 20 years. On Thursday he was serving the turkey.
“I enjoy it, and it is important to give back a little bit,” he said. “Serving turkey I enjoy seeing the smiles on their faces. For some it is probably their best meal in months.”
Another volunteer, Lloyd Kaplan, has been helping for more than 10 years. “It is a great feeling,” he said. “So many people need it and it is a good community event where they can come and socialize.”
As for the Gasners, they have been eating a Thanksgiving meal for several years at the VFW on Thanksgiving because they enjoy not having to fix a meal and cleaning up after. “I think it is great for people who are alone or who have family out of state,” said Lauretta.