The Edmond Sun

Local News

November 20, 2012

Turkey day dinner preparations under way

More than 3,000 expected at UCO

EDMOND — Turkeys were in the ovens by 5 a.m. Monday as volunteers for Edmond’s annual Community Thanksgiving dinner began preparations for the big meal to be served Wednesday.

More than 3,000 people are expected to come for food and fellowship when the University of Central Oklahoma’s Nigh University Center opens its doors from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday.

The public is welcome to come and share in the eight-course meal that will be the product of 600-800 volunteers. Volunteers are still needed from 1 p.m. on to help serve and then help clean up, organizers of the dinner said.

A large portion of the meal is donated, from the turkeys to the slicing of the hams to a refrigerated truck to hold the finished items for the meal to a large moving truck to gather the food and take it to UCO. Desserts, either bought or homemade, are donated, and cash donations are accepted to pick up where gift donations leave off.

Volunteers Mike and Liz Laska have been helping with or in charge of Edmond’s annual Thanksgiving dinner for the past 31 years.

“Organizing the dinner is a God thing,” Liz said. “It is not us.”

Her husband joined in, “It is over our pay grade,” he said laughing.

The dinner started in 1981 when six families new to Edmond and all members of the same church decided to have Thanksgiving dinner together.

“Fifty people showed up for the first dinner,” Liz said.

This year the volunteers who help with the dinner are expecting a crowd of a little more than 3,000 people.

“Last year we served right at 3,000 people and we will have enough this year for that many and more,” Mike said.

“Everyone is welcome to the free dinner,” Liz said, “whether they have a financial need, emotional need or social need.”

Volunteers prepare the food locally in one of four church kitchens including  First Presbyterian Church, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, New Covenant United Methodist Church and Southern Hills Christian Church.

Although the Laskas depend on God and the host of volunteers to make the dinner happen, they are looking toward the future and a time when they may not be able to do as much as they do now.

“Many of us who have been working on the dinner for 20 or 30 years are aging out, and we are looking for younger people to step up to help,” Mike said.

The Laskas said they welcome younger families and individuals to get involved, including students.

“We have a good number of students who help each year,” Mike said. “St. Monica’s Youth Group has been in charge of peeling the potatoes for a number of years.”

Bishop McGuinness students have stepped up to help slice the turkeys and prepare the side dishes, also.

Bishop McGuinness High School brother and sister, senior Vijay Raj and sophomore Anushka Raj, both attend St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

“Mom mentioned this to us and we thought it would be a great opportunity,” Vijay said. The students were volunteering Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday by helping in the preparation of the turkeys.

“If the spirit moves you, you will do it,” Liz said.

The Laskas, like most of the volunteers, help with the dinner each year for the joy of serving, Liz said.

“There are so many friends to be made and stories to share,” Mike added.

Many of the stories pull at the heart strings whether it is the story about a gentleman who lost his wife and drove from Norman to share Thanksgiving with people he had never met and when leaving left a generous check, or the story of a man with cancer who each year scraped the plates.

“Even though his family didn’t think he would be strong enough to volunteer, he showed up and said, ‘Give me a chair,’ as he continued the job he had done for years,” Mike said. “That was his last Thanksgiving with us.”

The stories aren’t all sad, though.

Volunteer Bing Martin said, “It’s fun. Look at all the fun we are having with the people around us.”

For those who are unable to leave their homes and join the festivities at UCO, meals will be delivered starting at 11 a.m. To order a meal call 341-3602, ext. 130. Orders will be taken until 10 a.m. Thursday morning.

“Each year we deliver more than 100 meals,” Liz said.

Nothing goes to waste, and any left over food is donated to the Jesus House, Breakfast on Boulevard and Cook’s Night Out.

Left-over family-sized donations are donated to the HOPE Center of Edmond and Samaritan House and larger-sized donations are given to Edmond Mobile Meals.

Among the many donations, Fowler Toyota will be loaning the organization vehicles to deliver the food, U.S. Foods again loaned a refrigerator truck to store the cooked meat and side dishes, an anonymous donor has loaned a moving van for many years to collect the food from the churches and deliver it to the site of the lunch, ham was discounted from Cisco which Homeland cut for free, Citizens Bank of Edmond and Baggerley Funeral Home donated turkeys, Laska said. Local residents and businesses like Matthews Funeral Home also donate dollars, time and items like desserts.

“We’re really grateful for everything and we want to share with anyone and everyone,” Laska said.

To volunteer, call 359-0201. To order a meal call 341-3602, ext. 130.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Debate Senate hopefuls meet in first debate

     Accountability to the American people and the $17.5 trillion debt continues to be a major issue in the race for U.S. Senate office being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn.
    The Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee hosted a debate Wednesday for three of the seven Republicans running for the U.S. Senate seat that is being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Oklahoma City FC invites fans to design club scarf

    Oklahoma’s top-tier soccer club, Oklahoma City FC, invites soccer fanatics across Oklahoma to be a part of its future by designing its scarf.
    Scarves are a tradition among soccer clubs and are typically a team’s most recognizable accessory. Scarves are a matter of pride for hard-core supporters and feature team colors, logo and inspiring slogans. Scarves are a part of a team’s identity.

    April 16, 2014

  • MS_injection well.jpg Agency clarifies earthquake-related misinformation

    A state agency says misinformation related to the debate about the cause of more earthquakes across Central Oklahoma includes oil well types, well numbers and injection pressure.
    The Prague sequence of 2011 along the Wilzetta Fault zone included a significant foreshock, a main shock of magnitude 5.7 and numerous aftershocks. It has been suggested that this sequence represents tremors triggered by fluid injection.
    More recently, earthquakes have been recorded in the vicinity of Jones, Arcadia Lake, Edmond, Guthrie, Langston and Crescent. Regulators and scientists are working together to better understand what’s causing all the shaking.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff seeks items for agency history project

    If you have historic pictures or artifacts related to the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, the agency is asking the public to share them.
    “The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office is working on a history project. If you, your family, friends or acquaintances have any old photos or artifacts related to the OCSO we would love to have them or a digital copy,” said Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel.

    April 16, 2014

  • oil infographic[1].png Easy on the coconut oil

    These days, it seems like coconut oil is soaking up credit for its positive affect on a wide range of health conditions. But, still developing science around the popular oil tells a little different story.
    “We know all saturated fats are not created equally, but there’s no evidence that coconut oil is better or healthier than other vegetable oils,” said Janice Hermann, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension nutrition specialist.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Easter 4e.JPG Moms Club finds Easter fun at Fountains at Canterbury

    The Fountains at Canterbury hosted members of the Moms Club of Edmond-West Tuesday morning for a Easter egg hunt and party complete with a special visit from the Easter Bunny. Residents at the Fountains at Canterbury hid several dozen eggs filled with prizes and candy for the children. The Moms Club of Edmond-West is a nonprofit, local chapter of stay-at-home moms who aim to support each other during the day.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • psc 1.jpg City likely to borrow less for PSC due to sky-high tax revenue

    During his State of the City Address Edmond Mayor Charles Lamb made a political announcement — he’s planning on running again for the office.
    Lamb made the comments in the question-and-answer session of his presentation during an Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Rose Creek Golf Course, 17031 N. May Ave.
    Mayor pro tem from 2005-2011, Lamb was elected mayor last year. His long record of service in Edmond includes serving on the City Council from 1993 to 2011.
    The question about if he will run again came from the audience. Lamb alluded to his desire to be around when the Public Safety Center is finished, which will be in the fall of 2015; the next mayoral election will be in the spring of 2015.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • New study counters pot legalization argument

    A new study raises a strong challenge to the idea that casual marijuana use isn’t associated with bad consequences, a researcher says.
    Researchers say the findings suggest recreational marijuana use may lead to previously unidentified brain changes and highlight the importance of research aimed at understanding the long-term effects of low to moderate marijuana use on the brain.

    April 15, 2014

  • Allergic asthma sufferers should take some precautions when exercising

    Spring has sprung, and in addition to welcoming the beauty and warmth of the season, many folks welcome — though maybe not with eager anticipation — seasonal allergies.
    And for some, allergies and asthma go hand in hand. More than 50 percent of the 20 million Americans with asthma have allergic asthma, according to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America. Over 2.5 million children under age 18 suffer from allergic asthma.

    April 15, 2014

  • Dr. Fielding’s variance denied by close vote

    Reverse-angle parking will continue at the 13 N. University Drive office of Dr. Brad Fielding. The Edmond City Council rejected a variance request by the local optometrist to end the city’s pilot project in front of his medical facility.
    Councilman Nick Massey and Councilwoman Victoria Caldwell supported Fielding’s variance request that was dismissed in a 3-2 vote.
    Four parking lines were striped late last year at Fielding’s business after the city opened new bicycle lanes along University. The city cites the safety for bicyclists and motorists who traditionally depart while backing into traffic as the main reasons for introducing reverse-angle parking.

    April 15, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Florida State Ends Top Of the 5th With Bizarre Play vs Jacksonville | ACC Must See Moment Kate Upton Loves Her Body, Every Part Of It Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video Miley Cyrus Hospitalized After Severe Reaction To Medicine Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Toddler climbs into vending machine 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Much-Anticipated 'Gone Girl' Trailer Finally Debuts! (VIDEO) Dog and Toddler Wear Matching Outfits in Adorable Photo Series
Poll

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

Agree
Disagree
Undecided
     View Results