Community Thanksgiving Dinner to be delivery only this year
Wed, 09/23/2020 - 1:31pm caleb
Volunteers needed to serve as drivers for annual holiday event
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The annual Crawford AuSable Thanksgiving Dinner will happen this year, organizers said, but meals will only be served via delivery; due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there will not be a gathering for the 2020 version of the holiday dinner.
This year’s Crawford AuSable Thanksgiving Dinner – slated for Thanksgiving Day on November 26 – will mark the event’s 30th anniversary.
In order to avoid having people gather for the meal and gather in a crowded kitchen area to cook the dinner’s usual food, organizers have opted to cancel the in-person community meal and serve food by delivery only this year.
The Crawford AuSable Thanksgiving Dinner is normally conducted at the Grayling Army Airfield. Organizers will still use the airfield site as a base of operations for this year’s meal delivery, and they’re using freezer and refrigerator space provided by the National Guard to store some of the food.
For the main portions of the meal, this year’s Crawford AuSable Thanksgiving Dinner will feature Marie Callender frozen dinners donated by Family Fare, organizers said. Other items – some of which will be provided by Spike’s Keg ‘O’ Nails, Lange’s Vending, and Grayling Restaurant – will include cole slaw, rolls, cranberries, and muffins.
Patty Crandall, co-director of the Crawford AuSable Thanksgiving Dinner, said organizers are preparing to serve 1,150 meals this year. Last year, the event served 1,100 meals (750 via delivery), Crandall said.
With the increase in expected deliveries due to the absence of a dinner gathering at the Grayling Army Airfield, Crawford AuSable Thanksgiving Dinner organizers are looking for volunteers to serve as drivers. Organizers will have a small crew to assemble the meals on Thanksgiving and they are not looking for people to help with that aspect of the dinner at this time.
“We will need more drivers,” Crandall said. “That’s what the volunteer part will be.”
Crandall said the dinner’s delivery drivers usually run 25 routes during the event, but she expects that number to increase this year to somewhere between 35 and 40.
To volunteer as a driver for the 2020 Crawford AuSable Thanksgiving Dinner, contact Crandall at (989) 745-3557.
Meals from the annual holiday event are provided free of charge. To reserve a meal this year, call Pat at (989) 348-3275 starting Thursday, October 15. Organizers are asking people not to call to reserve a meal prior to October 15.
Crandall said people can help with the Crawford AuSable Thanksgiving Dinner effort by making a monetary donation. Send a check (payable to “CATD”) to: CATD, PO Box 247, Grayling, MI, 49738, or contact Crandall by telephone and she will pick up the donation, she said.