The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 15, 2013

Third annual communitywide Thanksgiving dinner in the works

By Lora Scripps
lora@athensnews-courier.com

ATHENS —

Two Limestone County women never imagined that in a three-year span a simple idea would grow into a large, communitywide event.

Kim Birdsong and Roxanne Haggermaker were having a friendly chat after the Veterans Day parade three years ago when Birdsong had an idea.

“Wouldn’t it be nice to do a community Thanksgiving dinner?” she asked Haggermaker.

The question got Haggermaker’s wheels turning and the two organized the first community Thanksgiving dinner.

“This makes three years strong,” Haggermaker said, adding around 600-800 turned out for the 2012 event.

The dinner — ham, turkey, dressing, all the fixings and desserts — is from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

Haggermaker, Birdsong and more than a dozen volunteers plan to serve up a home-cooked meal at the Vietnam Veterans of America Building. The group will also deliver meals to homebound residents of Limestone County.

Anyone is welcome to attend, regardless of income. However, delivery is restricted to local residents unable to leave their homes. Homebound residents should call to reserve a plate by Nov. 27.

Organizers are in need of food donations to make the event a success, according to Haggermaker. Items such as hams, sides, and desserts are appreciated. She said Mayor Ronnie Marks and Disabled American Veterans have already secured the turkeys.

Haggermaker said her father cooked 50 pounds of corn meal for dressing last year “and we ran out.”

Volunteers who can help deliver food are also needed. “Any churches or organizations that want to participate are welcome, “ Haggermaker said. “We would be glad to have them.”

The Vietnam Veterans of America building is at 17915 W. Elm St. in Athens.

“Come out,” Haggermaker said. “We have a great time. It’s a time to fellowship, meet the neighbors and just hang out with the community. You learn so much from talking to others. Everyone has a story.

“We welcome anyone — firefighters, ambulance drivers, anybody that doesn’t have a place to go. We don’t want anyone to spend Thanksgiving alone. That is our goal.”

Haggermaker said the group wants to make sure everyone is fed. “Lord knows we don’t have a lot of money, but with the help of others, there is no reason why we can’t do this,” she said.

For more information, call Roxanne Haggermaker at 256-206-6702.