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Thanksgiving in the Valley to serve Nov. 27
November 20, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

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Thanksgiving in the Valley, a holiday season mainstay, will be serving meals for the 31st straight year this Nov. 27.

“The whole idea of Thanksgiving in the Valley is to provide a meal for the needy,” said event co-chair Kevin Mooney. “It also provides a fellowship opportunity for people who may be by themselves for Thanksgiving. Maybe their relatives are out of town and unable to come back, so this gives people a place to come together.”

Since its first year, the event has been hosted by the Guadalupe Center in Scottsbluff. Mooney said it seems to be the best location. “There’s some need in that area and the facility is very good,” he said. “They’ve been very generous in giving us a kitchen to work from and a place to set up tables and chairs for the event.”

Over the years, numerous people from the community have gotten involved; donating food or their time to make the meal possible.
“People tell me it gives them a good feeling to be involved,” Mooney said. “They’re not just stuffing themselves on Thanksgiving and falling asleep to a football game. It gives people the opportunity to be with their family while doing something of significance. They can help at the Guadalupe Center or even take meals out to the community to the homebound. It gives them a good feeling to help out. It’s the spirit of the holidays.”

Mooney was quick to acknowledge his co-chair Kendra Feather and the help of Randy Thruston, who cooks the meal – along with Julio and Maggie Bernal, Melvin Shockley and Dorothy Fox from the Scottsbluff and Gering soup kitchens who have been helping since the beginning.

And the new priest at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Fr. John Sorenson, will give the blessing.

“We also have a number of churches who have donated every year,” Mooney said. “Monty Flock has made his cornbread muffins since we started. Ideal Linen has supplied the linens for the event for years and Allo Communications in now supplying all the turkeys.”

The culinary arts class from Scottsbluff High School also helps bake pies and many other vendors and community organizations have come together to make Thanksgiving in the Valley a success over the decades.

Thanksgiving dinner will be served at the Guadalupe Center from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Meals for the homebound will go out between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. with the help of Jill Allen and the Volunteer Center.
People who would like to volunteer to help deliver meals can call Allen at (308) 632-3736. To volunteer in other areas, call Mooney at KNEB, (308) 632-7121.
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