Thanksgiving dinner in New Bloomfield draws community together

(Clockwise, from front, left) Margaret Clardy, Helen Nichols, Betty Crawford and Matt Kowalewski enjoy their meal of turkey, ham and all the trimmings at the Community Thanksgiving Dinner at New Bloomfield United Methodist Church Thursday. The group was one of many that came out to enjoy the holiday together.

(Clockwise, from front, left) Margaret Clardy, Helen Nichols, Betty Crawford and Matt Kowalewski enjoy their meal of turkey, ham and all the trimmings at the Community Thanksgiving Dinner at New Bloomfield United Methodist Church Thursday. The group was one of many that came out to enjoy the holiday together. Photo by Katherine Cummins.

Whether they were there for the first time or the sixth year in a row, as a volunteer or simply to partake of the food, those gathered for the Community Thanksgiving Dinner at New Bloomfield United Methodist Church Thursday all agreed that the best part of the annual event was the ability to enjoy good food with good friends.

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(From front) Sharon Mallicoat, of Jefferson City, Robert Barnard of New Bloomfield, and Elmer and Rose Basnett of Holts Summit make their way through the line at the Community Thanksgiving Dinner at New Bloomfield United Methodist Church Thursday afternoon. Basnett said the group decided to attend in part because Tim Siegel encouraged them to come out.

Margaret Clardy, of New Bloomfield, said she has attended the event almost every year since it started for just those reasons.

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(From left) Volunteers Marti Wilson and Jordon Gatton fill up plates for delivery Thursday morning at the Community Thanksgiving Dinner in New Bloomfield. With three hours still to go, event organizers said they already had served or delivered approximately 64 meals by 1 p.m.

“I come because it’s very good food, and just to be out,” said Clardy, who contributed a pie. “We usually play cards in the afternoon. My favorite part is that it’s extra-good food, and you don’t have to cook.”

Her friend Betty Crawford, also of New Bloomfield, was attending for the first time.

“I belong to this church and Tom (Levin, who started the event) does a fantastic job with dinner,” Crawford said. “I’m not having mine until Sunday, so I thought I’d come out with my friends.”

Beverly Gudausky, New Bloomfield, said she has been volunteering with the Community Thanksgiving for the past seven years because she sees the need for it.

“People need it more. Some people just need to be with people, and there’s some that have family that come because they don’t want to cook,” Gudausky said. “It’s for anybody and everybody. I like seeing the people come in and talk to people they don’t know. It’s just enjoyable.”

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