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Turkey teardown

Volunteers who helped break down 30 turkeys Monday for St. Mary’s Church’s free Thanksgiving dinner included (foreground, left to right) Michele Neale (co-chair of the dinner, along with her husband, Bob), Anna Solheid and Jeanie Brever. Pat Osterberg and Randy Kinney also helped with the prep work. (Al Edenloff/Echo Press)1 / 2
Ed Silver carved turkeys at St. Mary’s School cafeteria Monday night. Thirty birds were prepared for Thursday’s free community Thanksgiving dinner. (Contributed)2 / 2

Think your Thanksgiving prep work is hectic?

Step into the shoes of the volunteers at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alexandria.

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They were up to their elbows in turkeys Monday night, breaking down 30 of the golden-skinned birds to serve as the centerpiece of the church’s free community Thanksgiving dinner, an Alexandria tradition for decades.

Turkey is just one of many items on the menu. A traditional Thanksgiving feast is prepared, complete with potatoes, ambrosia salad, fresh baked rolls, yams, stuffing and a variety of pies.

Dinnertime was from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Last year, the church served almost 800 meals. They also delivered food to those unable to get to the church and Rainbow Rider offered rides.

The meal involves the entire community – local businesses that generously donate food and other items, several local churches and more than 200 volunteers.

Although the details that go into preparing such an ambitious feast can be complicated, the goal is simple: providing a delicious meal and fellowship so no one has to be alone during this special time of the year.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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