The Rotary Club of Dawson County is preparing to host their annual free Community Thanksgiving event from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 25 at Veteran’s Memorial Park.
“This is really about fellowship and spending time with community,” said Christie Moore, public relations chair of the local Rotary chapter. “Holidays are hard for a lot of people. It’s a time when many people feel lonely, and this is one of those times where we can just come together as a community.”
“We want everyone to feel welcome,” Moore added.
This is the third year that the Rotary Club of Dawson County is hosting the free community dinner. Before that, it was hosted by the Dawson County Alliance of Churches.
The event used to be held the day before Thanksgiving. Last year, it was moved to the Monday before Thanksgiving so that more people could attend. This proved to be a huge boost for the event. In 2017, Community Thanksgiving served around 110 people. Last year, more than 450 meals were served.
“It was great because we had the Sheriff and a lot of the deputies came; we saw a lot of our local business leaders, we saw a lot of our community leaders, our senior center was able to attend, lots of children were there, so we saw a people from all across Dawson County,” said Moore. “It’s really just a happy, fun time.”
And this year, the hosts are preparing for even more.
“We hope that even more people than last year will attend,” said Moore. “We’re prepared to serve even more people than last year, and we’ll have plenty of food.”
The menu will include all of the traditional Thanksgiving fares — turkey, ham, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, and more.
Events like this take a lot of time, planning and resources, and Moore was quick to thank the presenting sponsor of the event — United Community Bank — as well as the eight other sponsors, including Associated Credit Union, Medical Plaza 400, Amicalola EMC, Dawson County News, Etowah Water & Sewer Authority, Publix, Ensite Civil Consulting, and Studio One O One Printing.
“I bring that up because it’s not just a community event that evening,” explained Moore. “It’s a community event coming together to even make this dinner happen.”
Of course, there’s one Thanksgiving tradition that hasn’t been addressed. What to do with the leftovers.
“If there’s left-over food, none of it goes to waste,” said Moore. “We partner with the Senior Center and the Meals on Wheels program so no food ever goes to waste, which we think is really important.”
Ultimately, this event is an annual reminder of what makes Dawson County so special. The hosts hope it is a place where we can all gather as a community, regardless of all the things that may seem to set us apart, and give thanks.
“The heart behind this is to bring our community together, so we want people to feel loved and a sense of togetherness during this holiday season. So, if you know someone who would benefit from being with community members, invite them, no matter if they live in Dawson County or not.”