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Thanksgiving dinner ready to serve hundreds

Jamestown’s annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner is ready to serve hundreds of people again this year.

The dinner tradition, which was started 24 years ago by the late Fritz Buegel, offers turkey, stuffing, potatoes, corn and more to any community member or visitor for free, said Amy Neustel, one of this year’s dinner organizers.

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“You get great fellowship with the people that are there,” Neustel said. The dinner is served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day at Concordia Lutheran Church in Jamestown.

People also have the option of having their dinner delivered. Anyone interested can place an order by calling Concordia Lutheran this week at 252-2819.

Neustel said that most years about half of the dinners are delivered, and half are served at the church.

Last year, the community dinner served 589 people, and in 2011 it served more than 600, Neustel said. Buegel’s original goal for the dinner was to serve at least 500, she said.

For those who do attend the dinner at the church, there is live music, and there are many people to share dinner with, Neustel said.

“It’s good if you’re alone, or if you’re working and just don’t want to cook,” she said.

About 100 volunteers work the dinner each year, setting up and cooking on Wednesday, and then serving and cleaning on Thanksgiving Day.

The food for the dinner comes from fundraising and donations, Neustel said, and the serving space is donated by the church.

“University of Jamestown allows us to use the kitchen at the college,” which is where all of the food is made, she said.

Last year, there were 24 turkeys served, which weighed 22-plus pounds each, along with 58 loaves of bread, six pounds of onions, seven cases of pie, two cases of corn, one case of cranberry sauce, 39 packets of gravy and more, Neustel said.

“It’s hard work (for the volunteers), but it’s also fun at the same time,” she said.

Anyone interested in volunteering can call Concordia Lutheran Church at 252-2819.

Sun reporter Charly Haley can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at

Charly Haley
Charly Haley covers city government for the Grand Forks Herald. As night reporter, she also has many general assignments. Before working at the Herald, she was a reporter at the Jamestown Sun and interned at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes Newspapers and the St. Cloud Times. Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her hometown is Sartell, Minn.
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