It’s a big deal for the volunteers and residents, Hulst says

    The Villa St. Vincent and The SUMMIT hosted their annual Thanksgiving Dinner for residents and their families Tuesday in both locations. Over 600 people enjoyed a special meal prepared by staff and served by community volunteers.

    For over 15 years, the tradition has continued with twenty 25 lb turkeys roasted, 240 lbs of corn served, 120 lbs of potatoes mashed, 12 gallons of gravy cooked, 720 pieces of pumpkin pie sliced, and all served in a two-hour time frame.

    “The meal is served to all Villa and SUMMIT residents and their two guests each, all staff working that day, the children and teachers of the Little Villagers Day Care Center, Cathedral School children, Sunrise Center day care children, and the sisters at the Mount St. Benedict,” Villa and SUMMIT Foundation Development and Marketing Director Cindy Hulst told the Times’ Jess Bengtson and Nolan Beilstein, who attended the dinner. “It’s really a special time and our residents get all excited, and dressed up for it.”

    Inside The SUMMIT’s main floor dining room Tuesday, volunteers Allan Dragseth and Gaye Wick escorted guests to their reserved tables and residents enjoyed the meal with their children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren over the lunch hour. A special 71st anniversary was also celebrated for Marvin and Fran Chandler who happily took a photo together before the dinner.

    “Our residents love being able to invite their family and friends here just before Thanksgiving,” added Hulst. “Some have family that live far away and they may not get to visit for the holiday, so this meal is extra special for them.”