Giving Thanks By The Bag Full

Kenny Ragland
Posted 11/23/21

Turkeys, volunteers and kitchens are ready to go for the 2021 Annual Turkey Talk Thanksgiving dinner free promotion, for November 25 in Clinton.The dinners are delivered to Henry County and Clinton …

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Giving Thanks By The Bag Full

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Turkeys, volunteers and kitchens are ready to go for the 2021 Annual Turkey Talk Thanksgiving dinner free promotion, for November 25 in Clinton.
The dinners are delivered to Henry County and Clinton resident’s homes requesting them. A sit-down free Thanksgiving dinner is also offered.
Scott Brooks with the Clinton Flower Shop is one of many volunteers.
“We served, packed and loaded 1,216 meals in an hour and 25 minutes in 2019,” said Brooks. “We didn’t have Turkey Talk for 2020 because of Covid.”
The group accepts donated turkeys, pies and dollars.
“We take the donations at the flower shop,” Brooks said. “We have a lot of items come in on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.”
Turkey Talk has been around for 32 years now. Beginning with organizational help from Priest Father Tom Hermes, the group has grown and serves more meals each year.
“There are no financial requirements for receiving,” Brooks said, who began volunteering in 1995. “Just sign up at the flower shop.”
Lisa Wallace has been a long-time volunteer.
“I’ve done this for 16 years now,” said Wallace. “We are hoping to serve 1,000-1,200 this year.”
While the meals are free to anyone who asks, donations are not turned down.
“We have people who ask to donate when they receive the turkey dinners,” Wallace said. “Those donations are certainly accepted and put toward the cause.”
Bill Kernohan with the Knights of Columbus volunteers the knights for the carving.
“We carve a lot of turkeys,” said Kernohan. “We just did 62 for Holy Rosary Parish for their school fundraiser dinner.”
The turkeys are carved on Wednesday evening.
“They do that at the senior center,” Wallace said. “We coordinate the delivery out of there also, on Thursday morning.”
Additional volunteers are Boy Scout Troop 225 and the Calhoun Colt Show.
“I participate with Turkey Talk some,” said Abe Kohl with the Calhoun group. “Our treasurer Carla does a lot more than I do.”
A sit-down meal is offered at the local Eagle’s Club.
“I’ve participated with this for all 32 years,” said Dave Albertson with the Eagles. “I and others actually began volunteering from the Optimist Clubs.”
Albertson is a past president of the Eagles and has had family also volunteer.
“My mother volunteered for years,” Albertson said. “She recently passed away.”
Albertson worked with Father Hermes in the beginning.
“We noticed that groups were not providing anything for Thanksgiving,” Albertson said. “The idea went from there.”
Facilities volunteered for the promotion have changed a lot over the years.
“We used churches at first but quickly outgrew them,” Albertson said. “The Eagles facility works much better for the sit-down meal.”
Anyone in the community wanting to receive a Thanksgiving meal can do so by calling the Clinton Flower Shop at 660-885-6921. Volunteers will deliver them on Thanksgiving Day morning.
Cutoff time to sign up is Wednesday November 24 at 5 p.m.
For a sit-down meal, residents can go to the Eagle’s Lodge at 723 N. 3rd Street from noon – 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
“When the turkey runs out they will serve ham,” Wallace said. “Anyone who walks in will be offered the free Thanksgiving meal!”
Turkey Talk Thanksgiving meals are offered free of charge, to any Henry County or Clinton resident requesting one.

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