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Beloit parish hosts Thanksgiving dinner for public Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Pat Casucci, Catholic Herald Correspondent   
Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016 -- 12:00 AM

BELOIT -- In honor of Thanksgiving Day, to share blessings, and to show gratitude, Our Lady of the Assumption (OLA) parishioners are serving a traditional Thanksgiving feast to the public.

Parishioners extend an invitation to anyone alone on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 24, to come and enjoy dinner at no cost, along with caring fellowship, from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. in Assumption Hall, 2222 Shopiere Rd.

There is an elevator to the lower level hall that guests can use. Reservations for the dinner are appreciated. Rides are offered to anyone needing transportation. For a reservation or a ride, call either DeeDee Spahos, 608-365-7900, or Rita Bonds, 608-362-6011.

Making a difference

Seizing the opportunity to express their thanks and gratitude on this day, a core group has planned the event down to every last detail. Turkey and the traditional accompaniments will be served, along with dessert.

At Assumption Hall, greeters will welcome people and assist with seating. Tables will be decorated with pumpkins made by first and fourth graders from OLA Grade School.

DeeDee Spahos said, “It’s the mission of our church to help others; we want to make a difference by offering dinner and fellowship to anyone in our area. We not only invite those who have no place to go for Thanksgiving dinner, and those who are alone, but also a couple or group of people who would like to share the meal with us.”

Rita Bonds said the idea for the event came from the Parish Social Justice committee. “We then discussed it in our Small Christian Community group, then it quickly took on a life of its own,” she explained. “Support from our Pastor Fr. Mike Resop and the parish was overwhelming.”

Pleased with all the interest and support, Spahos, who often steps up when there is a need in the parish, added, “Now we’re like a ‘well-oiled machine.’ We’re all set to go. The sign-up sheets for donations and help were quickly filled up.”

Many volunteers

The following core committee members, consisting of parishioners and advisors, planned the day’s events: Spahos, Bonds, Les Blumerich, Deb Burns, Lynda Champion, Diane Ryan, OLA Director of Pastoral Ministries Laura Warzecha, Sandy Rogers, Ninette Karnes, Sandy Adamsky from St. Jude Parish, and Pat Sands from River of Life Church.

More than 50 volunteers are ready to assist with the day’s tasks. Champion said 22 turkeys will be roasted by volunteer cooks. Volunteers include parish men and women as well as several family groups. “Children will be helping, too,” she added.

Champion shared why she’s involved, “I thoroughly enjoy participating in these events because I like doing things for people. I find it’s the best feeling I can have to help others. It warms your heart. It’s just nice doing good things like the Thanksgiving Dinner. OLA is a caring parish,” she said.

Pleased with the parish cooperation, Father Resop said the free dinner for the public reflects well in the Year of Mercy, “As we conclude the Year of Mercy, we see the parish involved in the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. We continue to live out those works by feeding the hungry and being with the lonely, assisting them. What a wonderful way to end the Year of Mercy!”

This is the first time OLA Parish has served a Thanksgiving dinner to the public. Bonds said letters were sent to all Beloit churches, senior centers, and apartments. Posters are put up throughout the community. She emphasized that anyone is welcome to attend and there is no cost for the meal.

 
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