By Joey McWilliams
DURANT – In a follow-up to last year’s success, the Donald W. Reynolds Community Center and Library will host a Thanksgiving gathering to be a blessing to the community.
It is called the Be Thankfull Dinner and it will take place two days before Thanksgiving Day on Tuesday, Nov. 26 from 4-8 p.m.
The name derives from 1 Thessalonians 5:18 which says, “Give thanks in all circurmstances.” Everyone is welcome to attend and invited to ‘come as you are.’
Robbee Tonubbee, library director, said the idea was born from two women who wanted to do something for the community.
“Last year, Jennifer Steen and Taylor Dougherty came to me and wanted to talk about an idea to do a Thanksgiving dinner,” Tonubbee said. “They understood that there’s another one that is done on Thanksgiving Day (Families Feeding Families). But in talking, they wanted to be able to do something close to Thanksgiving but still be able to spend Thanksgiving with families. So this ‘Be Thankfull’ was born.”
In 2018, the dinner fed 130-150 people, but there were many more than that to attend.
“Last year, they just had a group on Facebook and asked people for donations and to bring food and I think we ran out of corn and that’s about it,” Tonubbee said. “We had so much food. And I think at some point there were more volunteers than there were patrons of the dinner.
“But this is something the ladies want to do every year. We’ve gotten a little more organized this year. People asked to join the group and then they decide what they want to bring. We’ve limited the menu and whatever is left over in the end, we pass on to Families Feeding Families, especially dessert, because they can that two days later.”
It will be held in the Black Box Theater in the Community Center portion of the building and this year both large rooms in the south area will be open to those who are eating. And Tonubbee said it is for anybody and everybody.
“Last year we had so many people, they were eating out in the café.
“But I say it’s food, fellowship, and family. And even though the volunteer spots have filled up, people are messaging me and I say, ‘Just come. I always need help cleaning up. Just come and see what it’s all about.’”