SPRINGFIELD - St. Mary's Catholic Church in Springfield recently held it's annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner at the Nolin-Murray Center only this year, the volunteers are serving turkey and mashed potatoes with brand new kitchen equipment, including an eight burner, stainless-steel stove and two stacking convection ovens.
Each year, the church teams up with the Springfield Family Center in order to produce Thanksgiving meals for some 300 people, primarily to help out the Springfield Meals on Wheels program, which is closed on Thanksgiving Day.
Head cook Michael Knoras , who has been leading the church's volunteer efforts for years, oversaw the cooking of nearly 20 turkeys and all the fixings, in which the family center delivered some 120 meals to shut-ins, while the Nolin-Murray Center was set up for another 175 dinners.
The previous day, volunteers had prepared much of the feast, including over 100 pounds of potatoes, stuffing, butternut squash, about 100 mini-loaves of pumkin bread, dozens of dinner rolls and over 30 pumpkin pies.
On Thanksgiving morning the volunteers, some of which have been assisting in this cause since the early 1980's, began stuffing and cooking the turkeys at 4 a.m. so that the 120 take-out meals could be created at 8 a.m. for seven more volunteers to distribute throughout the Springfield area. The main dinner at the hall started serving dinner at noon time and served over 175 dinners through 2 p.m.