December 20, 2023
*Hours of volunteer work goes into the annual event.
By Dan Dockstader, SVI Media
The traditional Top of the Rockies — Alpine Community Thanksgiving Dinner will be Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. Doors open at 2 p.m., dinner will be served at 3 p.m. in the Donn Wooden Civic Center.
“If you don’t have the means to make your own Thanksgiving dinner or if you just don’t want to make Thanksgiving dinner or if you don’t want to do all the dishes or if you don’t have any family, this is really a community event and everyone is welcome for any reason, just join us,” Andrea Buchard club spokesperson said with a welcoming smile.
“Last year we served 175 but for context in 2017 we served 85 so it has grown considerably over the years,” she added in an interview aired on the SVI Media Weekday Wake Up program Monday.
Joining her for the interview was club member Justin Fritz who pointed out that if people are working Thanksgiving Day, Top of the Rockies will take a dinner to them at their workplace, in addition to caring for the elderly with speical meal deliveries.
Fritz will be out delivering turkeys to club members this week in-order to have enough cooked and ready for the serving on Thursday; a day-long event for those helping with the preperations. “We’ll be there from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.,” he said of all the work associated with the dinner.
Asked if he is a server? Friztz responded, “yes, and one of the cooks and one of the chief bottle washers!”
Various club members help by preparing dishes for the day. In additon, community members assist where needed. Approximately 30 people are called on to help with the day-long activities on Thursday.
Buchard noted all the traditions of Thanksgiving will be included for the day, including football. “We’ll have all the important football games playing on the TVs,” she said with a laugh. “You won’t miss out on your games.”
Broulim’s in Alpine is donating hams, turkeys, sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes this year.
The Alpine Fire Department will step in and help with specific deliveries. Buchard advised that anyone needing food delivered can contact the Alpine Town Hall in advance of Thanksgiving and local firefighters will help with deliveries.
Fritz recognized those who started the community tradition. “I want to give credit to Pam and Bill Callahan,” he said. “They started the Alpine Thanksgiving dinner many years ago and Top of the Rockies took it over about 10 years ago when they retired.”
Food and financial donations are accepted for the Alpine Thanksgiving Dinner through the Alpine Food Bank. In 2022, $1,400 was raised for the food through foodbank donations.
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