Volunteers serve up huge holiday meal in Findlay

More than 300 volunteers — using 73 turkeys and 195 pounds of butter — created a successful Thanksgiving Day community dinner at Findlay’s StoneBridge Church.
Organizers planned for 2,400 people. The Rev. Michael Wise, lead pastor of the church, said this year’s better weather might draw a larger crowd than in years past. Meals were also available for carryout and by delivery.
Kelly Galer, operations manager for the church, was in charge of the event. She said at least 309 volunteers were needed to prepare and serve the big meal.
Some other churches send groups to work on just sweet potato casserole. Some people just debone turkey in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.
Volunteers began work at 8 a.m. Sunday. Galer said people who couldn’t work on Thanksgiving Day came to volunteer earlier in the week.
Both she and Wise stressed that it isn’t just a StoneBridge endeavor. Many other churches sent groups of volunteers, organizations like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts helped, and local businesses as well as individuals donated food.
“This isn’t just about StoneBridge… There’s no way we could do this all on our own,” Wise said.
They had planned for 64 turkeys and ended up with 73. The menu also included stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green beans, bread and desserts.
Galer said they started with 41 bags of stuffing but decided they needed to triple it. They had 100 cans of green beans — and those were 101-ounce cans. There were 88 cans of sweet potatoes and 30 hams.
The shopping list also included 195 one-pound blocks of butter. No, that’s not a typo. Galer said butter is in almost everything, including potatoes, sweet potatoes, and used to crisp the turkeys.

Courier reporter Sara Arthurs will have more on Friday.

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