Marshfield Community Thanksgiving provides meal and joy through volunteers

Volunteers from around the area create a made from scratch meal for the community
Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 5:19 PM CST
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MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) - For nearly 20 years, the Marshfield Community Thanksgiving Dinner has provided a home-cooked meal for the Marshfield area.

Volunteers came up with the idea to provide something that provides people food who may need it on Thanksgiving Day.

“It started as a grassroots movement,” said Dorothy Flees, who’s been the unofficial head of the kitchen for 16 years. “There isn’t an organization that supports it, we’re just a whole group of people who come together to help.”

Flees is just one example of the many volunteers that have helped make this happen over the years. Katrina Knake has been making the meal’s gravy for nearly a decade.

“It’s something that’s indescribable in a lot of things because you are fulfilled,” said Knake. “You go home and smell like turkey and you just do something that’s good.”

Support comes from all over. Cranberries are donated each year. Volunteers start cooking the turkeys the Sunday before the holiday. Even Marshfield High School Students make the stuffing each year.

“It’s just about community service and it’s something I’ve done for a lifetime,” said Flees.

For the second consecutive year, the meal was pick-up only due to COVID-19. However, lines of cars made sure the kitchen was busy all morning and into the afternoon.

“You always get much more out of giving than you do receiving,” said Flees.

The meal has made the volunteers something of a family. They come together each year to bond and remember those that they lost each year.

“I had a gentleman that worked with me every year that did dishes and he died this year, so we’re missing him,” said Flees. “There’s a couple here that used to be pilgrims and we’re missing them. So, what sticks out in my mind are the people that are no longer with us who made this happen across the years.”

As the meal fills so many stomachs each year, it also fills the hearts of the volunteers year after year.”

“It’s just so rewarding,” said Knake. “There’s nothing more gratifying.”

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