Immanuel Church to host annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner


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Thanksgiving for members of Immanuel Lutheran Church is about giving back to the community.

The Community Thanksgiving Dinner started at the church, located at 320 S. Bradley St, on Nov. 26, 1987 and has taken place every year since. It was started by two previous members of the church, Jack and Jeffery Flauhty. This year's event will take place on Thanksgiving Day Nov. 23. 

Dan and Jan Eversole, along with Billy and Harry Pluff, now lead the Thanksgiving Community Dinner. The two families have been heading the event for two years. Both couples head and coordinate most of the volunteer programs at the church.

The church is accepting donations of cups, plates, utensils, pre-made dessert and other pre-made foods a few days before the event. 

“Student volunteers that are not a member of the church are more than welcome to sign up to volunteer,” Dan said.

Last year, there were many student volunteers that supported the event. Students can sign up by calling (989) 773-4204. 

Students who sign up can do a variety of different jobs. 

“Volunteers can help prepare the meal in and out of the church, donate food and drinks, help serve the meals or help clean up while sitting down and visiting with the families, students and others in need,” Harry said. 

Dan said the event is not only for people in the community who don't have the finances for Thanksgiving dinner. The Immanuel Church invites everyone to come to the event and share food and fellowship. The dinner is open to local families, international and out of state students and anyone that needs a place to go for the holiday. 

“All are welcome here. We would just ask that people who plan on attending call the church office and a member will account for you and any others who also plan to eat, but we will be more than happy to accommodate if more people show up,” Harry said. 

The Immanuel Church Thanksgiving Dinner receives a lot of local support. Ric‘s Food Center plans to donate 20 to 30 turkeys this year and Robaire's Bakery contributes most of the rolls. There is also financial support from Isabella Bank and the Comfort Inn.

“The support is very crucial for the event because we usually serve 150 to 200 people,” Harry said.

Volunteers and guests are welcomed to call the church office for more information. 

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