Community Dinner Part Of The Heart Of Payson Elks



When Bob Troutman, chairman of the Payson Elks house committee, heard that the Community Thanksgiving Dinner hadn't found a home, he volunteered the club.

Troutman, his wife, Adrienne, leading knight for the Elks, along with Exalted Ruler Dwayne Cunningham, his wife, Beverly, and Tom and Jo Estabrook will lead cooking efforts. They share more than 100 years of cooking and food service experience between them.


Dwayne Cunningham, Exalted Ruler for the Payson Elks, and Bob Troutman, chairman of the house committee, received half the food they will be using for the Community Thanksgiving Dinner last Thursday. This shipment of food was bought for the dinner by the Tonto Apache Tribe and Mazatzal Casino, Troutman said.

"Last year there were about 400 dinners served and more than 100 home deliveries," Adrienne said.

"We expect to prepare a total of 600 dinners," Bob added.

The dinner, a served buffet, includes turkey roast (not pressed turkey), mashed potatoes and giblet gravy, dressing, candied yam, green beans, corn, tossed salad with dressing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, apple and cherry pie, hot rolls with butter, coffee, iced tea and water.

"It will be a complete dinner with three seatings," Dwayne said. "And no one will be turned away."

"It's not just for the needy either," Bob added.

Community Thanksgiving Dinner seatings start at: 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. DJ Craig will provide musical entertainment while everyone settles in.

This year, more than 100 volunteers showed up to help the Elks cook and carry out the details, Adrienne said. In fact, she explained, people were so generous with their time that no more volunteers were needed.

The Central Arizona Board of Realtors and members of the Rotary Club are chipping in to deliver dinners to homebound folks, and a Spanish-speaking volunteer will be on hand.

Although the dinner is free, donations are happily accepted. Remaining dinners, if any, will be delivered to the Veterans Helping Veterans and Time Out Shelter facilities.

Tickets are available from the Elks, the Payson and Pine libraries, the senior citizens centers in Payson and Pine, and the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce. Businesses throughout the community have already made numerous contributions, Bob said.

"We've been working on it since about late September," Adrienne said.

"But we have fun with everything we do," Dwayne said.

"It's what the Elks is about, giving back to the community," Beverly said.

The bar at the Elks Lodge will be closed during the dinner seatings.

For more information about the Community Thanksgiving Dinner, call the Payson Elks Lodge at (928) 474-2572 and speak with Bob Troutman.

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