Thanksgiving Was All About Giving

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More turkey!

More mashed potatoes!

For hours, these, along with calls for more green beans and rolls, were the constant cries from those serving the 500 to 600 Thanksgiving Day meals at the Elks Lodge Thursday.

Volunteers started serving up meals before the feast’s first seating at noon to hungry residents who came to the annual event to meet friends, enjoy the food and celebrate the holiday. Volunteers came from as far away as Tucson to join local residents like Lucia Mozart, who has made her home in Payson for more than 30 years.

“They come early and stay late,” said one Elks Lodge volunteer server.

Paul and Patti Cutler drove to Payson from Tucson on Thursday to join the team of volunteers who serve the nearly 600 meals, which included some 600 slices of cherry, apple or pumpkin pie, 50 dozens rolls and more turkey slices than anyone could count.

“We wanted to be part of this. It was time we gave something back,” Paul said as he helped bring food to those in attendance. He added it was great way to spend Thanksgiving.

Bob and Adrianne Troutman, along with Dwayne Cunningham, started preparing the feast on Tuesday morning in the Elks Lodge kitchen, which is not much larger than an average home kitchen, and continued providing hot dishes for the turkey feast with all the trimmings throughout the day Thursday.

In the crowded Elks Lodge dining room there were police officers, senior citizens, parents with children from all walks of Payson life enjoying the Thanksgiving Day dinner.

“This is just a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving,” said one woman who was enjoying the meal.

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