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Volunteers prepared and served a free Thanksgiving dinner to 500 people Nov. 24 at the Payson Elks Lodge. In addition, the food was paid for with $3,500 in donations.

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Community spirit alive at Elks Lodge Thanksgiving

Volunteers make annual holiday meal possible

Bob Troutman stirs immense pots of vegetables in the chaotic Payson Elks Lodge #2154 kitchen as he helps prepare the biggest Thanksgiving dinner in Rim Country, with a deep sense of community the Pilgrims would have appreciated. “This dinner is all volunteers and donations,” from the $3,500 raised to pay for the food to the 100 people who showed up to serve and share this meal with their neighbors, said Troutman. Stacey Ernst has volunteered with her friend Karen Wood for the past six years. “We started with food prepping, but we moved on to serving and this year we’ll try assisting and bussing. We jump in wherever we’re needed,” she said.

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