For more than 15 years, the American Legion Post 141 has been serving a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
Former bar manager Mick DeRoche started the tradition in the mid-90s as one of the many efforts to reach out and help the South Whidbey community that surrounds Post 141. The responsibility for this event has been passed down from year to year to various members of the Legion.
Even before the dinners became a regular tradition, Past Commander Ed Nelson recalls that members of the post in the 1970s started putting together baskets for the holidays for people who needed assistance.
Post Commander James Knott sees this as an important “service to the public” and a way to “interact with the community.”
The dinner is free to the public and anyone who doesn’t wish to be alone this year or simply doesn’t have the time or means to put together a traditional feast is encouraged to come by Post 141 on Highway 525 just south of The Goose and enjoy dinner in a warm and inviting location.
This year’s dinner will be served from 1 to 5 p.m. and large parties should make reservations if possible. The menu will include the traditional favorites of turkey, ham, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, corn, cranberry sauce and pie for dessert.
However there is always a surprise or two when someone decides to donate delicious squash, sweet potatoes or some other favorite recipe.
“The volunteers are truly the backbone of this dinner and without their efforts in donating and shopping for food, preparing the dishes, then by serving and the eventual clean up, the meal would never take shape,” said Knott.
Sons of the American Legion member Jason Kalk began helping with Thanksgiving before he ever joined Post 141 because he felt “it was a great way to do something productive that brings joy to the diners.”
The dinner brings together members from all three arms of the Post as the Auxiliary and the Sons of the American Legion help the Veterans. This year, members of the Veterans Resource Center are also lending support both through donations and volunteer labor.
For more information or to make reservations, call the Post at 321-5696.