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Polson community dinner brings friends together

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POLSON — For several days before Thanksgiving, Kelly Kinyon, who works at the Polson Senior Center, spent every extra minute cubing and toasting 75 loaves of bread for stuffing for the Polson Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

Then Tracy Plaiss, who coordinates the dinner, and her crew had to figure out how to get 26 turkeys cooked to go with that mountain of dressing. 

“Well, every year we creatively attack the way we’re going to get all those turkeys cooked,” Plaiss said.

Beside cooking at the Polson Senior Citizens Center, the crew uses the ovens at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, and this year they also cooked at the Masonic Temple. Cathy Corrigan, Jo Durand, Plaiss, Leni Baker and many others cooked turkeys in electric roasters at their homes.

Prep work began Wednesday night when the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church youth group came in to peel 125 pounds of potatoes, and other folks started hauling tables and chairs, moving furniture and setting tables.

By 11 a.m. Thanksgiving morning, the turkeys were cooked and carved; the dressing steamed; the potatoes were mashed and the gravy was bubbling, thanks to the hands and labor of many, many volunteers.

Community members and churches donated cranberries, salads, homemade rolls and pies for the feast, although the food donations were down this year. 

Corrigan, who manages the Polson Senior Citizens Center, said the dinner just keeps getting better and better. 

“It’s one of my best days of the year,” Corrigan said. “We enjoy doing it, and we all have so much fun.”

Although they haven’t done the final count, Plaiss said about 350-400 people came for dinner, down a few people from last year. Everyone is welcome, and a mixture of singles, families, lots of young kids and senior citizens all attended, Plaiss said. Dinner was free, although people may donate if they wish. 

The group focuses on serving a good quality meal, “with real, honest-to-God food,” Plaiss explained.


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