HANNIBAL | No one was keeping track of the number of people served Thanksgiving dinner at the American Legion Hall, but the Legionnaires believe it might have been a record.
“We had 400 delivered and 200 more carry-outs,” Emmette J. Shields Past Commander Tammy Harr reported, in addition to the people served in the dining room.
The Legionnaires planned to serve 700 this year. “We may exceed our number,” Jess Ornelas said, as the dinners continued to be served.
“It turned out really well,” Ornelas added, noting he had counted 60 volunteers, and as a result, “This is the first time we finished early with take-outs, Ornelas said. “I want to thank the community, everybody in the community that came together. We couldn't do it without them.”
Harr also was pleased with the number sharing the dinners, explaining she did the decorating and shopping.
Some have been cooking and serving the dinners for many years, including Chuck Houston, who has been helping for 25 years.
Others were newcomers this year, such as U.S. Navy veteran Jim Kendrick, who came with Melissa Breeding to help deliver meals.
Children also helped. Jamie McCoy and her daughters, Aurora and Andilyn, delivered 31 dinners. The girls' proud grandmother, Penny Weide, wife of American Legion Post Commander Jerry Weide, took time out from serving dinners to pose for a photo with them.
Barb Fosse was joined by grandchildren Sydney and Brody Shelley in the serving line. Later Brody had fun eating big spoonfuls of whipped cream off his pumpkin pie.
Lisa Latta and her daughter, Marina Miller, were typical of the volunteers who help each year. This was their fifth year. “The first year we delivered,” Latta said. Now they help serve. Miller said she “got to see a lot of people I knew.”
Latta said, “I enjoy giving back. I was sick at one time (as a breast cancer survivor), and the whole community came together and helped out.”
Several veterans come to dine at the Legion Hall every year. Among them was Paul Lindhorst, who served in the U.S. Air Force from 1956 to 1962. His wife, Lynn, attracted attention with her purple hair. She explained this is in support of November being Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. “It will be white next month,” she said.
Others dining together were supporting the veterans, including Robin Tapley, wearing a POW MIA cap as he was accompanied by his wife, Pam, and daughter, Kim. He said his father-in-law and both brothers served in the military.
See photo gallery for more Thanksgiving pictures.