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Free Thanksgiving meal feeds hundreds in New Richmond

Pictured (left to right) are Kennedy Kling, Emma Kling, Maddy McCann and Elizabeth Lee helping out with the potato peeling task.1 / 3
Judy (left) and Ron Duffe prepare the squash on Wednesday evening at Immaculate Conception Church. The tools that came in handy included a hatchet.2 / 3
(Left to right) Pete Kling, Barb Kling, Ryan Kling, Bridget Kling and Alex Lee tackle the potato peeling chore as food was prepared Wednesday night prior to the community Thanksgiving meal.3 / 3

The weather was perfect for last Thursday's annual community Thanksgiving meal at Immaculate Conception Church in New Richmond.

"We were blessed to have great weather," said coordinator Ronda Bierbrauer, who has been leading the effort to conduct a free community feast for the past 13 years.

As a result of the good weather, 150 people took advantage of the meal at the church on Thanksgiving Day. About 140 meals were delivered to homes in the area.

"Our deliveries went sky high this year," Bierbrauer said. "We've never had this many deliveries before."

A total of about 200 volunteers worked Wednesday and Thursday to get the meal ready, serve the food and deliver the meals, Bierbrauer estimated.

"We couldn't do this without all the volunteers," she said.

Among those volunteering were the members of the Star Prairie royal court. "We've never had royalty help us out," Bierbrauer reported.

A total of 18 22-pound turkeys were roasted for the day's feast, along with 205 pounds of potatoes. Other items on the menu included squash, sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, stuffing, gravy, roll, pickles, olives, cranberries, pickled beets, pie, coffee, milk and apple cider.