Volunteers spent hours Wednesday hovering over a hot stove, cooking enough food to feed 1,000 people. That includes 50-turkeys, giblet gravy, and of course, mouthwatering desserts like homemade cakes.
This year, the volunteers served food without a familiar face by their side. For 13-years, Calvin Wilson oversaw the day-to-day operations at Feed My Sheep. The kitchen was even named after him. Calvin passed away in September.
Volunteer Joe Steinwinder says he feels a little sad because Calvin is not here and it will different for all of them. But, he says they've been blessed with Calvin, and they're doing the things that he set in motion.
Wilson's widow, Judy, says they no longer have Calvin's sense of humor and they miss him. Martha Husband says she misses seeing him walking around, talking to the people, which he enjoyed. But, they're going to make it.
Volunteers also thought this would be the first Thanksgiving Dr. Ted Riemann wouldn't be able to attend. The former Chairman of the Board is battling cancer. But he made a brief, surprise visit before the serving began.
Mel Goggleye says it was wonderful to see Dr. Riemann up and about, because he's been such a sick man. Goggleye also says Dr. Riemann has always devoted his life to the care of others.
Volunteers say they appreciate Dr. Riemann and his support of Feed My Sheep. And during the annual Thanksgiving feast, they also remembered the legacy of Calvin Wilson.
Martha Husband says she knows Calvin is up in heaven, looking down and watching over them. Judy Wilson says people are still coming in and asking for Calvin, because they didn't know he had passed on. But, his spirit will always be part of the operation.
Volunteers say the lunch crowd was one of the biggest they've ever seen. Feed My Sheep also delivered more than 100 boxed lunches to the area's shut-ins.