ANDERSON – Though the annual Thanksgiving Day dinner at the Geater Center was canceled this year, preparations and fund raising for next year’s dinner will begin this weekend.
Organizers will host an event paired with a fundraising telethon Sunday at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. to generate resources to bring back the dinner, which has provided thousands of meals each Thanksgiving Day.
This is the 10th year for the fund raising event, which will reach out to the community for donations for the 2021 dinner. The event will be broadcast from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on WHBU AM 1240 and FM 103.7.
Organizing chairman James Warner is hosting the event, which will provide food and entertainment during the fundraiser telethon.
Featured speakers include Harlem Globetrotters star Derick Grant, who played professional basketball for nine years.
Isaiah Williams will perform with Warner, and five other musical groups are expected to perform.
The Thanksgiving Day dinner committee will recognize several people and businesses instrumental to the annual Thanksgiving Day dinner.
The committee will honor Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. and Tom Tackett, maintenance supervisor for the Anderson Parks Department. Other supporters to be recognized are state Rep. Terri Austin, former Mayor Skip Ockomon, and Rick Dawson, owner of Anderson Speedway.
There will be a special recognition for Harrah’s Hoosier Park & Casino and Mark Thacker, HP’s director of sales and business development, for providing the turkeys for several years.
Donors can mail checks to Thanksgiving Day Dinner, PO Box 3006, Anderson, IN 46018. People can also call during the broadcast and offer their comments and best wishes. The phone number is (765) 378-2086.
For 37 years, volunteers have worked together to provide a free Thanksgiving Day meal to local residents.
The effort to provide the Thanksgiving Day meal starts weeks beforehand as local churches prepare food items and hundreds of volunteers work on the holiday to prepare meals at the Geater Center for delivery and service.
Last year, the program provided more than 1,400 meals to local residents.
In August, the organizers announced this year’s dinner had been canceled because of the coronavirus.