In mere weeks, volunteers will open the doors at Friendship Hall and host the community for Thanksgiving dinner Nov. 22.

Montrose Community Dinners Inc. again brings turkey with all the trimmings to anyone who wants a meal on Thanksgiving Day — and preparations are now in overdrive.

The 24th annual Thanksgiving Friends Celebration has so far attracted only about one-third the number of volunteers it needs to cook and package meals for delivery, drivers for delivery, line servers, set-up and clean-up crews, and more, dinner board member Amethyst Roth said.

The giving-minded are urged to call 970-318-6724 by Nov. 16 to sign up as volunteers.

As always, meals can be delivered to people who cannot make it out of their homes to join others at Friendship Hall on the big day. To sign up to receive a delivery, call 970-318-6759 by Nov. 16.

Additionally, this year, people can sign up online at montrosecommunitydinners.com, or sign up another person. That option may be handy for out-of-town family members who want to make sure their loved one is registered for a meal, Roth said.

Last year, Montrose Community Dinners fed about 2,000 people a free turkey dinner, an effort that gobbled up 151 roasted turkeys, 39 hams, 2,200 rolls and too many potatoes to count.

The dinner board purchases the meats and other items, including paper products for meal service; supplying the whole meal costs about $15,000-$16,000.

“We could absolutely use donations. That’s kind of our goal. People are just now starting to think about Thanksgiving,” Roth said.

Donations are accepted online at the above address, or checks may be mailed to Montrose Community Dinners, P.O. Box 3540, Montrose, CO 81402.

Donors can also bake up some generosity for the dessert table.

“We’re a few weeks out. We’re needing pies like crazy,” Roth said.

Community members are asked to pledge a pie or two — fully baked, as the dinner volunteers have no place to cook the pastries. This year, too, people can contribute other desserts, along with the traditional pie. Contact the volunteer line above for information about donating desserts.

This year’s meal will be served from noon to 3 p.m. Nov. 22 at Friendship Hall, located on the Montrose County Fairgrounds, 1001 N. Second St. Although donations are accepted from those who would like to make one at the door, the meal is free.

Musical entertainment is provided by Paul Chamberlin, Maria Tirone and others to be arranged.

“We’re getting excited to spend the day with everyone,” Roth said.

Katharhynn Heidelberg is an award-winning journalist and the senior writer for the Montrose Daily Press. Follow her on Twitter @kathMDP.

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