Dear Editor,

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is well upon us, but we'd like to take a small step back and offer a word of thanks to all that made the Thanksgiving Dinner a huge success this year.

When the Committee was formed in 2015, less than 750 meals were provided on Thanksgiving Day. By contrast, in 2021, there were slightly over 2,700 meals provided. Needless to say, this is due to a concerted effort to reach out to more and more people, inviting them to enjoy a great meal on this special day. A number of individuals have really helped with that outreach.

None of this would be possible without the generous financial support of many, including the Wapello County Foundation, The Lazio Family, Dr. Baig, The Britt Family, Rockman LLC, JBS, Van Meter, Indian Hills Community College, 7th Day Adventist Church, O'Hara Hardware and John Deere Ottumwa Works. Beyond these generous sponsors, Fareway and Hy-Vee Food Stores and several other businesses and private individuals reached into their pockets and contributed toward this meal as well.

The Committee for the Community Thanksgiving Dinner is small, but the volunteer force that comes together on Thanksgiving to give their time and talent is amazing. We had lots of volunteers who have given of their time year after year, but it was most heartening to see the number of young students and adults as well as the new volunteers that step forward to help as this event unfolded. Without these amazing people, none of this would have been possible.

Until next year, know that the Community Thanksgiving Dinner is so appreciative of all this support and Ottumwa is a better place because of all this outpouring of generosity.

Pam Ward, Ottumwa

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