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      Community invited to free Thanksgiving dinner

      Preparations were underway Wednesday afternoon for the 24th annual Thanksgiving dinner at Trinity Lutheran Church in Traverse City.

      Organizers spent Wednesday dressing more than twenty turkeys, unloading bread and milk, and setting up tables, among many other things.

      The free dinner is open to everyone in the community and is put on by a few hundred volunteers.

      Nearly a thousand meals are also delivered Thursday to those that are homebound or can't make it because of the weather.

      "This dinner reaches out to those people that don't have family, shut in, or they're just having a hard time this holiday," said Gwen Stokes, the volunteer coordinator. "We always hear from the people that get their deliveries that just the knock on the door- they look so forward to it, not just the meal. And then of course the fellowship that they get here."

      The meal is Thursday from 1-3pm at 1300 South Maple Street in Traverse City at Trinity Lutheran Church.

      There is plenty of room to join the Thanksgiving meal, or if you would like a meal delivered, you can call the community meals program at 231-409-2894.

      At this point they no longer need volunteers for Thanksgiving - but organizers say they do need monetary donations to make sure the upcoming Christmas dinner can happen.