Lifestyle – The Pagosa Springs SUN The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Thu, 14 Nov 2019 21:59:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bird of the Week Sun, 17 Nov 2019 12:00:57 +0000

Photo courtesy Brenda Breding

This week’s Bird of the Week, compliments of the Weminuche Audubon Society and Audubon Rockies, is the American robin.
Both European and American robins have orange breasts and upright postures; however, they are not closely related. Local males and females look similar, though males are more colorful. These omnivorous birds eat a wide variety of foods. Want them at your feeders? Try jelly, mealworms and suet, nuts and seeds. Keen eyesight allows them to see disturbances in soil, drawing them to worms, caterpillars and snails.
Though we most often think of robins as harbingers of spring, in breeding areas, they often stay all winter. Consequently, we see them during our Christmas Bird Counts.
The nest is a deep cup that measures 3-9 inches wide and is constructed by the female. The characteristic robin’s egg blue of the eggs is caused by hemoglobin and bile pigments in the female’s blood. These pigments create the familiar blue, unmarked shell.
After hatching, both parents care for their chicks for 12-14 days until the young birds leave the nest. American robins can lay several broods, but only 25 percent of chicks survive for six months. The average lifespan is just five to six years; however, some wild robins can live as long as 12-13 years.
For information on local bird-watching events, visit and

Iacino to speak at Democratic Club luncheon Sun, 17 Nov 2019 12:00:38 +0000 By John Porco
Special to The SUN
The Archuleta Democratic Club will hold its monthly luncheon Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 11:30 a.m. at Pagosa Brewing Company. The featured speaker will be James Iacino, a new candidate running in the Democratic primary to unseat Rep. Scott Tipton to represent the Third U.S. Congressional District.
Iacino is a third-generation Coloradoan who now resides in Montrose. He recently resigned as CEO of Seattle Fish Company, a firm started by his grandfather over 100 years ago in Denver. The company is one of the largest seafood wholesalers in the nation with facilities in Denver and Montrose.
For his success as CEO, he was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2016, a global program to recognize leaders. He was also Colorado State University’s Graduate of the Last Decade. He serves on the Cooking Matters Colorado Leadership Council, which “helps parents and caregivers struggling with limited food budgets to learn how to shop for and cook healthy, affordable meals.” His main issues are sustainable jobs at decent wages and the protection of our natural resources. He is married and has two young sons.
The intent of the Archuleta Democratic Club is to provide an opportunity for dialogue on progressive ideas in an informal social setting, as well as providing an update on party activities, local, state and national. We will begin gathering at 11:30 a.m. to allow some time for socializing, with lunch beginning at noon. There is no admission fee, but all participants will be asked to order lunch.
Anyone interested in attending is asked to RSVP to John Porco, first vice chair of the Archuleta County Democratic Party, at or at 946-2684 so that we can provide a count to the restaurant. All people are welcome at the lunch.


San Juan Stargazers to study Abell 2218 Sun, 17 Nov 2019 12:00:34 +0000 By Joan Mieritz
Special to The PREVIEW
The San Juan Stargazers’ regular monthly meeting is scheduled on Thanksgiving, so this month we will meet on Thursday, Nov. 21, in the Visitor Center conference room located at 105 Hot Springs Blvd. The meeting is from 7 to 8:30 p.m. sharp. Hot drinks will be served during the meeting because another group is using the conference room until 7 p.m. Be prepared to make a smooth transition.
This month, there will be two parts to our meeting. First, we will be discussing the wonderful StarLab — a portable planetarium that Anita Hinger, science teacher at Pagosa Springs Middle School, has been gathering money to benefit all 1,636 students of our school district. She is over halfway to the $50,000 that is needed to get this outstanding multifunctional science equipment which includes programs in addition to astronomy, for weather, plate tectonics, geology and other areas. A decision needs to be made as to the amount our club will contribute.
Then we will have a regular program from the series that we have been studying for two years, called “Experiencing Hubble: Understanding the Greatest Images of the Universe.” It includes a written lesson and a video lecture by Professor David Meyer of Northwestern University. A gravitational lens is not a common concept, so it is guaranteed that you will learn something new and totally amazing. The lesson is called “Abell 2218 — A Massive Gravitational Lens.” One of the most fascinating phenomena in the night sky with a powerful telescope is a gravitational lens. It was predicted by Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. The most spectacular cases of gravitational lensing involve distant rich clusters of galaxies. The Hubble image of the rich galaxy cluster Abell 2218 is 2 billion light years away and reveals about 80 bright cluster galaxies and more than 100 background galaxies. Just think how brilliant you will sound at your Thanksgiving dinner table trying to explain this to friends and family.
Remember that new people are always welcome at our meetings and this is a lesson you will not want to miss. It is wonderful how a lesson can seem complex and difficult, but when explained by Meyer with diagrams and other aids, it becomes reasonable and within our grasp.
We are again selling our fabulous Astronomy Magazine Deep Space Mysteries 2020 calendar. There are photos of several classic galaxies, nebulae, a stellar nursery, a young star cluster, a galaxy cluster, a supernova remnant and the very famous Orion Nebula photo that in itself makes it worth getting the calendar. The cost is $13 and is a fundraiser for our scholarship fund. Every day there is a notation of significant sky events and phases of the moon. Each photo has a detailed explanation to help you painlessly learn the basics of astronomy, so it is perfect for any student.
It is much easier this year to pick up a copy at the Visitor Center. Both Hillary and Rick can help you, but get yours soon before they sell out. They are perfect to mail since they are unbreakable and they give the message every day throughout the year that you cared enough to send such an amazing gift.
The San Juan Stargazers are part of the Astronomical League, which includes clubs from all over the U.S. We have a new website,, as well as an email address,, and a club phone number, 335-8286.
We welcome everyone who has an interest in learning more about our amazing universe.

56th annual Russ Hill Bazaar to open Monday Sun, 17 Nov 2019 12:00:17 +0000 By Barbara Draper
Special to The PREVIEW
The ever-popular Russ Hill Wreath Bazaar will be open for the 56th consecutive year Monday, Nov. 18, through Dec. 9 at the Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St.
Local greens are harvested and the scent of our pine forests will greet customers at the door. Both walk-in and phone orders can be placed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. except for Nov. 27, 28 and 29, when the bazaar will be closed for Thanksgiving. The designated phone number for the bazaar is 264-4538. Please do not call the church office with your order.
Two wreath sizes are available. The standard wreaths (about 25 inches wide) are $35. Shipping is available for an additional fee. Extra large wreaths (about 45 inches wide) are $70. Unfortunately, shipping is not available for this size. Each wreath will be decorated with pine cones and a bow that can be selected from several colors. Wreaths can also be customized with special bows and other embellishments for an additional charge.
Table arrangements will be created by custom order this year. There will not be a cash and carry selection available. You are welcome to bring your ideas and/or work with the arrangements specialists for your creation. Prices will vary according to your order.
There are many good reasons to purchase these wreaths. Perhaps foremost is the fact that all profits are distributed in Archuleta County to deserving nonprofits through mini grants. You can simplify your gift-giving decisions, avoid long lines for mailing and anyone on your list will surely appreciate such a thoughtful gift from Pagosa Springs. As for your own wreath, you will not find one made from fresher materials or that will be as long lasting.
The bazaar elves look forward to helping you. You are welcome to come visit the workshop between 9 a.m. and noon or 1 to 3 p.m. to see how the wreaths are made. It is wise not to wait too long to order. A maximum of 500 wreaths will be created this year and many phone and mail orders come from across the country. Former residents continue the tradition of having Pagosa wreaths for their own homes and gifts.

New Thought topic: ‘Life Expansion through Visioning and Faith’ Sat, 16 Nov 2019 12:00:57 +0000 By Lisa Burnson
Special to The PREVIEW
“Seek not to find out who you are, but seek to determine who you want to be.” — Neale Donald Walsh.
All are welcome to join the New Thought Center for Inspirational Living (NTC) this Sunday, Nov. 17, at 10:30 a.m., for our presentation, “Life Expansion Through Visioning and Faith — I Am That I Am.” Our speaker will be Shayla White Eagle McClure. We will have a special new members invitation and ceremony, and a holiday decorating party after our service.
Also on Sunday, Nov. 17, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., we invite all who enjoy writing in the company of others to join our writing group for “Stories To Tell Us.”
We welcome people of all religions, genders, cultures and races to our services, where we celebrate the Science of Mind and positive thinking.
Our community of affirmative-minded people share joy, laughter and awareness of connection to spirit and our ability to co-create a life of infinite possibilities.
We will have spirited live music.
Upcoming events
Sunday, Nov. 24, 10:30 a.m.: “The Benefits of Gratitude.”
Thursday, Nov. 28: Thanksgiving Gratitude Potluck. Time to be determined.
Meditation circle
We invite the public to enjoy our weekly meditation circle each Wednesday at 6:15 p.m.
About us
NTC is a New Thought center based on fostering living a spiritually centered life and promoting the philosophies of the Centers for Spiritual Living and the Agape Centers. NTC honors all lifestyles, cultures and religious paths to the Divine.
We welcome local talent to share gifts, aptitudes and knowledge. Have a hand in making a difference. Participate, learn or contribute your insights, beliefs, knowledge and skills.
NTC events are held at 3505 W. U.S. 160, on the second floor of the Best Western Lodge (elevator available).
Request a concentrated affirmative mind treatment or obtain information by joining us; emailing; mailing P.O. Box 1052, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147-1052; or calling (505) 604-5031. Find us on Facebook (Pagosa Community of New Thought).

UUs to consider what determines ethical behavior Sat, 16 Nov 2019 12:00:42 +0000 By Dean Cerny
Special to The PREVIEW
We all grow up learning what is right and wrong behavior. But where does this learning come from? Our parents? Religious institutions, scriptures and doctrines? What determines our rule for appropriate behavior?
These are questions of ethics. On Sunday, Nov. 17, at 10:30 a.m., the Pagosa Unitarian Universalists Fellowship will take a closer look at what determines ethical behavior. The primary question behind our discursive exploration will be, “Who or what determines the rules of ethical engagement or action?”
To answer this question, we will compare and contrast the Zen Buddhist ethical approach with the Christian approach. In doing so, we will learn much about our cultural ethics. We may also discover an insightful, more commonsense approach to ethical conduct. What we hope to uncover is an ethics of the heart, rather than the mind. This inquiry will be led by Pastor Dean Cerny, who prefers an ethics that moves with the situation rather than stands still “in the face of” it.
Check out our calendar of events at All of these events take place at Unit B-15 of the Greenbriar Plaza. From North Pagosa Boulevard, turn onto Park Avenue, then turn into the Greenbriar Plaza, drive to the east side of the parking lot and look for the Unitarian Universalist sign, facing north.
If you would like to schedule a private meeting with Cerny, or for further information, call 731-7900.

Veterans Day breakfast Sat, 16 Nov 2019 12:00:30 +0000

SUN photos/Chris Mannara

Marking the 19th year for the event, Pagosa Springs Middle School eighth-graders hosted the annual Veterans Day breakfast for our local heroes Monday. The event was a time for the youth of the community to talk with veterans and hear stories of their experiences.

Holiday dinner planning checklist Sat, 16 Nov 2019 12:00:29 +0000 Planning for your holiday dinner can alleviate stress and ensure you have everything you need to serve a wonderful holiday meal. Here is a checklist to help you plan, and guidelines for cooking a turkey that will be safe and delicious.
Two to three weeks before:
• Make your guest list and invite them.
• Plan your menu (keep the list handy so you can add or delete items).
• Decide how much food to buy for the number of guests being served.
• Order fresh meat. If buying a frozen turkey or other meat, make sure you have plenty of freezer space to store.
• If you are asking your guests for help, give them a heads up.
• Will they bring a side dish?
• Will they help set up and/or clean up (this is really a great job for spouses and kids; just let them know you need their help).
A few days before:
• Start defrosting frozen turkey in refrigerator (see the chart below).
• Make sure your shopping list is up to date and go shopping.
• Make pies and desserts (day before).
• Make other sides that will keep overnight (cranberry sauce is best when it has a few days to sit).
The morning of the dinner:
• Get the coffee going.
• Set the table, assemble dishes, platters and serving utensils.
• Prepare vegetables for the side dishes. Clean, peel and cover. Store in refrigerator or place on the stove so they are ready to start.
• Chill wine and other beverages.
• Check your menu to make sure you haven’t forgotten any dishes.
Hours before the dinner:
• Start cooking your turkey (see the chart below for cooking times, plan for 30 minutes after your turkey is cooked to carve and serve).
• Set out snacks and beverages for your guests — not too much so they don’t get full.
• Start cooking vegetables.
• Check the temperature of your turkey (see below for temperatures).
• Prepare gravy.
• Place food in serving dishes and take to dining table.
• Put wine and water on the table.
• Call guests to the table.
• Reflect on what you are thankful for.
• Enjoy an impressive holiday dinner with your guests.
Let’s talk turkey: A USDA consumer guide to safely roasting a turkey
Fresh or frozen?
Fresh turkeys
• Allow 1 pound of turkey per person.
• Buy your turkey only one to two days before you plan to cook it. You may need to preorder your turkey; ask your market.
• Keep it stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook it. Place it on a tray or in a pan to catch any juices that may leak.
• Do not buy fresh pre-stuffed turkeys. If not handled properly, any harmful bacteria that may be in the stuffing can multiply very quickly.
Frozen turkeys
• Allow 1 pound of turkey per person.
• Keep frozen until you’re ready to thaw it.
• Turkeys can be kept frozen in the freezer indefinitely; however, cook within one year for best quality.
• See “Thawing your turkey” for thawing instructions.
Frozen pre-stuffed turkeys
The USDA recommends only buying frozen pre-stuffed turkeys that display the USDA or state mark of inspection on the packaging. These turkeys are safe because they have been processed under controlled conditions.
Do not thaw before cooking. Cook from the frozen state. Follow package directions for proper handling and cooking.
Allow 1 1/4 pounds of turkey per person.
Thawing your turkey
There are three ways to thaw your turkey safely — in the refrigerator, in cold water or in the microwave oven.
In the refrigerator
In the refrigerator (40 degrees Fahrenheit or below). Allow approximately 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds:
• 4 to 12 pounds — one to three days.
• 12 to 16 pounds — three to four days.
• 16 to 20 pounds — four to five days.
• 20 to 24 pounds — five to six days.
Keep the turkey in its original wrapper. Place it on a tray or in a pan to catch any juices that may leak. A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for one to two days. If necessary, a turkey that has been properly thawed in the refrigerator may be refrozen.
In cold water
Allow approximately 30 minutes per pound:
• 4 to 12 pounds — two to six hours.
• 12 to 16 pounds — six to eight hours.
• 16 to 20 pounds — eight to 10 hours.
• 20 to 24 pounds — 10 to 12 hours.
Wrap your turkey securely, making sure the water is not able to leak through the wrapping. Submerge your wrapped turkey in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed. Do not refreeze.
In the microwave oven
• Check your owner’s manual for the size turkey that will fit in your microwave oven, the minutes per pound and power level to use for thawing.
• Remove all outside wrapping.
• Place on a microwave-safe dish to catch any juices that may leak.
• Cook your turkey immediately. Do not refreeze or refrigerate your turkey after thawing in the microwave oven.
Reminder: Remove the giblets from the turkey cavities after thawing. Cook separately.
Roasting your turkey
• Set your oven temperature no lower than 325 degrees F.
• Place your turkey or turkey breast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.
• For optimum safety, stuffing a turkey is not recommended. For more even cooking, it is recommended you cook your stuffing outside the bird in a casserole. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the stuffing. The stuffing must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
• If you choose to stuff your turkey, the ingredients can be prepared ahead of time; however, keep wet and dry ingredients separate. Chill all of the wet ingredients (butter/margarine, cooked celery and onions, broth, etc.). Mix wet and dry ingredients just before filling the turkey cavities. Fill the cavities loosely. Cook the turkey immediately. Use a food thermometer to make sure the center of the stuffing reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
• A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook turkey to higher temperatures.
• If your turkey has a “pop-up” temperature indicator, it is recommended that you also check the internal temperature of the turkey in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast with a food thermometer.
• For quality, let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to set. The turkey will carve more easily.
• Remove all stuffing from the turkey cavities.
Timetables for turkey roasting: (325° F oven temperature)
Use the timetables below to determine how long to cook your turkey. These times are approximate. Always use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your turkey and stuffing.
• 4 to 8 pounds (breast) — 1 1/2 to 3 1/4 hours.
• 8 to 12 pounds — 2 3/4 to 3 hours.
• 12 to 14 pounds — 3 to 3 3/4 hours.
• 14 to 18 pounds — 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours.
• 18 to 20 pounds — 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hours.
• 20 to 24 pounds — 4 1/2 to 5 hours.
• 4 to 6 pounds (breast) — not usually applicable.
• 6 to 8 pounds (breast) — 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours.
• 8 to 12 pounds — 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
• 12 to 14 pounds — 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
• 14 to 18 pounds — 4 to 4 1/4 hours.
• 18 to 20 pounds — 4 1/4 to 4 3/4 hours.
• 20 to 24 pounds — 4 3/4 to 5 1/4 hours.
It is safe to cook a turkey from the frozen state. The cooking time will take at least 50 percent longer than recommended for a fully thawed turkey. Remember to remove the giblet packages during the cooking time. Remove carefully with tongs or a fork.
Optional cooking hints
• Tuck wing tips under the shoulders of the bird for more even cooking. This is referred to as “akimbo.”
• Add one-half cup of water to the bottom of the pan.
• If your roasting pan does not have a lid, you may place a tent of heavy-duty aluminum foil over the turkey for the first 1 to 1 1/2 hours. This allows for maximum heat circulation, keeps the turkey moist and reduces oven splatter. To prevent overbrowning, foil may also be placed over the turkey after it reaches the desired color.
• If using an oven-proof food thermometer, place it in the turkey at the start of the cooking cycle. It will allow you to check the internal temperature of the turkey while it is cooking. For turkey breasts, place thermometer in the thickest part. For whole turkeys, place in the thickest part of the inner thigh. Once the thigh has reached 165 degrees F, check the wing and the thickest part of the breast to ensure the turkey has reached a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F throughout the product.
• If using an oven cooking bag, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on the package.
Remember: Always wash hands, utensils, the sink and anything else that comes in contact with raw turkey and its juices with soap and water.
Storing your leftovers
• Discard any turkey, stuffing and gravy left out at room temperature longer than two hours, or one hour in temperatures above 90 degrees F.
• Divide leftovers into smaller portions. Refrigerate or freeze in covered shallow containers for quicker cooling.
• Use refrigerated turkey, stuffing and gravy within three to four days.
• If freezing leftovers, use within two to six months for best quality.
Reheating your turkey
Cooked turkey may be eaten cold or reheated.
In the oven:
• Set the oven temperature no lower than 325 degrees F.
• Reheat turkey to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature.
• To keep the turkey moist, add a little broth or water and cover.
In the microwave oven:
• Cover your food and rotate it for even heating. Allow standing time.
• Check the internal temperature of your food with a food thermometer to make sure it reaches 165 degrees F.
• Consult your microwave oven owner’s manual for recommended times and power levels.
For more information about food safety (in English and Spanish), call: USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline, (888) MPHotline [(888) 674-6854)].
Colorado Master
Gardener program
applications being taken
The Master Gardener program is innovative and flexible in its outreach and works to match volunteer skills and schedules. Each year, Colorado Master Gardeners all over the state help people make the right choices for their garden care. Anyone who would like to play an active role in the education of gardeners of all ages is invited to join our Colorado Master Gardener team.
Classes typically meet once a week on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for 11 consecutive weeks. The cost of the Master Gardener apprentice training is $170 and the Colorado Gardener Certificate is $530. Partial scholarships are available as well for the apprentice program.
If you would like to learn more about successful gardening in Archuleta County, be sure to call the CSU Extension office in Archuleta County today at 264-5931. To register for the 2020 Colorado Master Gardener Program, which tentatively begins Jan. 23, 2020, please go to Hard copies are accepted at the local office, too. Applications will be accepted until Dec. 15. Apply today.
Testing of dial pressure canner gauges
The CSU Extension — Archuleta County office is now offering to test dial pressure canner gauges for $5 to Archuleta County residents. For more information, contact Terry Schaaf at 264-5931.
Save the dates
Jan.18, 2020: Cottage Foods Class.
Feb. 11, 2020: Beef Symposium.
Feb. 12, 2020: Agricultural Financial Management Strategies. More information to come.
CPR and first aid classes
CPR and first aid certification classes are offered monthly by the CSU Extension office on the second Monday and Wednesday of each month from 6 to 10 p.m. Anyone needing to receive or renew certification can register by calling the Extension office at 264-5931.
We will also attempt to schedule classes on additional dates with five or more registrations. Cost for the classes is $80 for combined CPR/first aid and $55 for CPR, first aid or recertification. The type of first aid information provided will vary by the needs of the audience.

Christmas Tea tickets on sale Monday Sat, 16 Nov 2019 12:00:18 +0000

Photo courtesy Sandy Artzberger
The women of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church are beginning preparations for the annual Christmas Tea on Saturday, Dec. 7. Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. on Nov. 18 in the church Parish Hall.

By Sandy Artzberger
Special to The PREVIEW
The women of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church are getting ready to make cream cheese scones with strawberries and chocolate chips; open face sandwiches; savories consisting of cucumber/dill on rye-recipe from Empress Hotel in Victoria, Canada; carrot/ginger sandwiches and tarragon chicken salad — recipe from the Silver Palate; and tea desserts for you at their annual Christmas Tea to be held Dec. 7. in the church Parish Hall (next to the church).
The aroma of cinnamon apple tea, decorations, tea table settings and hanging Christmas quilts will transport you back to the time of Charles Dickens.
Tickets are $15 each and will go on sale in St. Pat’s Parish Hall Monday, Nov. 18, at 9 a.m. If not all sold out on Monday, tickets will be sold in the church on Tuesday, Nov. 19, from 9 a.m. to noon. There is no advanced sale of tickets, even to parishioners, and there is a limit of eight tickets to one buyer. Also, there’ll be two seatings at the Dec. 7 tea: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Most tables seat four. Scones and tea will be available to “early birds” on Monday ticket sale day.
Unique this year will be musical entertainment from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. in the church which is free and open to all attending the tea and those without tea tickets. The musical groups are the Night Song Trio and the Dickens’ Carolers. Handmade crafts will be for sale in both the Parish Hall and church.
Yes, this is a community outreach fundraiser. However, since the tea’s beginning, the women of St. Pat’s see it mainly as their gift to the women of Pagosa Springs to be a bit of a respite before the busyness of the holidays.

Loaves and Fishes to offer Thanksgiving feast next Thursday Fri, 15 Nov 2019 12:00:47 +0000

Photo courtesy Nancy Crouse
Volunteers from St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church are busy preparing for the early Thanksgiving dinner at Loaves and Fishes. The free community meal will be one week before Thanksgiving, Nov. 21, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Parish Hall on Lewis Street. All are welcome to enjoy a delicious lunch of turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans and cranberry. While there, be sure to eat some pumpkin pie, too.

By Sally Neel
Special to The PREVIEW
Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for many of us. It is a time to sit with family and friends and enjoy a big meal of turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, bread, pumpkin and pecan pie — a time to eat until you cannot hold another bite. It is a time to share in conversation, laughter and memories.
Loaves and Fishes, a local nonprofit, makes sure that no one needs to go without the opportunity to enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving meal. Next Thursday, beginning at 11:30 a.m., members of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church will once again host the annual Loaves and Fishes Thanksgiving feast. The meal will be complete with roasted turkey, homemade dressing and all the delicious side dishes that make the meal special.
“This is truly one of our favorite events of the year,” said Fr. Doug Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s. “The mood is always festive as we prepare the meal and serve it to our guests. We are always mindful of those for whom a tasty traditional Thanksgiving meal would not be possible without the efforts of these volunteers.”
Loaves and Fishes is a nonprofit organization that serves a free hot meal every Thursday at the Catholic Parish Hall on Lewis Street from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. A wide variety of organizations from around town volunteer to prepare and serve the meals. Loaves and Fishes provides the meat, bread and desert and the organizations provide the rest. There is a professional cook on staff to help with preparation and to give guidance on how to prepare a meal for hundreds of people and a coordinator to instruct the servers. The volunteers also stay to clean up after the meal.
Recently, Loaves and Fishes held its annual appreciation pizza dinner for their volunteers. St. Patrick’s parish hall was filled with representatives from 30 local organizations whose volunteers helped to serve over 7,000 free hot meals last year.
“Certainly, we have so much to be thankful for,” said Nancy Crouse, Loaves and Fishes board president. “Our community demonstrates their kindness and generosity every week, serving others and bringing joy to so many. None of this could happen without the support of our wonderful volunteers.”
For more information about how to become involved in Loaves and Fishes, go to its website:, or contact Crouse at Individuals as well as organizations are always needed and welcome to serve.