In Nov. 22 IssueRussell County NewsBy Kim Graham, RCN Reporter
Entering Betty Fisher’s home, folks are greeted with warm hospitality and caring generosity but her hospitality reaches far beyond the boundaries of her home at Thanksgiving.
Fisher began 8 years ago to organize a community Thanksgiving meal in Russell County with the help of donations and volunteers from the area. This year, she continues the tradition providing a full Thanksgiving dinner free of charge.
“The Lord blessed me so good and I just want to be a blessing to everybody,” said Betty Fisher. “That’s just what it’s all about for me.”
The dinner, held each year on Thanksgiving Day at the Russell Springs Rescue Squad building, will begin Thursday, November 27th at 10:30 a.m. and will last until everyone has been served.
On the menu are Thanksgiving favorites such as turkey and gravy, dressing, cranberry sauce, ham, green beans, corn, peas, potatoes, a roll or white bread, dessert, a piece of fruit and a drink.
The traditional fare is served up to all who attend and hundreds who are not able to be there.
Fisher says volunteers plan to prepare 400 meals this year to be delivered to shut-ins who are not able to venture out to the holiday festivities.
It takes about 2 months to put it all together. Currently, Fisher’s garage and the back of her van are filled to overflowing with supplies for the community event.
“It’s a lot of work but it’s well worth it,” Fisher said.
She receives help from many Russell County and Adair County businesses, churches, schools and individuals. Some give monetary donations, others give food, paper products and gifts for her door prizes.
Local radio stations and newspapers help by notifying the community.
“I don’t want to try to name all of them because I’m afraid I’ll leave someone out,” said Fisher. “I want them all to know how thankful I am for their support because without them, this meal would not be possible.”
Some volunteers deliver meals while others help with the cooking and serving meals. This year, the Russell County High School cheerleaders and girls’ basketball players are donating their time to help serve meals.
“With all these great people to help, it just falls right into place,” said Fisher. “I’m really excited about it this year. Every year it just gets bigger and better.”
Last year, Fisher says they served about 500 people and they hope to serve many more this year.
“Lots of people who come say they wouldn’t have a Thanksgiving meal like this if it weren’t for the free community dinner,” said Fisher. ““Everybody says it’s one of the best meals they’ve ever had.”
Even with the large number of people served, there is usually food left over.
Any canned goods and other non perishable items that are not used will be donated to a needy family for Christmas.
For those who attend, there will be more than just a meal. Fisher says the Higginbothams of Russell Springs will be there singing Gospel music and she will be giving away door prizes every half hour.
She says some people could have stayed home but choose to come to the community event because they enjoy the fellowship and the singing.
“I welcome everybody to come and eat with us,” said Fisher.
For more information, to donate to the dinner or volunteer to help call: Betty Fisher at 866-2069, Jeanie Bunch at 866-4650, Travis Hale at 866-6343 or Pam Gassaway at 866-6741.