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The Lake News Online
  • First ever Climax Springs Thanksgiving Dinner a huge success

  • There were 44 turkeys, 12 hams and eight trays of stuffing not to mention 250 pounds of potatoes and some 550 homemade dinner rolls.

    Simple numbers on their own, but added together by volunteers to feed an estimated 500 or more people free of charge and the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.
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  • There were 44 turkeys, 12 hams and eight trays of stuffing not to mention 250 pounds of potatoes and some 550 homemade dinner rolls.
    Simple numbers on their own, but added together by volunteers to feed an estimated 500 or more people free of charge and the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.
    Sponsored by the local Community 4 Kids (CFK) non-profit organization in conjunction with the Climax Springs R-IV School, the Climax Springs Thanksgiving Dinner was a big success in its first year, and the CFK hopes to do it again next year.
    Held Sunday afternoon, high school student volunteers, school staff and Community 4 Kids members greeted the many visitors to the school's gym, and Classic Country Express provided free entertainment.
    The free dinner brought together the spread-out community of school district residents thanks to the impetus of Community 4 Kids.
    The non-profit organization was started this past year by Cindy Jungles who had been managing a Christmas for kids program on her own for seven years.
    She and several of her friends got together, formed an LLC and set up non-profit designation status in order to meet the growing demands of the Christmas program which gave toys to kids in need.
    The group held its first program in September — an old-fashioned sock hop. The event was so successful it more than funded the Christmas program, according to CFK President Dick Smith, leading to the idea for a Thanksgiving dinner.
    Originally intended to be just for students and their families, the dinner became much larger than the initial plans after Climax Springs R-IV School Superintendent Nathan Barb got involved. Barb regular attends the CFK meetings, according to Smith, and he quickly got on board and offered the use of the gym and volunteers from students and staff — including the cooks. Headed by Penny Phillips, they are known for their scratch cooking, especially Tanya Constable's homemade dinner rolls that she makes for students at least once a week.
    Thinking of the people who might be alone for the holiday, the CFK decided to extend the event to include any resident of the school district who wanted to attend.
    As they started getting the word out, people began signing up and kept signing up.
    More than 550 tickets had been sold for the event, and just an hour after it had begun at 1 p.m., about 250-300 people were already being served.
    Climax Springs native and school alumni John Gunn who returned to the area a few years ago said it was one of the biggest turn-outs at the school that he had ever seen.
    The hundreds who attended were well served with a traditional holiday dinner and warm smiles as they all came together to celebrate a holiday of thanks.

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