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Hoodland Community Thanksgiving Dinner will not return posted on 12/01/2022

For more than 30 years, the Hoodland Community Thanksgiving Dinner offered a place for Mountain residents to come together, enjoy a meal and celebrate together. The coronavirus pandemic led to the event being canceled in 2020 and 2021, but now the committee behind the dinner has decided that it will not return at all.

Mark Grove, committee chair, noted that as word has trickled out, he’s heard from the people in the community that it will be missed.

“They’re saddened by it, everyone liked the event (but) they understand why,” he said.

Grove, who worked on the event for 15 years in different capacities, noted that the event began as a way to provide a meal for people who couldn’t afford it, but it turned into something for people whose children had grown up and they didn’t have anyone to celebrate with.

“It provided a meal and community with their neighbors; a place to go and visit and have some good food,” he said.

Preparation for the dinner would begin a month in advance, with donations of food and money needing to be lined up. In the days right before the event, shopping, decorating and picking up food would be done, with a service held the night before. Once that was over, chairs were put away and the chopping and dicing would commence, with approximately 40 volunteers helping with the various tasks.

“Everyone went to work, and worked late into the night,” Grove said.

Cooking would begin as early as 4 a.m. on Thanksgiving, with the first meals heading out for the Meals on Wheels program.

Grove noted that a typical Thanksgiving might include 27 turkeys or more, served with 100 pounds of potatoes, five gallons of gravy and so much more, for approximately 300 attendees and 50 Meals on Wheels meals.

In an email to The Mountain Times, Grove noted that many factors contributed to the decision, including COVID-19, while thanking those in the community who helped make it happen every year.

“Camp Arrah Wanna graciously provided their lodge and kitchen for the dinner most of the past 30 plus years,” Grove wrote. “Food donations were collected from local businesses including Hoodland Thriftway, The Resort on The Mountain (Mt. Hood Oregon Resort), US Meats, Mt. Hood Foods, ZigZag Inn, Sandy Action Center, Mt. Hood Roasters Coffee Company, Barlow Trail Roadhouse, Mt. Hood Lions and many more. Monetary donations were collected through The Church on the Mountain, these included local entities like The Hoodland Women's Club, Merit Real Estate, Clackamas County Bank, Dr. Grise at Hoodland Adventist, Welches Mountain Building Supply, Hoodland Fire District and scores of individual donors.”

“The committee is sad to make this decision, but proud of the 30 plus years the event has been happening on the mountain,” he added. “It wouldn't have been possible without the abundant and continuous support provided by local businesses and volunteers. At the end of each event, any excess funds were distributed to local charities that served the mountain community.

“A huge thank you from the committee to all of the wonderful people that supported this event.”

By Garth Guibord/MT





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