Ashland, KY Lodge News

District No. 3440

2017 Community Thanksgiving Dinner

The Ashland Elks Lodge will be cooking for a family of 1,600 Thursday. The grand feast takes more hours and more hands than a typical family Thanksgiving. Mark Ison and his crew began preparation Tuesday.
One-thousand pounds of turkey and 600 pounds of homemade dressing are the first to get completed. Thanksgiving morning, the crew wakes up in time to get to the Elks Lodge at 5:30 a.m. to finish cooking all the fixings. Four hundred pounds of mashed potatoes, 16 cases of green beans, gravy, rolls and desserts are all prepped by 9 a.m.
Once the fantastic feast is ready, volunteers begin delivering food to shut-ins and ready the dining room to open at 11 a.m.
Meals are served at the Elks Lodge on Carter Avenue until 3 p.m. Thursday. Meals can be ordered to-go, people can dine in or “if someone needs a ride, we can pick them up,” Ison said.
The Elks have been serving the meal for 29 years and Ison has been a part of it for the duration.
“It just gives you a good warm feeling to help someone that doesn’t have what you have on Thanksgiving,” Ison said.
Many volunteers have come out every Thanksgiving for over 20 years, Ison said. Many bring their children and grandchildren along. “It shows them what Thanksgiving is all about,” Ison said.
The dinner doesn’t just help homeless or those who can’t afford a meal. “It’s not just for the down and out, but those who don’t have nobody to be with ... those whose families have moved away or aren’t around,” Ison said.
Many come just for the conversation and some stay for a while and jump from table to table making friends, he said.

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