New Richmond Thanksgiving volunteer Amundson

Volunteer RJ Amundson made sure each Thanksgiving meal was complete at the community dinner last Thursday in New Richmond. 

“First, I want to thank all the volunteers. Second, next year I need more gravy.” -- Community Thanksgiving Day Chair, Ronda Bierbauer

Bierbauer and more than 150 volunteers began preparing their 24th Community Thanksgiving Dinner early Wednesday afternoon at Immaculate Conception Church. By the time they finished on Thanksgiving Day, they had prepared more than 350 individual meals.

For a second year in a row, meals were only available by delivery or curbside pickup. Meals were delivered to families in New Richmond, Star Prairie and Somerset. There was no charge for this dinner. 

The menu consisted of turkey, real mashed potatoes (if you need proof, just ask the volunteers who had to mash them), gravy, corn, green beans, stuffing, squash, sweet potatoes, cranberries, roll and pies. 

In all, volunteers cooked 25 turkeys, peeled 250 pounds of potatoes, emptied 36 cans of cranberries, four cases of sweet potatoes and seven cases of gravy. 

“Chris and Jake at Dick’s Fresh Market were absolutely phenomenal. They gave us a great deal on the turkeys and an excellent deal on the rolls. They even asked customers who bought a pie if they wanted to donate a pie. I can’t say enough,. they were just terrific,” Bierbauer said. “I am truly thankful that we were able to offer those in need a meal, a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day. With hope that our world goes back to a safe place to gather, we will be back to eat together next year.”

Speaking from experience, this is truly one of the most enjoyable, rewarding volunteer experiences you will ever find. Exceptional group of people, hard work, lots of fun. Mark your calendars now for next year. 

Tom Lindfors is a western Wisconsin freelance journalist and former Star-Observer reporter. Contact him at

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