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Jerry Lewis' McDonald's prepares to feed 3,200 on Thanksgiving Day PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 9:00 PM

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BLUFFTON — This year marks the ninth year for the Jerry Lewis’ McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Dinner, which was started in 1989 by the Chester Carey Family. The Jerry Lewis’ McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Dinner will be held from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 28 at the Lima Veteran’s Memorial Civic and Convention Center.

“The dinner continues to grow year after year. We recognize that it is important to have a place for people to eat and fellowship on a special day like Thanksgiving,” said Lewis.

The dinner includes the traditional Thanksgiving fixings, including turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie and more. Enough food will be prepared to feed 3,200 guests. More than 800 pounds of turkey, 800 pounds of mashed potatoes, 540 pounds of stuffing, 300 pounds of gravy, more than 200 pies and 24 pounds of whipped cream will be prepared that day.

The dinner is free and open to the public and everyone is welcome.

“Some guests join us because they are not able to prepare a meal. Others join us because they do not have relatives in town this year. Either way, we become a family that day, fellowshipping together,” Lewis said.

In addition to the dinner, there will be clothing and grocery giveaways. Only Believe Ministries in Botkins will bring a school bus filled with clothing. Guests will be able to take with them any needed clothing items, including pants, shirts, shoes, coats and hats.

There will again be a grocery bag giveaway for guests. Last year, each guest was able to take home several bags of groceries in addition to the hot meal they received. “Our goal is not just to feed someone for one meal, but to provide them with enough food for several meals. We are able to do this year after year thanks to our many community partners,” Lewis said.

The grocery giveaway is made possible through the generous donations of many local organizations including the Boy Scouts of Allen County, Childers Media Group and Save-A-Lot Food Stores. The Boy Scouts are currently collecting non-perishable food and toiletry items during business hours at the Scout Shop, located at 752 W. Robb Ave. in Lima.

New Country 92.1 The Frog, part of a five-station radio group known as Childers Media Group, and Save-A-Lot Food Stores have also teamed up again this year for a Cram the Van event to collect items for the Thanksgiving Day Dinner. Various Childers Media Group radio stations will be at two Save-A-Lot Food Stores in Lima—Cole and Bellefontaine on Nov. 25 and 26. For every $3 donation that a customer adds to their bill, one bag of groceries will be donated to the Thanksgiving Day Dinner.

Free transportation to and from the event will be provided if needed. RTA will have one bus running from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day to transport people to and from the dinner. The bus will stop at Pilgrim Place Apartments, The Towers Apartments, Fourth Street Apartments, Furl Williams Apartments, Lima West Apartments and along Brower Road.

“Year after year, we continue to be amazed at the community’s willingness to give up their own Thanksgiving to serve one another,” Lewis said.

The community partners that help make the Thanksgiving Day Dinner possible include: New Country 92.1 The Frog and Childers Media Group, Save-A-Lot Food Stores, The Boy Scouts of Allen County, Allen County Refuse, Coca-Cola, Only Believe Ministries, New Horizons Baking Company, Dickerson Wrightway Food Service, Allen County RTA, Lima Allen County Veteran’s Memorial and Civic Convention Center, Kettle Creations and Miller’s Textile Service.

At this time, Jerry Lewis’ McDonald’s is accepting volunteers for the dinner. For more information about the Jerry Lewis’ McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Dinner or to sign up to volunteer, please visit or call 419-225-5916.

About McDonald’s

McDonald’s USA, LLC, is the leading food service provider in the United States serving a variety of wholesome foods made from quality ingredients to millions of customers every day. More than 80 percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by local franchisees. McDonald’s franchisee, Lewis, started in the McDonald’s business as a manager trainee in Zanesville more than 30 years ago. Today, he owns and operates 17 McDonald’s Restaurants employing more than 1,000 individuals in Lima, Delphos, Van Wert, Beaverdam, Bluffton, Ada, Ottawa, Hicksville, Carey and Upper Sandusky. Lewis believes in giving back to the communities in which he does business and supporting a variety of worthy causes. For more information, visit


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