Ten pounds of buttery mashed potatoes and half a dozen pumpkin pies looked like it would be enough.
Or so organizers of an annual Thanksgiving dinner for area senior citizens thought.
But after the 70 or so people attending Tuesday’s meal at the downtown Seymour Community Center made it through the line, heaping their plates full of turkey, dressing, stuffing, cranberries, biscuits and a whole host of desserts, there wasn’t much left for anyone wanting seconds.
“They must have really liked it,” Sandy Peach of Seymour said of the potatoes. “I spent all morning making them, and they’re gone within minutes.”
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Because the mashed potatoes were so popular, Peach said she would probably make them again for Christmas. Seniors from Jackson and Jennings counties gathered together for the meal and to give thanks for their friends, families and other blessings in their lives.
Anne Wells, 97, of Brownstown, said she appreciated all the food and being able to meet new people. She was accompanied by her daughter, Peggy Wells.
“I think that’s what’s so great about this,” Anne Wells said of the dinner. “There are so many people here to talk to and so much good food to eat.”
The meal was sponsored by the Seymour Community Center, which provided the turkey, drinks and table service. Side dishes including salads, vegetables, breads and desserts were shared by those attending.
It was the third year the center has offered a countywide Thanksgiving meal for seniors. Amy Miller, activities director, said she organized the first meal in 2014 because of a limited number of free Thanksgiving meals being offered in the community.
Attendance was up this year from last, Miller said.
The holidays can be tough for seniors, especially those who may not have family nearby, Miller added.
“I wanted to make sure they had somewhere to go and a good hot meal,” she said.
There was no cost to eat, and before the meal, they enjoyed playing Bingo and winning donated prizes.
“This is our gift to you and a way for us to say thank you for being here and supporting the center,” Miller told the crowd.
The center also is a senior meal site and provides hot lunches daily to area residents age 55 or older.
Besides Seymour, seniors from Brownstown, Crothersville and Jennings County, came for Tuesday’s Thanksgiving meal.
“It’s the first time we’ve invited Jennings County, and I’m so glad we did,” Miller said. “Our seniors are making connections with new people, and they are being social.”
The idea to include Jennings County came after the Seymour Senior Citizens started traveling there for activities.
“We decided we wanted them to come over here and enjoy something with us,” Miller said of inviting them.
Seymour Mayor Craig Luedeman said a prayer before the meal and sat down to enjoy the food and company too.
He was glad to see so many seniors taking part in the center’s activities and coming together for the holiday, he said.
“I am thankful to be able to be here with you,” he said.
Sam Spaulding of Seymour said he always appreciates a free meal, especially when he doesn’t have to clean up afterwards.
“I don’t cook anyway,” he said. “So this is how I like to spend my Thanksgiving.”