RHS Key Club dished up and delivered 450 Thanksgiving Day meals today

Using an assembly line approach, volunteers snaked around rows of tables staffed with Key Club members who dished out the Thanksgiving Day meal. (Ernie Over photo)

By Ernie Over, managing editor, county10.com

(Rivrton, Wyo.) – Volunteers turned out in force this morning at the Riverton High School James. H. Moore Career Center to help the RHS Key Club assemble Thanksgiving Day dinners for about 450 local families and individuals. Volunteers from Troop 44 of the Boy Scouts, a Brownie Girl Scout pack, members of Riverton service clubs, high school and college students and community members all pitched in to get the hot dinners packaged and out the door to their destinations.

The annual Key Club project this year was a “Service Marathon” of activities, including community clean-ups, collecting funds for UNICEF, cleaning and sanitizing toys for a holiday toy store, making fleece blankets for Children of Peace International as well as organizing boxes of food for the Riverton Middle School food collection effort for kids needing food over the holiday break, and other activities. The Key Clubbers worked in shifts all-night long on the activities previously mentioned and on preparing the food for the Thanksgiving dinner distribution.

Courtney Olson was one of the servers on the salad line. (Ernie Over photo)

It was called a Service Marathon because a marathon road race is 26 miles and 385 yards. The kids are working, in shifts, 26  hours and 385 seconds. The work began at 9 a.m. Wednesday and will be completed at 385 seconds after 11 a.m. today.

Twenty four hours after the marathon began, volunteers began arriving at the Career Center to help with filling the dinner boxes and delivering them. Snaking through a line of tables, the volunteers picked up the insulated dinner boxes, plastic tableware and then the menu of traditional Thanksgiving day fare, turkey, stuffing, salads, rolls, fruit salads and, of course, slices of pumpkin pie.

Once a volunteer had a full box of food, it was delivered to the packing area, where the boxes were organized for delivery. RMS students had decorated individual Thanksgiving greeting cards that accompanied each food box. Then, armed with the addresses of where the food was to be delivered, other volunteers loaded up the meals in their vehicles and began spreading Thanksgiving cheer.

Those receiving the meals include the elderly, handicapped, homeless and needy families and individuals, said Key Club sponsors Gay Hughes and Claire Peart.


Bradley Branson’s job was handing out dinner rolls for each meal. (Ernie Over photo)

The pie line with pumpkin, pecan and apple pies ready for slicing and adding to the dinner boxes. (Ernie Over photo)

Annika Dechert organized the boxed dinners for each address. (Ernie Over photo)

Linda Bebout packed the dinners into boxes for delivery. (Ernie Over photo)

Niki Tippets and daughters Kaia, 8, and Terra, 11, loaded up their car with dinners to deliver the hot meals to the addresses on their list. Yes, it was a bit windy Thanksgiving morning in Riverton! (Ernie Over photo)

On Friday night during the middle of the Service Marathon, Isabelle Leyva and Ryan Murdock emptied out the UNICEF collection boxes and began organizing the bills for counting. The two said they were very appreciative of the generosity of the people who donated. (Ernie Over photo)