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Lincoln Land ABATE prepares to feed hundreds with free Thanksgiving dinner | Main stories

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) – Lincoln Land ABATE is ready to feed hundreds of people on Sunday.

On Friday, volunteers gathered at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception to prepare and cook 45 turkeys for the annual 217 Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless and needy.

“Most of the year is spent preparing for this.”

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The group started the dinner 35 years ago. James Rowdy, chairman, said a lot of hard work goes into feeding hundreds of people each year at Thanksgiving.

“When you see some of these elderly women and men come in here and they have tears in their eyes because this is the only good food they’re getting.”

Lincoln Land ABATE President Duane Rudolph said the organization started the dinner because it saw a need in the community and members wanted to give back.

“We served maybe 150 to 200 people at the time, and it’s grown every year,” he said.

The dinner will be held Sunday, Nov. 20, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 524 E. Lawrence Ave. in Springfield. Dinner is free.

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Lincoln Land ABATE said it could not host the luncheon without community support. Rowdy specifically mentioned the woman in the White Hall who bakes pies, Aldi in Jacksonville, HyVee, MJ Kellner Foodservice, Levi’s, Ray & Shoup and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

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