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With all the trimmings

by Nick Rotunno
| November 22, 2010 8:00 PM

POST FALLS - It was a dinner that would have made the Pilgrims proud: turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy ... and oh my, the desserts.

Quite the Thanksgiving feast was served at the Post Falls American Legion Post 143 on Saturday night, as hundreds filed into the building on Poleline Avenue and grabbed rapidly-disappearing seats. And the best part about the whole thing?

The annual meal was free to anyone.

"I think it's wonderful, and they're feeding so many people," said Sunny Fagan of Post Falls. "I can't even count how many people they've fed. We have a wide variety of people."

Indeed, anyone from seniors to toddlers sampled the Legion's fare. Volunteers sliced turkey, scooped sweet potatoes and brewed fresh coffee, chatting merrily with every guest.

"We started many years ago, just for senior citizens," said post commander John Dunlap. When the Legion relocated to Poleline in 2006, there was room for a lot more people, he said. Last year, the Thanksgiving meal brought in 600 diners.

"We're gonna do close to (that) this year," Dunlap said.

The food was purchased by Legion members and donated by various individuals and organizations in the community. The turkeys came from the Trading Company in Post Falls, for instance, and many of the desserts - including the very popular pies - were baked by the ladies of the American Legion Auxiliary.

"It's as good as usual," said Ed Perry of Post Falls, an Idaho National Guard veteran. He especially liked the turkey, he said.

Boy Scouts from Post Falls Troop 13 cleared plates and served drinks. By all accounts they did a wonderful job.

"It's an annual thing that we do for Troop 13," said unit commissioner Chad Brockus. "It's our way to kind of give back to the veterans, who gave a lot to us. Anytime the American Legion needs a little help, we're here for them."

The Legion built and paid for a Boy Scout house adjacent to the post, Brockus added - so helping out at Thanksgiving was the least his scouts could do. They paid special attention to any disabled or handicapped persons that needed assistance.

"We wait on every handicapped person we can," Dunlap explained. "We don't want any of 'em standing in line."

His post puts on the feast, he said, because it makes community members happy.

"(This) puts a smile on your face," Dunlap said. "That's why I keep doing this."

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