Giving Thanks for 50 Years!

Congratulations to The Friends Dinner on their 50th Anniversary of serving a community Thanksgiving Dinner!

In 2018 155 people were served in-house and 490 meals were delivered. Thanks to all who participated, volunteered and donated!!

For information about this year’s 50th Friends Dinner, CLICK HERE.

In 1969 a group of high school and college age students attended an ecumenical youth gathering at the Christian Reformation Center in Wausau. After attending this gathering Jack Kalinowski and Terry Roberts formulated the idea of a youth group interacting with the residents of elderly housings and residents of the health care center.

The future would bring weekly trips to the housings to sing with and interact with the residents. The group also worked on numerous projects to earn funds for the treats they also provided for the residents they visited. These projects ranged from the typical car washes to renting members of the group to do odd jobs for people who need help in Wausau.

Members of the First Methodist Church requested the group’s assistance for their first community Christmas Dinner. After that it was decided the group would try their hand at a community Thanksgiving Dinner. The first Friend’s Thanksgiving Dinner occurred in 1970 and has been at First Presbyterian Church every year since except when the church was renovating.

As the years passed, members of the original group dwindled and we wondered what should be done. It was decided to ask the church membership for assistance with the dinner. This was in the late ’70’s. At that time the senior high fellowship took over the physical preparation of the meal. There were also jobs for the junior high fellowship group and the many parents who pitched in.

Over the past 50 years, there have been literally thousands of volunteers from both the community and First Presbyterian Church doing everything from baking pies to delivering hundreds of meals to our homebound guests, serving the guests at the in church dinner and cleaning up after the meal. Many hands truly have made this project a wonderful success.

Join us for The Friends Thanksgiving Dinner on Thanksgiving Day at 1:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church: 406 Grant Street, Wausau