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Several hundred people attend Veterans Thanksgiving Dinner

By Jenna Rogers, Reporter, jrogers@ktxs.com
Published On: Nov 22 2012 05:37:24 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 22 2012 07:55:34 PM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

One local Thanksgiving tradition almost didn't happen this year, but with the help of a caring community, the Veterans Thanksgiving Dinner lived to see another holiday.

Hundreds of families and Veterans gathered at the Abilene Civic Center today for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. One that almost didn't take place after it was cancelled due to a lack in funding.

One woman, Connie Rose, wouldn't stand for it.

"I was devastated. It was 10 at night and by 11 I was putting out emails," said Rose.

She got several local businesses together to donate food and time to make sure the event would happen. The Dyess We Care Team helped by making pies and serving food.

"In the end it's going to be much more rewarding than if they would have just done the typical Thanksgiving celebration," said founder of the Dyess We Care Team, Gordon Storey.

Thanks to them, along with about 180 civilian volunteers, the Veterans Thanksgiving Dinner was once again a huge success.

"It's really gratifying to know that something that was once cancelled has been brought back to life," said Storey.

The 25 year tradition brought out the good samaritan in even the youngest of volunteers.

"Most people can't afford homes. We just wanted to help them so they could get some food and have a good Thanksgiving," said Brandon McKinney, a young volunteer.

"Abilene is such a good community. It knew there was a need and it pulled together," said Rose.

More than 1500 people attended the Veterans Thanksgiving Dinner and voluteers delivered meals to around 70 homes.