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Dexter Seniors "Get Stuffed" for 11th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner

More than 100 seniors attended the annual post-Thanksgiving dinner at the Dexter Senior Center on Friday.

Lynn and Karen Herche made the short drive from their home in Pinckney to the Dexter Senior Center on Friday to join their friends at the 11th annual "Seniors Get Stuffed" post-Thanksgiving dinner.

The Herches were two of more than 115 seniors who enjoy coming to the center every year for the free dinner.

"It's very nice," Lynn Herche said. "The clubs do an excellent job putting this event together every year."

Karen Herche said she and her husband are members of the senior center, and often come to town to shop and support the local businesses.

In its 11th year, "Seniors Get Stuffed" is put together by several community organizations, including the Dexter Lions Club, Dexter High School National Honor Society, St. Andrews Church, Boy Scout Troop 477, Dexter United Methodist Church and the Leo’s Club, a high school version of the Lion’s Club.

Ten turkeys, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beens, and pumpkin pie and coffee were donated by Busch’s Fresh Food Market.

"The Lions Club reached out to us and we were more than willing to help out," store manager Josh Boyd said. "Busch's is very community oriented. We try to provide as much donations as we can to local groups, school sports teams and food pantries."

Recently the grocery chain wrapped up its 2012 holiday food drive, raising more than $100,000 for food pantries across Southeast Michigan.

All of the turkeys were cooked by Mark McPhearson, who camped out at the senior center beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday evening, stoking the wood in the oven every 20 minutes to ensure the dinner was ready when doors opened at 11:30 a.m. Friday.

"This is truly a community event," event organizer Fred Model said. "We couldn't pull this off if we didn't have the help of all the volunteers."

Zbig Wogcinski, assistant scoutmaster for Troop 477, said the event is one the scouts look forward to every year.

"We are always looking for community service projects, and this is such a great opportunity for the younger guys because they get to meet with the pillars of our community, and the seniors really enjoy talking with the boys," he said.

Scoutmaster Jack Brigham agreed, stating that its important to teach scouts humility at an early age.

"You can give gifts to people, but when you help another person in life, when you give of yourself, you are giving something more," he said. "When you can have a conversation with someone and make that person feel good about himself or herself, that's important."

Steve Tarnaski attended the dinner for the first time with his father, Ray.

"I didn't really have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner yesterday, so this is it for us," he said. "It's nice that the service groups put this event together."

Ray Tarnaski said he was thankful to share dinner with his son.

"He's my guardian angel," Tarnaski said.

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