STUFFING BOXES: Rotary Club packs 130 Thanksgiving dinners to donate

Rotary Club of Big Rapids member Bob Krueger helps pack boxes with stuffing mix on Wednesday. (Pioneer photo/Tim Rath)

BIG RAPIDS — For Rotary Club of Big Rapids President Emily Fransted, the annual tradition of helping donate Thanksgiving dinners to area families in need is the highlight of the year.

This year’s event was even better than in years past, she said, because the Rotary Club was able to donate 130 meals, topping last year’s total of 126.

“We try to increase it every single year, so this is a good year,” Fransted said. “It feels great to provide such a service to area families. It really means a lot to Rotarians. They love this.”

The feasts — which consist of a 20-pound turkey, yams, green beans, cookies, pie, stuffing mix, a 10-pound bag of potatoes and other items — were given to families in the Crossroads Charter Academy and Big Rapids Public Schools systems after having been identified as being in need of a little help for the holidays, Fransted said.

The Rotary was assisted by corporate partners including Meijer, Walmart, Walgreens and Rite Aid, but the majority of funding to pay for the meals comes from donations made at the club’s weekly meetings.

“There’s a lot of generous Rotarians in our club,” Fransted said.

A number of Rotary Club volunteers, aided by Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members from Ferris State University, descended upon the Great Lakes Book and Supply warehouse on Clark Street to help sort and pack the boxes Wednesday, before distributing them to families waiting in their vehicles outside.

The event first started in 2008, Fransted said.

Rotary Club of Big Rapids members help sort foodstuffs at the the Great Lakes Book and Supply warehouse on Clark Street Wednesday before packing them in boxes. (Pioneer photo/Tim Rath)

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