The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Faith feature: Church hosting dinner, bazaar


October 31, 2018

Jamie Cushman

Fred Patterson carves one of the 52 turkeys to be served Thursday.

PORTALES — First United Methodist Church in Portales will kick off the Thanksgiving season on Thursday with its 65th annual turkey dinner and bazaar.

Event Coordinator Shelly Atwood said last year's event served over 2,100 eastern New Mexico residents and this year the church will have 52 turkeys, 114 gallons of green beans, 300 pumpkin pies and a whole lot of homemade dressing on hand for the meal.

"It is a community event and kind of sets off the whole holiday season," Atwood said. "You see people at the turkey dinner that you see once a year and the whole community really supports us on this and it will be some of the best dressing you've ever had."

Charles Chambers, who has been helping with the meal since the 1970s, said he enjoys the camaraderie that comes along with the event, both among the church members who help put the meal together and the thousands who come out to eat.

"It's really one of the biggest community things that we have here," Chambers said.

Like Atwood, Chambers also singled out the dressing as one of the tastiest parts of the meal.

"I love that dressing, that cornbread dressing. That's good," Chambers said.

The meal costs $9 for adults and $5 for children 10 and under, with all of the proceeds going to benefit different local and non-local missions including vacation Bible school, Sunday school and the Lydia Patterson Institute, organizers said.

"All of our proceeds go to missions. Some of them are local missions, we help support adopt-a-cop and different missions around Portales as well as international and national missions," Atwood said.

"Good food, good company and a good cause," said Ginger Creighton, who's helped with the meal for over 20 years.

Joe Parie said he's only been helping with the meal for the last three or four years but is impressed that the turkey dinner is now in its 65th iteration.

"I think it's a really neat tradition," Parie said. "For things to last, that is not usual these days.

Atwood said the bazaar that will be running at the same time as the meal will include baked goods and different craft items available for purchase.


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