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Annual dinner and family portrait fundraiser planned for Thursday, Nov. 15 is the club's way of thanking community for its support

CENTRAL OREGONIAN FILE PHOTO
 - Kids Club leaders, volunteers and members all join together to provide community members a free Thanksgiving meal each year.

The kids (and adults) of Crook County Kids Club are so thankful for the community's support that they host an annual Thank You Dinner during this season of gratitude.

"We've been doing it for the last 10 years, and it's just a way for Kids Club to say thank you to the community for the support throughout the year," said Crook County Kids Club Director Ashley Thrasher. "We're a nonprofit, so we rely a lot on donations and in-kind gives."

The free meal begins at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15 in the Crook County High School commons area.

Ericksons Thriftway donates the turkeys and hams, and Grocery Outlet and Ray's Food Place donate food and supplies.

"It's a full Thanksgiving meal," Thrasher said.

It includes turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, corn, cranberry sauce, rolls and dessert.

CCHS culinary arts teacher Macy Hagensee and some of his students prepare the food, and board members, children and Kids Club volunteers serve the meal.

"We have kids that come and help as much as they can — roll napkins and clear plates for people as well," Thrasher said, adding that they usually serve around 250 people. "Anyone is welcome to this dinner. We hope that families can come. Anyone in the community is more than welcome to."

But — a Thanksgiving dinner is not all they're offering that evening.

New this year is an opportunity to have festive family photos taken.

As a fundraiser for Kids Club, Renee Tooley with Olive and Blu Photography has donated her time to take professional photos from 4 to 7 p.m. on site at CCHS.

The gals from Le Petit Flower Shop and Redeemed Designs will decorate two pop-up photo booths. The themes are autumn and Christmas festive.

Photos are $10 each. Olive and Blu Photography will provide a link so the photo can be downloaded and printed off for holiday cards.

"It's a really good way to give to Kids Club and also get those holiday pictures out of the way, too, and a free dinner — a win-win," Thrasher said.

Crook County Kids Club is an after-school enrichment program held at Barnes Butte Elementary School. The club also meets during the summer and no-school days. They provide after-school enrichment activities and a nine-week summer program for kindergarten through eighth-grade students with an emphasis on leadership, community and kindness.

Thrasher said Kids Club has more than 300 memberships, and they typically serve between 80 and 100 students after school each day.

The kids (and adults) hope the community will come out to the free Thank You Dinner and get their family portraits taken.

"It's a really great community event, and the food is really delicious," Thrasher said. "We hope that everybody comes."

Crook County Kids Club Thank You Dinner

Date: 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15

Place: CCHS commons area, 1100 SE Lynn Blvd.

Olive and Blu Photography will take family portraits from 4-7 p.m. for $10 each.

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