Volunteers host community Thanksgiving dinner on Mount Hood
For decades, Mount Hood folks without families to visit have flocked to Camp Arrah Wanna for a hot meal and conversation. Over time, the community that assembles there has become like a large family. That family will assemble again from 1-4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 28, at 24075 E. Arrah Wanna Blvd., Welches.
An unnamed group of about 40 people host the dinner each year, now under the direction of Mark Grove.
Of the nearly 30 years the dinner has existed, Grove has been involved for about 15.
"It's a small community up here," Grove said of the mountain. "It's hard not to know about this event. It's certainly a nice thing to have going in the community."
In the first few years, Grove was merely a financial donor. A few years later, he began giving more and more of his time to the effort.
"I think that in the beginning of the event it mainly provided a place for people in need to get a meal," he said. "Now it's still a bit of that, but it's also for anyone to fellowship with people and share a meal."
About 300 people are fed by the meal every year, and on top of that the group delivers 50-60 meals on wheels to folks who aren't mobile in the area.
"It's just one of those things that enriches the community," Grove said. "The volunteers who do have family sacrifice that for this event. But, it's fun to get together with the group and do something great. And stepping out and seeing the community in discussion and enjoying each other's company, celebrating not just Thanksgiving but the community is amazing."
This meal is volunteer-hosted and free of charge.
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