Mozel Sanders dinner to serve 40,000

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The annual Mozel Sanders dinner expects to deliver more than 40,000 Thanksgiving meals this year, thanks to the work of 2000 volunteers who help prepare and serve the food.

From the main kitchen on the Butler campus and satellite sites at churches and businesses throughout the county, volunteers help distribute meals to families who might otherwise not be able to take part.

Chad Wood brought his wife and daughter from Avon to volunteer in the kitchen at the Butler union this morning, preparing five-gallon buckets of green beans.  After their experience today, they plan to make their volunteering a family tradition.

The dinner was started by the late Dr. Mozel Sanders forty years ago, and grown by the foundation organized by his son, the late Rev. Roosevelt James Sanders. Members of the Sanders family continue to run the organization.

The Sanders Foundation raises money throughout the year to pay for today's meals. In addition to corporate sponsors, dinner director Marcus Payne said smaller donors, such as schools and churches, embody the spirit of the event.  "We still want to maintain a grass roots understanding" of the event, according to Payne.

Reservations closed on Tuesday, but you can still call 920-8179 starting at 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. to order a turkey dinner with sides.