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Nov-23-2009 02:45printcommentsVideo

Thanksgiving Comes One Day Early For Hundreds in Salem (VIDEO)

Salemites are invited to enjoy a hot, homemade Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday.
Mike Adams, of Adam's Rib Smokehouse in Salem invites the public in need to dinner on Wednesday.
Photo and Video by Tim King

(SALEM, Ore.) - "It's a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, dinner rolls and good ole pumpkin pie," says Mike Adams. This dinner will be a welcome sight for about a thousand people in downtown Salem Wednesday evening.

Record numbers of people are in need this year, and many are hungry. Now an ongoing annual event, a group of hard working people have served Thanksgiving dinner in downtown Salem since 2002. Last year, they served 650 people, and this year they expect many more.

"We started this on Thanksgiving seven years ago, and we served about eighty people. We decided the next year that we would move it to the day before Thanksgiving when no one else is doing any feeding. And it has turned into a huge event, from eighty people seven years ago to this year we expect to serve over a thousand people."

Though the dinner was initially targeted toward the homeless community and at risk youth, all are welcome. "Anybody's invited to this dinner. We'll be giving away a lot of stuff too, it's more than just dinner," Adams explains.

Thanks to contributions of cash, food, and a lot of labor, this will be a fulfilling night for many that would otherwise be spent cold and hungry. Cascade Baking Company, Food Service America, Roger Yost and The Reed Opera House, are just a few of the generous contributors that have made this Thanksgiving feast possible.

More contributions are still being sought. Along with cash donations, there are other ways to help. "We have a need for more coats, it's a cold time of year and these guys are out there in the weather. Some of them, if they don't get in to the Gospel Mission in time then the doors are locked, and they need warm clothes."

Prepping for a feast of this magnitude is no small undertaking.

"It's a lot of work, and all of that cooking is done at the First Baptist Church," Mike Adams said. "I call them the ladies at First Baptist, Dawn and her crew. We'll probably have seventeen pans of mashed potatoes."

"They'll bake over 120 pumpkin pies. About Tuesday, they'll start putting all the rest of the stuff together. And then Wednesday they'll be cooking from six in the morning until we serve at six o'clock in the evening."

"This is a huge fun event, not just for the homeless community, it's for anybody that needs a meal. Anybody that is in a situation where they're in need."

Mike & Katrina Adams of Adams Rib Smokehouse, along with Dynamic Life, First Baptist Church, and many volunteers will serve the annual feast at several locations: the First Baptist Church, the Reed Opera House Ballroom, the Home & Hostess House, and Sitches.

The event takes place the night BEFORE Thanksgiving, and begins at 6:00 pm. "We want to lift you up. At the First Baptist Church there's even going to be live music and entertainment. There's a lot of people down there that want to meet you, there are volunteers that will be serving the food as well as just walking around talking to people, getting to know them," Mike Adams says.

Networking is a big benefit, "There are alot of contacts that can be made for people looking for a job, or looking for help in other areas. It's a huge community event. It's a good time, and if you need something, these people can hook you up."

For more information, or to contribute to the Thanksgiving event, contact Mike Adams:, or call 503-362-2194.


Bonnie King has been with since August '04, when she became Publisher. Bonnie has served in a number of positions in the broadcast industry; TV Production Manager at KVWB (Las Vegas WB) and Producer/Director for the TV series "Hot Wheels in Las Vegas", posts as TV Promotion Director for KYMA (NBC), and KFBT (Ind.), Asst. Marketing Director (SUPERSHOPPER MAGAZINE), Director/Co-Host (Coast Entertainment Show), Radio Promotion Director (KBCH/KCRF), and Newspapers In Education/Circulation Sales Manager (STATESMAN JOURNAL NEWSPAPER). Bonnie has a depth of understanding that reaches further than just behind the scenes, and that thoroughness is demonstrated in the perseverance to correctly present each story with the wit and wisdom necessary to compel and captivate viewers.

View articles written by Bonnie King

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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