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Katherine Barratt, who was honored for her volunteer work by Gov. Peter Shumlin and the Windham County Democrats at their annual Davenport Day dinner last October, says the annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner needs new volunteers to keep the dinner going.

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Community Thanksgiving Committee seeks new leadership

For more information or to volunteer, contact Katherine Barratt at 802-257-4220 or kabar67@gmail.com, or Mark Schultz at 603-336-0008.

BRATTLEBORO—The Community Thanksgiving day meal at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden is open to one and all. For the feast to happen this November, however, the feast requires new leadership.

For more than 10 years, the same committee of six has planned, organized, collected donations, and cooked for the Thanksgiving feast.

A team of volunteers turn out on the day for the meal to help. That said, Katherine Barratt, Mark Schultz, Ray Branagan, Ian Bigelow, Lindsay Cobb, and Peter Wiles provided the lion’s share of the planning, beginning each September.

“Those who have attended and volunteered have remarked that they felt a real coming together that epitomizes the idea of what “Community” means,” wrote Barratt in a letter to The Commons.

Providing for “our neighbors” has been the six leaders’ privilege, wrote Barratt.

Standing in line at The Works Bakery Cafe, Branagan remarked that he has enjoyed organizing the event. The time has come, however, for the six core volunteers to step aside.

Everyone is tired, he said. It will be good for new energy and ideas to join the table.

The Community Thanksgiving takes more than a day to prepare, he said. The leadership committee will start planning this fall.

He said the current core committee hopes people will show their community spirit by stepping forward. Sooner rather than later would be ideal, he added.

Branagan stressed that the new leaders would have support from the veterans.

The long-standing core volunteers won’t walk away, he said. They will ensure the new leaders have all the information and support they need.

In Branagan’s opinion, he said, the committee is seeking a successful transition and the preservation of a community tradition.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #300 (Wednesday, April 8, 2015). This story appeared on page A4.

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