Brookfield Township Outreach Association, the group that holds an annual free community Thanksgiving dinner, announced Oct. 20 that the dinner has been canceled for this year.
“Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we find that we cannot safely host this event this fall,” said Judi Burdette, BTOA trustee.
The dinner has been held in the township social hall, which has been closed to all events this year except for Election Day on Nov. 3, and trustees have said they have no plans to reopen it.
BTOA, a nonprofit corporation, typically serves about 1,000 dinners, either to individuals and families who eat at the hall, sitting shoulder to shoulder at long tables and chatting in close-knit groups, or to about 200 shut-ins. Delivery drivers are among the scores of volunteers who staff the dinner, which often includes members of local service clubs, school students, township officials and individuals who want to support the effort.
“Your support of the BTOA is greatly appreciated,” Burdette said to volunteers and donors. “This would have been our 11th year to welcome the community to dinner. We thank all of you.”
BTOA has used money collected over and above what was needed to buy food and supplies to support Santa’s Workshop, the Christmas event traditionally held on the green in Brookfield Center and in Brookfield United Methodist Church, and to sponsor the coloring contest at Summer Fest, another BUMC event.
Summer Fest was canceled this year, and Santa’s Workshop’s traditional celebration is off, although Pastor Dick Smith said a smaller event could be planned “if restrictions are eased.”
Burdette pledged that the BTOA members “still remain committed to our group’s presence in the Brookfield/Masury community.”
Burdette said she will miss “the great interaction, friendship and camaraderie we share as we work to pull this dinner off,” but added, “I look forward to our next great adventure the Tuesday before Thanksgiving 2021.”