- An Interfaith endeavor put on by volunteers for all people of the Coulee Region at the La Crosse Center
- An expression and an action of celebrating community and giving thanks for the blessings we have
- An inclusive event where everyone is invited to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at no cost and share the day with others
- An experience that brings diverse people together promoting awareness, understanding and community building
- Made possible through the generosity of caring individuals, students, organizations, churches, businesses foundations & artists
- A celebration of all that is good about community life in the coulee Region
In early 1982 four people had a dream to create a “Festival of Sharing” on Thanksgiving Day in the greater La Crosse area. There would be food, fellowship and worship. There would be no charge for the dinner and it would be available to everyone in a welcoming atmosphere. The dinner would be based on a Thanksgiving dinner held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin put on by Father Marty Karr and his organization called “A Place To Be”.
The planning committee worked closely with the Salvation Army and Cooperative Campus Ministries to create a structure in which to plan and hold the dinner. The first year approximately 100 volunteers put on the dinner with donated food and financial contributions from numerous individuals and businesses. Stoffel Hall which is part of English Lutheran Church hosted over 300 attendee’s on Thanksgiving Day 1982 for a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixin’s including pumpkin pie. On that day the tradition began of celebrating community on Thanksgiving Day and it continues today.
The La Crosse Community Thanksgiving Dinner, Inc. is a nonprofit, tax exempt 501 (c) 3 organization set up to provide a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner, on Thanksgiving Day each year, to the people of the Coulee Region at no charge. A 12 member Board of Director’s and a larger number of planning committee members that embrace the mission and purpose of the dinner plan and put on the annual dinner each year. All of this is accomplished with the assistance of hundreds of volunteers and contributors.
Vice President – Brian Perry
The Planning Committee consists of the Executive Board (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer), Board Members, and other members that chair, co-chair, or work with a sub-committee. We are always in need of new members and welcome you to come to a meeting and check it out.
We look forward to seeing new members from the La Crosse and area communities to join us as we plan this wonderful Thanksgiving day of sharing.
The meeting schedule includes every Tuesday in October and November. Meetings are held at 5:15 p.m. in Room 118 at English Lutheran Church, 16th and King Streets, La Crosse, WI 54601.