Our History

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.


La Crosse Center
300 Harborview Plaza
La Crosse, WI 54601

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