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Dinner for 280, coming right up

Volunteers buzz around First United Methodist Church's kitchen Wednesday preparing a massive Thanksgiving dinner.

Think you've got lots of mouths to feed on Thanksgiving?

Chances are, it's a fraction of what First United Methodist Church volunteers were preparing for Wednesday afternoon.

Project coordinator Bruce Duerkop said the church plans on serving up to 280 meals during its 17th-annual Thanksgiving Day dinner.

Volunteers began showing up around 3 p.m. Wednesday to begin the initial stages - peeling potatoes.

Duerkop said he expected the helpers to keep the basement kitchen busy for another five hours. By Thanksgiving morning, 160 pounds of turkeys will be cooking in time for the 11:30 a.m. feed.

All the food was donated by First United Methodist members, Duerkop noted.

The dinner lasts until 1 p.m. Duerkop said the dinner is free and open to anyone who won't be spending Thanksgiving with family. A free-will offering will be available, he said.

See the accompanying photo gallery for a look behind the scenes.