Mr. Thanksgiving

Feeding more than 2,000 people every year for 48 years costs a lot of money. That's why today, Hy-Vee presented Mr. Thanksgiving with a check for $13,000.

Thanks to a Moline man, thousands of people who'd be alone on Thanksgiving will enjoy socializing and eating turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, and pumpkin pie. Michelle O'Neill reports Bob Vogelbaugh is well-known throughout the Quad Cities area as "Mr. Thanksgiving."

Forty-eight years ago, Bob Vogelbaugh and his parents ran a small grocery store in downtown Moline. When he asked several older customers about their Thanksgiving plans, they said it was just another day to be alone. That's when a "light bulb turned on" and he invited them over for Thanksgiving dinner.

Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

Mr. Thanksgiving wants to make it clear. He is again inviting people who'd otherwise be alone on the holiday to his annual turkey dinner. Bob Vogelbaugh is also asking for donations to make it possible.

Bob Vogelbaugh with Vicki Birsell-Baker who has helped him serve almost every year
Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

Mr. Thanksgiving and his volunteers are preparing to serve turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, and pie to more than 2,000 people. On Thursday, Bob Vogelbaugh will host his 46th annual dinner at South Park Mall in Moline.

MetroLink's Jennifer Garrity listens as Bob Vogelbaugh talks about his annual dinner.
Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

People who live in the Illinois Quad Cities can get a free ride and a free turkey dinner on Thanksgiving. Tomorrow at noon is the deadline to make a reservation for MetroLink to pick up those who want to go to Mr. Thanksgiving's annual meal at SouthPark Mall in Moline.

Bob Vogelbaugh, a.k.a. Mr. Thanksgiving, gives a reporter the "eye" during his news conference.
Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

Mr. Thanksgiving is preparing to serve his 46th annual turkey dinner at South Park Mall in Moline. This morning, Bob Vogelbaugh invited everyone to the Thanksgiving Day meal. He also requested donations.

As he has every year, Vogelbaugh extends a special invitation to anyone who would otherwise be alone.

WVIK Staff

Mr. Thanksgiving is very relieved after reaching his fundraising goal for his 45th annual dinner. Today, Bob Vogelbaugh received $6,000 from the Moline, Rock Island, and East Moline Police benevolent associations, which brings donations to $16,000 total.

Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

Instead of hunting turkeys, Mr. Thanksgiving is busy looking for donations. In two weeks Bob Vogelbaugh will host his 45th annual dinner at SouthPark Mall in Moline.

WVIK Staff

Before catching Black Friday sales, local residents have a different reason to go to a shopping mall. Thursday Bob Vogelbaugh will host his 44th annual Thanksgiving dinner at SouthPark Mall in Moline. 

WVIK Staff

Despite major changes, SouthPark Mall in Moline will still be the site for this year's annual community dinner hosted by Mr. Thanksgiving. Today Bob Vogelbaugh invited everyone to his Thanksgiving feast, which will be held where the Old Navy store used to be. He also requested donations to help pay for the huge meal.This is Vogelbaugh's 44th year hosting the holiday dinner. But, he says it took until last spring for him to realize this is his calling.