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Mr. Thanksgiving Counts on Community for Annual Turkey Dinner

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.

The turkey dinner with all the trimmings costs around $15,000. He gets help from high school students from Moline's Coolidge campus. They help him pick up, load, and unload supplies from TPC and Sam's Club.

Vicki Birdsell Baker has helped him for all but the very first turkey dinner he hosted in 1970. The retired Moline schoolteacher works with up to 400 volunteers. They set up, serve meals, refill coffee cups, talk with diners, and clean up after it's all over. Depending on the weather, around 2,500 people may show up.

Mr. Thanksgiving's dinner will be served on Thanksgiving Day from 4 until 6 pm.

MetroLink will again offer Illinois residents free rides to the mall. But reservations are required.The number to call is 788.3360.

Vogelbaugh accepts donations by mail, and the address is 3704 26th Street, Moline, IL 61265.

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