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Mr. Thanksgiving Gets Ready for His 49th Dinner

Zach Wilson, WVIK News
MetroLink Representative Jennifer Hirsch (left), Bob "Mr. Thanksgiving" Vogelbaugh (center), and Southpark Mall Manager Jerry Jones at a press conference on Thursday.

Mr. Thanksgiving has returned for the 49th year. Bob Vogelbaugh will host his annual community Thanksgiving dinner once again at SouthPark Mall, inviting anyone who wants to come.

On Thursday morning, Vogelbaugh announced plans for this year's event, and he says most years, they feed about 2,000 people.

"It's something that you could never get across unless you were out on Thankgiving day, witnessing everything that happens. People are just super about working that day, giving up their own Thanksgiving to have a Thanksgiving with strangers. But, before you leave, everybody seems like they're part of a huge, huge family."

So far, he has raised about $2,000: or about $18,000 short of what he needs to put on the dinner.

"It takes around $20,000 to put this on because of all of the food costs and everything else... renting tables and chairs."

MetroLink will once again provide free transportation to those who need it, and reservations for pickup can be made by calling 788-3360.

Donations to Mr. Thanksgiving can be sent to 3704 26th Street in Moline. People interested in volunteering are encouraged to show up any time after 3 p.m. on November 28th.