Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

November 21, 2012

Elks prep holiday dinner

Meal will feed more than 1,000

ASHLAND — Crafting a holiday feast for 1,400 or more isn’t easy, although Ashland Elks have a system to make sure every plate has plenty.

“It’s like a fine, well-oiled machine. Everybody knows their job,” said Elk Mark Ison, citing this year’s Thanksgiving dinner for the community marking the second decade of experience for the lodge members.

The effort began 20 years ago with 400 guests and has since grown by more than a thousand servings, Ison explained, estimating 150 Elks and an additional 100 volunteers will be involved from start to finish of this year’s gathering. “We’ve never said ‘No’ to a volunteer. We encourage people to come out and to bring their family,” Ison said, noting volunteers serve many purposes including delivering meals to shut-ins, welcoming guests, seating people and serving meals, drinks and desserts.

The Elks’ kitchen crew started cooking at 4 a.m. a couple of days ago, checking off missions including the roasting of 37 turkeys and pulling 900 pounds of meat off the bone and dividing it into light and dark meat, or preparing 800 pounds of from-scratch dressing according to their own time-tested recipe. “This is not Stove Top,” Ison said with pride, explaining the dressing team begins by making bread crumbs and working their way through ingredients including broth, celery and sage.

“That bunch comes in tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday,” he said Monday afternoon, noting the teams work in phases as dictated by kitchen space. And, when the last meal has been served and everyone else has gone home, Elks Randy Williams and Gary Scott, often with the help of their family members, will swoop in for cleanup duty.

“They’ll do everything from scrub the floor to cleaning the serving lines,” Ison said.

Along with the turkey and dressing, Ison said the menu for Thursday’s Thanksgiving feast will offer guests a plate filled with mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes/yams, followed by a choice of desserts including cakes and pies provided by an Elk whose identity is a guarded secret.

People who need a meal delivered are asked to call the lodge at 324-5720 between 8:30 and 11 a.m. Ison emphasized the delivered meals are strictly for people who are truly unable to come to the lodge on Carter Avenue.

“The shut-ins need to be people who are truly shut in and can’t make it out of the house. It’s made for people that really needs it,” Ison said.

The community is welcomed to the dining room at the lodge between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., where their meals will be served on real plates with actual silverware. Members of the Elks and their supporters cover the cost of the holiday feast, although “all donations are welcome,” Ison said.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0723copshots1.JPG Focus on law enforcement

    Members of several local and regional law enforcement agencies hit the streets of downtown Ashland Tuesday armed with digital cameras and assignment sheets as they completed in-service photography instruction through the Department of Criminal Justice.

    July 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Obama admin. says health subsidies will continue

    A federal appeals court delivered a potentially serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law Tuesday, imperiling billions of dollars in subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who bought policies.

    July 22, 2014

  • State’s longest trail system turns 35

    The Sheltowee Trace was officially dedicated as part of the National Recreation Trail system in 1979. After 35 years, the trail remains Kentucky’s longest distance trail, estimated at 307 miles.

    July 21, 2014

  • Pancake releases new album

    The top of the Sky Tower in downtown Ashland was booming Saturday night with music from Larry Pancake’s new album “Fair Weather Friend.”

    July 21, 2014

  • Telephone scammer fleeces man of $5,000

    A telephone scammer claimed another area victim when a Williams Avenue man paid $5,000 after the con artist told him he had won a sweepstakes but had to pay taxes on the prize money before collecting it, according to Ashland Police Department reports.

    July 21, 2014

  • Murder defendant pleads guilty on lesser charge, sentenced to 8 years

    One of four charged with murder in a 2008 double killing pleaded guilty to a lesser charge Monday just before his trial was to start.

    July 21, 2014

  • MIA Rush Marine to rest in Arlington

    Finding Dottie McCoy’s uncle after 71 years was the biggest part of the struggle.

    July 21, 2014

  • Morehead gets Trail Town status

    It has been two and a half years in the making and it happens today.
    Morehead will officially be designated a Kentucky Trail Town following Dawson Springs and Livingston.

    July 21, 2014

  • Fallsburg’s traditional haunt attracts unique talents

    Brian Cassidy said there is no substitute for individual talent while tackling tasks ranging from sculpting a massive hillbilly to inventing paintball gun brackets capable of withstanding the pressures caused by an incoming zombie attack.

    July 21, 2014

  • Local in brief: 7/22/14

    The Kentucky Interagency Coordination Center on Sunday mobilized two fire crews to assist with firefighting efforts in the western United States.

    July 21, 2014