Five years ago, Al’s Upper Inn Club in Durbin began a new tradition – providing a Thanksgiving meal that gives back to the community. Visitors are treated to a full holiday meal and, in return, they make a donation to the restaurant’s selected charity.
The dinners have gone so well in the past – last year it raised $1,300 for the Pocahontas County Humane Society – that owner Laura Dent decided to up the ante.
“Usually, what we normally do is we provide all the food – you come, you fix your plate and you just give us a donation, whatever you want to donate,” Dent said. “This year, we’re also doing food donations. Our charities this year are the Humane Society and the [Northern Pocahontas] Food Bank. We are also having a food drive for the food bank.”
The dinner is set for Thanksgiving Day and begins at 2 p.m. It ends when the food runs out, which may take some time.
“We are cooking eight, twenty-pound plus turkeys, two hams, homemade mashed potatoes, homemade bread dressing, homemade gravy, green beans, corn, sweet potatoes, relishes, cranberry sauce, rolls, deviled eggs, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, a couple different kinds of pies and we’ll also have a Jell-O salad,” Dent said.
The meal is free, but the restaurant will charge for drinks.
Dent said if individuals cannot attend the dinner, but still want to make a donation, they may do so prior to the dinner or the week after.