The holidays are a lot warmer when you have people to spend them with. Area residents had the chance to gather with family and friends and enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at the Putnam Centennial Center in Cle Elum Wednesday afternoon. The annual meal is free of cost to all who attend. Putnam Centennial Center Events Director Susan Klein said the event has been held for almost a decade. She has been a part of the organization since the beginning and has deep roots with the center as it is named after her family. Klein said the event had a healthy turnout, with approximately 130 people attending. As the attendance fluctuates from year to year, she said they set up for more people this year because all the seats were filled for 2018’s event. “It fluctuates with weather, and if other places are doing anything like that,” she said. Since the beginning, Klein said the event has been held on Wednesday. This gives attendees a chance to celebrate Thanksgiving with others, as well as give the volunteers a chance to spend time with their family. “A lot of people have family coming into town, or they’re going out of town,” she said. “We always do it Wednesday, so it gives them a chance to come.” Klein said preparation for the event begins about a week in advance, planning out the number of turkeys and side dishes needed. Sometimes turkeys are donated for the event, but Klein said she plans ahead to make sure enough are purchased in case the donations don’t come through. This year the center cooked approximately 10 turkeys for the dinner. “Our chef starts cooking the turkeys about five days ahead of time and putting them in the cooler,” she said. “It takes quite a bit of time to cook 10 turkeys or so.” Volunteers and donation are large parts of making the event successful. Each year Klein said an individual donates approximately 10 large pumpkin pies, and almost all the individuals staffing the event are unpaid volunteers. “We’re all volunteers,” she said. “I think there were about eight of us today.” Although the center always welcomes new volunteers as long as they are able to attain a food handlers’ card, Klein said the center will make sure the event happens regardless of the number of volunteers and donations. She said the center maintains an account to handle the event and others. “We keep a separate fund for Christmas and holidays,” she said. “We also do Christmas food and gifts for the children.” Although some may attend to spend time with friends, Klein said the event holds a separate level of importance to some within the community. “I think it’s really important to offer this for people during the holidays,” she said. “We are a small town, but there are a lot of people here that don’t have family here.”

The holidays are a lot warmer when you have people to spend them with.

Area residents had the chance to gather with family and friends and enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at the Putnam Centennial Center in Cle Elum Wednesday afternoon. The annual meal is free of cost to all who attend.

Putnam Centennial Center Events Director Susan Klein said the event has been held for almost a decade. She has been a part of the organization since the beginning and has deep roots with the center as it is named after her family.

Klein said the event had a healthy turnout, with approximately 130 people attending. As the attendance fluctuates from year to year, she said they set up for more people this year because all the seats were filled for 2018’s event.

“It fluctuates with weather, and if other places are doing anything like that,” she said.

Since the beginning, Klein said the event has been held on Wednesday. This gives attendees a chance to celebrate Thanksgiving with others, as well as give the volunteers a chance to spend time with their family.

“A lot of people have family coming into town, or they’re going out of town,” she said. “We always do it Wednesday, so it gives them a chance to come.”

Klein said preparation for the event begins about a week in advance, planning out the number of turkeys and side dishes needed. Sometimes turkeys are donated for the event, but Klein said she plans ahead to make sure enough are purchased in case the donations don’t come through. This year the center cooked approximately 10 turkeys for the dinner.

“Our chef starts cooking the turkeys about five days ahead of time and putting them in the cooler,” she said. “It takes quite a bit of time to cook 10 turkeys or so.”

Volunteers and donation are large parts of making the event successful. Each year Klein said an individual donates approximately 10 large pumpkin pies, and almost all the individuals staffing the event are unpaid volunteers.

“We’re all volunteers,” she said. “I think there were about eight of us today.”

Although the center always welcomes new volunteers as long as they are able to attain a food handlers’ card, Klein said the center will make sure the event happens regardless of the number of volunteers and donations. She said the center maintains an account to handle the event and others.

“We keep a separate fund for Christmas and holidays,” she said. “We also do Christmas food and gifts for the children.”

Although some may attend to spend time with friends, Klein said the event holds a separate level of importance to some within the community.

“I think it’s really important to offer this for people during the holidays,” she said. “We are a small town, but there are a lot of people here that don’t have family here.”

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