Helping hands at The Banquet inside the Dream Center

Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 7:01 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - For some people, the nostalgia of Thanksgiving centers around preparing and sharing a meal with close family and friends. For others, it’s sharing that same thing with strangers.

These volunteers are already hard at work. They have 20 turkeys prepared for about 400 guests they expect to serve at The Banquet inside the Dream Center. That’s about double the guests they normally serve, but some might just be seeking some company this holiday season.

”I think a lot more people, lonely people, you know, people who are... don’t have family, don’t have any place to go will come here and get a nice hot meal,” said Karla Eisenbeisz, executive director of The Banquet.

This is Kitchen Manager Shony Morsette’s first Thanksgiving working with The Banquet and she says even though she’s never cooked a big meal before, she’s happy to give up a holiday with her family to serve those around her.

”It’s not really a tradeoff when you think about it. You get to see how many people you’re helping, you know, who also probably don’t have family, or don’t have friends or anyone to go to. It’s really nice to see,” said Morsette.

This year’s meal will be extra special because it will be the first time Thanksgiving dinner is held at this new facility, and guests to The Banquet will be served like royalty.

”You know, a lot of the people can’t afford to sit down and have a nice meal and be served. You know? So, we try to just portray that the volunteers are here to serve them and that they deserve to be treated with that dignity and that respect,” said Eisenbeisz.

They are doing as much prep work as they can on Wednesday — they’re even saving the wishbones for some lucky laughs on Thursday.

The Banquet will be serving turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and all the trimmings from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday. Those wishing to volunteer can still sign up for a shift by visiting or by calling 701-955-2150.