Family serves Thanksgiving dinner to their community - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Family serves Thanksgiving dinner to their community


LIME SPRINGS (KWWL) -- Many of you are spending the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends.  But there are a lot of eastern Iowans without a place to have a Thanksgiving dinner.  In the small town of Lime Springs in Howard County, one family has made it their mission to feed their community for 15 years.  Not even a family tragedy could stop them from doing it again this year.   

The turkey is moist and the potatoes perfectly whipped as the Johnson family prepares to serve up their 15th annual community Thanksgiving dinner.  It's a tradition started by the family to spend the holiday together while giving back.

"It's just important to be with family.  And with family comes community.  And the community is very important to us," said Steve Johnson.

The family now looks forward to this get-together even more. People who don't have a place to go for the holiday or who get stuck at home because of bad weather, can come here to enjoy a holiday meal with all the trimmings.

"This is just a wonderful blessing to the community and a wonderful gift to have them as friends," said Beverley Copeman of Lime Springs.

But preparing for this year's meal came with heavy hearts for the Johnson family.  That's because the head of the family, Earl Johnson, died suddenly of a stroke just seven weeks ago.

"After dad's funeral, we got together as a family, and we thought this is a perfect time, perfect excuse to quit this.  And we all looked at mom and she said, 'Absolutely not!  Your dad would want to keep this going,'" Johnson said.

The Johnsons, along with their community, are glad they did.  The support from each other, and the bonds formed over this meal, make them truly thankful. 

The Johnsons encourage their children and grandchildren to get involved with preparing and serving the Thanksgiving meal, so that hopefully they'll carry on the tradition for years to come.

Online Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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