Community Thanksgiving meal tradition to end in Sauk Co.

Longtime organizer says putting on event is big commitment

Since it started, Sauk County’s Community Thanksgiving Dinner has fed nearly 10,000 people, but this Thursday, the longtime tradition will end for good.

But the committee said it does have one shot at survival.

Inside Sauk Prairie’s High School, a six-member team starts its 16-year tradition.

“It’s a big commitment,” said Richard Brager. “There are six members, but there should be twice that many.”

There are 44 turkeys, 300 pounds of potatoes, 96 eggs, 576 rolls and six cases of corn, just to name a few, said Brager, who spent all those years in charge of the meal that serves 300 people. Drivers deliver food to 300 more.

“It’s crazy because you don’t think that one person can make a difference or a committee can make a difference,” Brager said.

This year is Brager and his group’s last.

“For us, I know that we have to retire,” he said. “I mean, that’s just the bottom line.”

Brager said it knew it was the end when no one came forward to take over the longstanding tradition. Brager had advertised for months in the community newspaper and church bulletins.

“To try and find committee members and not even get a call is shocking,” Brager said.

Community Thanksgiving meal tradition to end in Sauk Co.

While his work will wind down, Brager said he knows some won’t be able to celebrate Thanksgiving if not for some more helping hands.

Brager said he is thankful for the dozens of people who will help at Thursday’s noon meal, but knows there’s a difference between volunteering and committing to an event he starts planning for in July.

Those interested in being a part of the Community Thanksgiving Dinner’s committee can call Brager at 608-643-4240.