Friday is the annual repeat of an old tradition in the town of Morgan Mill, the Thanksgiving lunch in MMISD's gym. The dinner is free and open to the public, with the meal beginning at 11 a.m. and lasting until 1 p.m.

Between $1,000 - $1,500 will be spent on the meal, and as MMISD Superintendent Wendy Sanders explains, “All the funds come from donations; we’ll gladly accept donations the day of the event as well, but we don’t solicit them.”

One special highlight of this tradition is that among those in attendance will be about 50 soldiers who, according to Sanders, “Will board the big yellow bus at Fort Hood and head to come have their Thanksgiving meal with all of us in Morgan Mill.”

Their presence is always a special Thanksgiving treat as it allows civilian attendees the opportunity to thank the troops in person for their service to the country.

Sanders says the dinner will include approximately 45 turkeys, dressing, sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, fruit cocktail, cranberry sauce, rolls and dessert.

Morgan Mill ISD hosts the event entirely with the faculty and staff in the role of chefs and doing all the cooking. Younger students help with decorations, create tokens for the soldiers and all of the kids participate in the paper turkey contest. The middle school students also contribute by helping with the setup, serving and cleanup.

“We expect to serve approximately 800 people throughout the day and everyone is welcome to come for the fun and free Thanksgiving meal,” Sanders said. “We host the Thanksgiving meal, but this is really the whole community’s event; it makes us who we are and it belongs to everybody.”