Warren Fay receives the next item, cranberry sauce, served by volunteers at the free Thanksgiving dinner sponsored by the Byron Market Place, Otto's Bakery and donations at the Senior Citizen Center in the lower level of Byron City Hall. A crowd of 115 senior citizens enjoyed the dinner.
By Ruth Hanson
The question for Frank was, "How many people do you think are here eating this free turkey dinner?"
He didn't hesitate.
"5000," he said and laughed.
The place was packed, but that seemed a bit much.
Betty Tomm, a member of the Board of Directors of the Senior Citizens, had helped register the seniors.
"More like 110," she said.
Nonetheless, it was a good crowd and they were having a good time.
"Good to see you," could be heard over and over, along with "I haven't seen you in a long time."
The dinner was sponsored by the Byron Market Place, Otto's Bakery and donations. Volunteers were serving the long line of seniors as they walked through the serving line.
"What an offering of food and music and love," one white-haired woman said.
Byron High School ninth and tenth graders lined up along the wall and sang carol after carol after carol, directed by Sue Braun with Diane Toogood at the piano.
"That music makes me cry," Kathy Yennie, the chair of the Board of Directors, said.
They finished their singing, with most of the 125 diners joining in, to sing, "We're loyal to you, Byron High" followed by enthusiastic applause.
"She's really good and so is that piano player," one woman commented.
Yennie thanked the staff of Hair Games, her Bible study group, the Byron Helpers Helping Neighbors and assorted other volunteers for their help.
"We are so glad to have so many participants," she said.
She introduced the rest of the Board of Directors - Lillian Russell, president; Jackie Sanneman, Barb Haugen, Betty Tomm, Nancy Connelly and Sue Underdahl.
She led the group in the Lord's Prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
She announced that Byron resident Gladys Smith, would be 100 years old on December 23 and there would be cake on December 20 on the lower level of City Hall for her.
She added that Ethel Denny, who used to live in Mantorville is also 100. She lives in Belle Plaine now.
"The wise mind mourns less for what age takes away than what it leaves behind," the white board behind her read. It was a quote from William Wordsworth.
She announced that the Benedictine Health Systems would be