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Shannon’s Home Cooking and Smarty’s Saloon serve free Thanksgiving meals

The two restaurants offered a traditional holiday dinner to serve those in need.
Friends helping Friends Thanksgiving Community Dinner sign outside the Negaunee Eagles Club
Friends helping Friends Thanksgiving Community Dinner sign outside the Negaunee Eagles Club(WLUC)
Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 6:01 PM EST
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MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - Thanksgiving might be a day for feasting with family and friends.

But for Smarty’s Saloon and Shannon’s Home Cooking, the holiday is also about giving back. “We wanted to do something for the community, especially those who don’t have family, or if it’s just like a ma and pa, why cook a whole meal, you know?” Scott “Smarty” Soeltner, owner, Smarty’s Saloon, said. “Come on down and eat with us.”

Smarty’s and Shannon’s served food to hundreds today, no questions asked. “We’re offering free meals for anybody that needs it, anybody, doesn’t matter where they live, if they can make it here or we’re close enough to deliver.”

Smarty’s invited people to dine at the Negaunee Eagles Club free of charge for their Friends helping Friends Thanksgiving Community Dinner. “We have a traditional turkey dinner, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberries, green bean casserole, a broccoli cheese casserole, and dessert,” Dawn Lambert, Friends Helping Friends event coordinator, said.

Shannon Greathouse thinks her restaurant can bring families closer by giving them a reason to gather around the table. “It’s very important to me and my family to dine together, to put down the phones, to have a home-cooked meal. I think people are getting away from that, and this is a way to help restore that.”

Shannon’s prepared around 26 turkeys to make their meals. Guests could pick up their food from the restaurant any time before 2:00 P.M. on Thanksgiving.

Smarty’s says it couldn’t give out meals without volunteers. “We’ve been chefing it up since yesterday, we were here bright and early today to get everything ready, and we will be here until the last dish is cleaned and put away.”

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