Organizers of the Conway Community Thanksgiving Dinner will open the doors of First United Methodist Church to the public at 11:30 a.m. today.

The traditional Thanksgiving meal, now hosted by Centennial Bank of Conway, will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the fellowship hall of the church, located at 1610 Prince St.

In a matriarchal fashion similar to what may be seen in many homes on the holiday, organizers and volunteers of the Community Thanksgiving Dinner work to prepare a meal for strangers.

Lori Case, committee chair with Centennial Bank, said she felt led to undertake the 20-year tradition, with the help of her employer, when the Blankenship family announced in 2009 that they would no longer play host.

"For someone to take it on new, it was scary. But last year went great," Case said.

Case said organizers expect 600 to 700 people to be fed today, with about half of the meals being delivered.

"We have a lot of volunteers, maybe around 150," Case said. "People are making pies and doing all sorts of stuff. It actually runs pretty smooth."

Groups will make deliveries to pre-registered Faulkner County residents and participants of the Meals-on-Wheels program.

"We don’t ask questions. Some people are shut-ins and some may not be able to get transportation," Case said.

According to Blake Browning, Centennial Bank business development officer, 330 meals were registered for delivery.

Volunteers of the event include Centennial Bank employees, church groups, civic groups and individuals. 

"It’s a home-cooked meal. Our employees make vegetables and desserts. It’s one of the biggest things we do in the Faulkner County market," Case said.

Case said the free community meal is open to any and all who wish to attend.

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to Send us your news at