Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Local News

November 1, 2013

Turkey dinner going strong at 50 years


The average profit after expenses is $5,000. Proceeds are used for building upkeep, such as roof leak repairs, new restroom toilets, even light bulbs and dish towels.

Members anticipate the occasion. Hartshorn likes “the coming together of people in the community.” Smith waits for the compliments. “People come up to you afterwards and say, ‘It was a great meal. We loved it.’’’

Because this is the church’s major fundraiser, “it is a little bit about the money,” Hutchison says, “but it’s so much more about the fellowship of our church.” Nettnay adds, “It is so much fun seeing how our church family, with a lot of help from community friends, pulls off this massive meal every year.”

Debbie Blank can be contacted at or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.

Evolution of the turkey dinner 1963: A church Christmas bazaar began with a lunch Nov. 23 at 11 a.m. and a turkey dinner at 5 p.m., The Herald-Tribune reported Nov. 21. The profit was $900, according to Nettnay. The next day, the late President John F. Kennedy, who was killed the day before the event, was remembered during the Methodist and all other local church services. The same schedule was followed in 1964 with chicken and noodles served midday. The cost of the evening turkey dinner was $1.50. 1973: The 10th annual meal took place on the second Saturday, Nov. 10, and that date has stuck. Hours were longer, 4:30-7:30 p.m. Tickets were $2.50 for adults and $1.25 for children under 10. At that time, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Smyrna, and St. John Catholic Church, Enochsburg, also hosted turkey suppers. 1983: On Saturday, Nov. 12, the country store was open from noon-7:30 p.m. with turkey dinners served 4:30-7:30 p.m. and carryouts 4-6:30. Tickets were $4 for adults and $2 for children 12 and under. 1993: The Saturday, Nov. 13, dinner was slightly shorter, 4:30-7 p.m., with the same carryout hours. Tickets were $6 for adults and $3 for children under 12. 2003: Hours were the same Saturday, Nov. 8. Tickets were $7 for adults and $4 for children, according to The Herald-Tribune. 2013: The 50th Batesville United Methodist Church turkey dinner is Saturday, Nov. 9, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Carryouts start a half hour earlier. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. • The First Methodist Church of Batesville was established in 1845, the Nov. 14, 1963, issue reported. The English-speaking church was organized in 1892 with the name Batesville English Methodist Episcopal Church.

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