Business owners give back with annual Thanksgiving dinner

REED CITY — Giving thanks and giving back is one of the goals of Shari Holben, and Richard and Bill Pemberton every year when they host a free Thanksgiving dinner for the community at the Nestle Inn Cafe.

This year, their seventh, is no different.

“It’s the way we decided to give back to the community,” said Bill, who currently is running the Nestle Inn Cafe. “It’s fun, we always have a good time. You’re not missing a family Thanksgiving when you come here.”

The buffet-style dinner will take place from noon to 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving day at the Nestle Inn Cafe, located at 203 W. Upton Ave. in Reed City. All of the Thanksgiving classics will be served, as well as some alternative eats. Turkey, ham, roast beef, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, squash and more will be available for the main meal, and about 10 pies of assorted flavors will satisfy every sweet tooth.

“It’s very relevant, I think even more now since there are more people in need,” Holben said. “We’re opening our hearts and doors.”

With each year the event grew and served about 150 people in 2012. This year, the Pembertons and Holben are expecting 175 to 200. Family members help keep things running smoothly throughout the day.

“Every year we look forward to it,” Holben added. “It’s my favorite day of the year and it’s what the holidays are supposed to be about.”

Donations will be accepted at the event, and all of the money raised will benefit those in the state of Illinois who were victims of the recent tornadoes, Richard said.

“It’s the holidays and those people have nothing now,” he added. “It’s time to help them.”

Holben and the Pembertons said everyone is welcome to join them for Thanksgiving. Boxes of food also will be available to package and deliver for those who are not able to get out of their home.

For more information, call the Nestle Inn Cafe at (231) 832-3001. No reservations are required.