Tlingit elder Marie Olson smiles at the Salvation Army’s annual Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018 at Hangar on the Wharf. (Courtesy Photo | Salvation Army)

Tlingit elder Marie Olson smiles at the Salvation Army’s annual Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018 at Hangar on the Wharf. (Courtesy Photo | Salvation Army)

Community involvement again high at annual meal

Salvation Army serves more than 500 Thanksgiving dinners

Correction: An earlier version of this article mistakenly associated Dick Hand with Alaska Glacier Seafoods. Hand is the owner of Alaska Seafood Company, not Alaska Glacier Seafoods.

The Salvation Army of Juneau served more than 500 meals at its annual Thanksgiving dinner, the organizers said.

The dinner, which takes place every Thanksgiving at the Hangar on the Wharf in downtown Juneau, aims to provide a free meal for people who might not otherwise get a full meal on the holiday. It also serves as a community gathering, as volunteers, elected officials, Alaska Native elders and attendees all get together and celebrate the holiday.

Salvation Army Majors Shane and Gina Halverson, the directors of the Salvation Army of Juneau, said community support was strong once again this year. Victoria Godkin is the community Thanksgiving dinner coordinator, Shane Halverson said.

Mayor Beth Weldon attended. Tlingit elder Marie Olson was in attendance, and has attended regularly since the 1970s, Halverson said. Halverson said the fact that Olson has been coming for more than 40 years indicates just how much this event means to people.

As usual, Dick Hand from Alaska Seafood Company smoked 60 turkeys for the event. Halverson said that despite the high quantity of turkeys, Hand was able to also keep the quality high.

“I don’t know how Dick Hand does it,” Halverson said. “I don’t know how he cooks 60 turkeys and every single one of them is juicy and tender and the perfect amount of smoky flavor. I can’t even make one right.”

The day after Thanksgiving, the Salvation Army began its annual bell-ringing campaign. Halverson said they always need volunteers for that, and the number for the Salvation Army in Juneau is 586-2136.


• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or amccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.


Majors Gina (left) and Shane Halverson of the Salvation Army pose with Mayor Beth Weldon at the annual Salvation Army Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 22, 2018. (Courtesy Photo | Salvation Army)

Majors Gina (left) and Shane Halverson of the Salvation Army pose with Mayor Beth Weldon at the annual Salvation Army Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 22, 2018. (Courtesy Photo | Salvation Army)

Salvation Army volunteer Alan Akiyama prepares pie at the Salvation Army’s annual Thanksgiving dinner. (Courtesy Photo | Salvation Army)

Salvation Army volunteer Alan Akiyama prepares pie at the Salvation Army’s annual Thanksgiving dinner. (Courtesy Photo | Salvation Army)

Chefs Ron Burns (left) and Juan-Antonio Salazar Ayon pose at the Salvation Army’s annual Thanksgiving dinner. (Courtesy Photo | Salvation Army)

Chefs Ron Burns (left) and Juan-Antonio Salazar Ayon pose at the Salvation Army’s annual Thanksgiving dinner. (Courtesy Photo | Salvation Army)

A young volunteer named Austin poses with a slice of pie at the Salvation Army’s annual Thanksgiving dinner. (Courtesy Photo | Salvation Army)

A young volunteer named Austin poses with a slice of pie at the Salvation Army’s annual Thanksgiving dinner. (Courtesy Photo | Salvation Army)

A volunteer serves food at the Salvation Army’s annual Thanksgiving dinner. (Courtesy Photo | Salvation Army)

A volunteer serves food at the Salvation Army’s annual Thanksgiving dinner. (Courtesy Photo | Salvation Army)

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