CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — The Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner, a beloved tradition, saw the revival of the spirit of community and gratitude once again. Led by Frank Habibian, the Habibian family opened their hearts and doors at Red Rock Canyon School on Thursday, Nov. 23, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Scenes from the 2023 Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner, St. George, Utah, Nov. 23, 2023 | Photo courtesy of Sherman Habibian, St. George News

Having originated in 1973, this enduring event, now in its fifth decade, provided a heartwarming opportunity for community members to gather and partake in a generous Thanksgiving meal. As a symbol of generosity and a testament to the strength of community support, the Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner has become a cornerstone of the St. George community.

Community members enjoyed a delightful meal with the Habibians, and this year’s impact was profound, with over 2,500 dinners prepared to offer warmth and nourishment to those in need, specifically designed for individuals who might have otherwise gone without a Thanksgiving dinner.

Frank Habibian’s inspiration for initiating this annual tradition, stemming from his personal experience as a recent immigrant, continues to resonate within the community. The Thanksgiving dinner stands as a symbol of unity, generosity and the welcoming spirit that defines the St. George community.

The success of the Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner attests to the community’s generosity, with many individuals contributing selflessly year after year. Notable food contributors this year included Croshaw’s Gourmet Pies, Denny’s, PepsiCo, Maverik, Costco and Nicholas and Company.

Financial contributions were made by the Stephen Wade Auto Group, St. George Shuttle, John and Neil Walter, Tony Allen, Dave Wilkey, Janice Ence, Larry Gardner, McMillan Mortuary, Metcalf Mortuary, Boulevard Furniture, Creative Storage Solutions and Wilkinson Electric. Numerous volunteers, such as Chef Ron Nia, Rafel Fonscia and Lynn Schmutz and his meat-cutting team, dedicated their time to ensure the success of the event.  

Scenes from the 2023 Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner, St. George, Utah, Nov. 23, 2023 | Photo courtesy of Sherman Habibian, St. George News

Crucially, the execution of an event of this magnitude necessitates meticulous management of details. A special acknowledgment is extended to Melanie and Ellisha Habibian for their time and effort in making this year’s event a resounding success!

The Habibian family expresses deep gratitude to those who contributed generously, recognizing that without the support of volunteers, the event would not be possible.

In the true spirit of the season, the Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner remains a beacon of compassion, uniting the community to celebrate gratitude and unity. Everyone, without exception, is always welcome to partake in this memorable Thanksgiving tradition.

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