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Crawford Street UMC decides to cancel annual turkey dinner

Crawford Street United Methodist Church’s annual turkey dinner, a long standing tradition in Vicksburg, has become yet another casualty of COVID-19.

Crawford Street pastor Rev. Kevin Bradley said the church’s dinner committee decided to cancel the event and the decision was shared with the church’s administrative board Tuesday.

“It’s with concerns related to COVID-19 and doing what’s best, not only for the volunteers but folks who would normally come to the turkey dinner,” he said. “It was one of those very difficult decisions that a lot of thought and prayer went into discerning what is the right thing to do in this season and that’s where we arrived.”

Church members were notified about the dinner’s cancellation by email.

The church began holding the turkey dinner more than 100 years ago. Besides being a popular and well-attended event in the community, the dinner is a fundraiser for the church with the money divided three ways. One-third of the money is spent globally, one-third in the United States and one-third locally.

In the past, money raised by the dinner has been used to buy mosquito nets for Africa and cows and goats for people in impoverished countries through the Heifer Project International, a program based in Arkansas.

The annual event has also raised funds used to drill water wells in South American and Central American countries like Honduras and Mexico, and supported mission teams from several local churches to go and work in Honduras and Mexico.

Locally, the money supports Grace Christian Counseling Center; Service Over Self, a summer youth ministry where youth work in the community repairing or improving homes; and the Community Storehouse Food Pantry; Good Shepherd Community Center; and Haven House.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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