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100 TURKEYS DONATED TO NEEDY FAMILIES

The Thundering Toms Conservation Club made a thunderous donation of toms in a 100-turkey giveaway Saturday for needy families at the Heart, Love and Soul soup kitchen and food bank.

The Thundering Toms, a local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, made this donation one of the club's first major projects. Toms, jennys and jakes -- otherwise known and males, females and youngsters in turkey-speak -- were on the menu.

Club Secretary Debbie Frain said the group was formed three years ago and recently raised enough money through fund-raisers to purchase the turkeys, which weighed in at 10 to 12 pounds.

Frain laughed out loud at the thought of the group actually catching the birds, noting they are a very small group and turkeys are a pretty smart bird, no matter what you may have heard.

"We also have our Jakes Group (a youth conservation arm of the club named for baby turkeys) out here participating to learn how important giving is," said Frain.

Sister Barbara Pfohl, the kitchen director, said the donation was well-timed.

"We have about 215 households signed up, and I had expected to give most of them chickens from the food bank," Pfohl said. "I had about 165 chickens and about 20 turkeys. I expect more walk-ins, and thought I'd have to turn some people away when we ran out."

Pfohl said that needy families wishing to receive food baskets for Christmas should sign up at the food bank from 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 30 or Dec. 1 and 2.

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