UND Mortar Board serves about 560 more families this year than last in annual Thanksgiving Turkey Basket Drive

From left to right: Jesse Fenstermacher (Hibbing, MN); Tyler Eiken (Williston, ND); Michelle Burns (Bismarck, ND); Dr. Lori Reesor (Vice President for Student Affairs); Mayor Michael Brown (Grand Forks Mayor); Tommy Van Norman (Co-advisor for Mortar Board; Rochester, MN); Rachel Biberdorf (Grand Forks, ND).

From left to right: Jesse Fenstermacher (Hibbing, MN); Tyler Eiken (Williston, ND); Michelle Burns (Bismarck, ND); Dr. Lori Reesor (Vice President for Student Affairs); Mayor Michael Brown (Grand Forks Mayor); Tommy Van Norman (Co-advisor for Mortar Board; Rochester, MN); Rachel Biberdorf (Grand Forks, ND).

By Kate Menzies, University &Public Affairs student writer.

It’s that time of year again!

Time to bust out the turkey, stuffing and stretchy pants for the much anticipated Thanksgiving meal. It’s also a time for family, friends and thanks. The University of North Dakota‘s Mortar Board Chapter, as it does every year, celebrated the holiday a little early by hosting its 34th Annual Turkey Basket Drive.

The Turkey Basket Drive is a way of providing all of the fixings for a Thanksgiving dinner to families in the community, who couldn’t otherwise provide their family with a Thanksgiving meal. The drive took place this past weekend, Saturday, Nov. 23, at the UND Transportation Building.

Families in the Greater Grand Forks Community were able to sign up for a Turkey Basket through their social worker, place of worship, Social Service agency or they could sign up as a self-referral.

This year’s drive was another huge success. There were 1,266 families (totaling more than 4,500 people) signed up to receive baskets. It was a marked increase from the 2012 drive, which helped feed more than 700 families.

This year’s drive was another huge success. There were 1,266 families (totaling more than 4,500 people) signed up to receive baskets. It was a marked increase from the 2012 drive, which helped feed more than 700 families.

“I am proud of our students who give of their time and talent to serve our community during the holiday season especially when their own schedules are so busy,” said Lori Reesor, UND vice president of student affairs. “We are so fortunate to have dedicated students who make a difference in Grand Forks.”

Mortar Board is a Senior National Honor Society focused on scholarship, leadership and service. The Quo Vadis Chapter of Mortar Board at UND was founded in 1932. There are more than 225 chapters of Mortar Board at colleges and universities nationwide. UND is the only Mortar Board Chapter that hosts a Turkey Basket Drive of this magnitude.

Campus and community members are able to get involved with future Turkey Basket Drives by donating money and/or Thanksgiving-themed canned food items.

For more information, contact Kristi Okerlund at kristi.okerlund@UND.edu.

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