Rich or poor, young, middle-aged or old, alone or with a crowd, the Pentells want them to come to Thanksgiving dinner.
The Pentells, Al, Nanya and Adrian, will be hosting and cooking a Thanksgiving dinner at Denny's, Wisconsin Dells, for anyone who wants to come. No vouchers or tickets will be needed, but they do ask that people call the restaurant, (608) 254-7825 and make let them know how many will be coming. That will let them know how much food to prepare.
Al Pentell said they are asking for the reservations because he did not want to prepare for 50 and have a 100 people show up. "It's a community event. I want everybody to be here for the fellowship," Al Pentell added.
The Pentells have been helping with the Thanksgiving dinner for more than 20 years and this year are doing it on their own.
This year, the St. Vincent de Paul Society will not be involved.
Al Pentell said that about 20 years ago, Ann Tollaksen of the society was finding it hard to have enough volunteers to cook the food that was served. So Pentells step in to help with the food preparation and then about two years after that, they took over the meal and starting serving it at Denny's.
The meal will be served from noon to 3 p.m. this year at Denny's. It will include turkey, mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, stuffing, carrots, cranberry sauce, rolls, and pumpkin pie.
The Pentells no longer own the Denny's franchise, but the current owners have graciously allowed them to continue the community Thanksgiving dinner. Adrian continues as manager of the Denny's in the Lower Dells.
"We want to do it for the community," said Al Pentell. "We've been successful here and we want the community to be here. It doesn't matter whether 50 or 200 come as long as we know how much to prepare."
The family has already started ordering the food. Tuesday, Nov. 22, they will start baking pies and Wednesday the turkeys will go in the oven. Thanksgiving morning will be hectic, Al Pentell said, when the final meal preparations will be under way.
Other restaurant owners are also pitching in, Al Pentell said. Both Tug's Kitchen and High Rock Cafe have promised to provide some food for the meal.
Employees at Denny's have volunteered to help serve and cook the meal.
The restaurant will also deliver to shut-ins, but Al Pentell said some volunteers are needed to deliver meals. Anyone who could volunteer to deliver meals to shut-ins should call Adrian at the restaurant, (608) 254-7825.