DINNER DRIVE: The Chippewa Valley After Hours Rotary Club conducted its third annual Thanksgiving Dinner Drive in November to put a traditional Thanksgiving meal on the tables of local families in need.

After providing a meal to 19 families in its inaugural event in 2016 and 31 families last year, the club has expanded its efforts to help 34 families (183 people) in 2018.

This past June, the club partnered with the Leader-Telegram and PESI to host Taste of the Valley for the third time at Phoenix Park.

As the benefactor of this fundraising event, the Rotary Club aimed to provide hunger assistance in the Chippewa Valley. The Thanksgiving dinner is the largest recipient of those fundraising dollars.

“Food insecurity is unfortunately a daily issue for many in our community and families are not able to celebrate the holiday with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner,” said club president Melissa Maxwell.

“Thanks to our fundraising efforts at the Taste of the Valley with our event partners PESI and Leader-Telegram, we are able to alleviate hunger on a day that so many take for granted,” she said.

Club members gathered two days before Thanksgiving to assemble the meals for the families. The meals included turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberries, rolls and pie.

The meals were then delivered to the families.

The club meets at 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at the Eagles Club in Lake Hallie.

For more information about the club, visit cvafterhours.com.

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CHRISTMAS DINNER: Hope Gospel Mission, 8 S. Farwell St., is hosting the Annual Christmas Community Dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15.

The dinner is free and features ham, cheesy potatoes, vegetables, jello salad, dinner rolls and dessert.

Reservations are not needed but people are asked to arrive by 11 a.m. for live music and a brief program that begins at 11:30 a.m.

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AWARD: Jan Larson, professor and chairwoman of the UW-Eau Claire department of communication and journalism, is the university’s recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Women of Color in Education Award from the UW System.

This annual honor goes to one woman from each system campus in recognition of achievements in advancing equity and inclusion for people of color within the UW System as well as communities across the state.