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Racine business owners hold 10th annual free Thanksgiving feast

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RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A Thanksgiving day tradition in Racine brought thousands of people together Thursday, Nov. 28.

It was the tenth year of Dan and Ray's "Rendering Thanks" dinner, and more than 3,000 people were expected to attend.

"Everything just kind of blew up from there, kind of on its own," said Dan Johnson, founder of the Rendering Thanks dinner. "We were just a catalyst to put the idea together, get the ball rolling, and now it's just a big giant locomotive that can't stop."

That's how Dan describes how he and fellow business owner Ray Stibeck's free community Thanksgiving dinner has been embraced by the community and grown in popularity in ten years.

"They're just so happy, so grateful," said Ray. "They say this is what it's about, wish more people would hear about this."

After a decade, people in the community have heard. Now it takes generous donations and 300 volunteers to serve up 101 turkeys, 300 pounds of mashed potatoes, 400 pounds of stuffing and more. 

Besides serving up a warm meal, Stibeck says this Racine Thanksgiving tradition has a much larger goal. 

"There's so much negativity in society," he said. "There's a lot of violence. There's a lot of everything. A lot of negativity, and I think this is one day where people can put aside whatever their differences are for one day and let's just be thankful for each other and be thankful as a community."

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