A few weeks ago, Cassie Ware lit on the idea of thanking veterans by giving them a free community breakfast on Veterans Day. An outpouring of help and donations has made it a reality.
Dubbed the Community Veterans Thank You Breakfast, it will run from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Civic Auditorium Ballroom on Wednesday, Nov. 11. Ware is planning to feed 300 people.
All veteran and active duty military eat free (military ID is preferred but not required). Civilians eat for $5 and kids 12 and under are $3.
“I wanted to do something practical to say thank you to our veterans,” Ware said. “My husband is a veteran and I know how much a simple ‘thanks’ means to someone. I speak through food so this is what I know to do. I found out some really amazing local people who feel the same way, so we got together and are working to make this happen.”
The breakfast includes pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit, coffee and all the fixings.
She has lined up almost 30 volunteers so far to help prepare the food at Calvary Baptist Church and then transport it to the Civic and serve it.
“The best part about this whole thing has been the volunteers,” she said. But she still needs seven more volunteers to cook at the church kitchen on the morning of the meal and asks that anybody who is willing to help call her at 541-965-1885.
She also needs another $300 in donations and said people who want to donate or volunteer can email her at cassiegware@ gmail.com or find her on facebook under her name or on the facebook page for the event, titled Community Veterans Thank You Breakfast.
“We wanted to be sure to do something that every veteran could have access too, regardless of their transportation situation, which is why it is in such a central location,” she said.
They also didn’t want to interfere with other Veterans Day events, “which is why we are serving so early and ending before the parade starts.”
She only began working on the event on Oct. 22, but she has a background in catering and has experience preparing large meals and coordinating volunteers.
“While this is not specifically a fundraising event, any proceeds gained from it will go toward Home Fires Burning,” she said. That group helps military families and caregivers of veterans.
“There will be a large banner for people to sign to say thank you to our local veterans and I am hoping the banner can be displayed somewhere for many to see, although details on that are still pending,” she said.
“People are welcome to stop by just to sign the banner even if they don’t have time before work to sit and eat,” she said. “The banner will be in the lobby of the Civic.”
Ware, who grew up in The Dalles, isn’t aware of a community breakfast being done before for veterans locally.
She has been touched by the outpouring of help she has received to put on the event. “I’m just a wife of a disabled vet trying to say thanks – this is humbling.”