Hy-Vee stores in the Quad Cities presented Bob Vogelbaugh, locally known as “Mr. Thanksgiving,” with a check for more than $16,000 on December 15 to help fund the annual community Thanksgiving dinner he has hosted for the past 47 years. This is the seventh year the Hy-Vee stores have contributed to the event, and this donation will assist Vogelbaugh in planning for the 2018 dinner.
The donation was generated by a coordinated fundraiser through the sale of turkey cards in November at all Quad Cities area Hy-Vee stores. The cards were available in $1, $5 and $10 amounts.
“Bob is truly one of the most humble and gracious guys you will ever meet, and Hy-Vee is proud to be able to help him,” said Sharm Wenndt, store director at the Bettendorf Hy-Vee. “He puts his heart and soul into this dinner and it has grown over the years, which means his expenses have grown, too.”
Hy-Vee’s fundraising efforts for the dinner began in 2011 when Wenndt printed Vogelbaugh’s face on paper turkeys and gave customers the opportunity to purchase the cards at his store. The fundraiser was so well received that the next year all Quad Cities stores sold them. To date, more than $103,000 has been raised by Hy-Vee.
In addition to raising money, Hy-Vee stores help Mr. Thanksgiving with the cooking. With the help of hundreds of community volunteers, more than 2,000 people were served on Thanksgiving Day.