Volunteers fill plates during a Thanksgiving lunch prepared by The Lord’s Diner and served at the nearby YMCA in Wichita. (Advance photo)

The Lord’s Diner not only served its 5 millionth guest on Thanksgiving Day, the cooks also whipped up a Thanksgiving lunch for over 1,200 the day before that was served at the Downtown YMCA, catty-corner from the Diner – and then cooked a meal for about 2,800 more of the Diner’s regular clients, all while wrangling the warmers and servers they took to the Y earlier in the day.
It’s likely Diner cooks Larry Hare Jr., Paul Cater, David Horton, and Brett Pennington, and the others involved in the cooking and logistics were more thankful than most when the last clean spoon was put away Thanksgiving evening.
The Diner’s chefs cooked and deboned 120 turkeys and prepared mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, and green beans for the hundreds who lined up outside of the Y’s gym. The food was donated to the Diner, in addition to pies and rolls.
Becky Tuttle, Community Development director for the Greater Wichita YMCA, said the We Care event was the 41st Thanksgiving meal served by the Y. It was the third cooked by the Diner.
“We really just want to be able to give everyone a nice, warm Thanksgiving meal, especially those who may need a little extra help during the holiday season,” she said. “And then anyone who comes can also come and get winter coats and warm winter items so they can be more comfortable this winter.”
The YMCA collected over 1,100 coats and over 1,000 other winter items, such as hats and gloves, during a drive on Tuesday, Nov. 20, to give to those after they ate their Thanksgiving meal.

The Lord’s Diner serves its 5 millionth patron

An act of kindness paid off for Ken Norton.
On his way into the Lord’s Diner Thursday, Nov. 22, he stopped to assist an acquaintance, which delayed him getting into line.
Had he not stopped, Norton would have been the 4,999,999th patron to eat at the diner. Instead, he became the face of the latest milestone for the diocesan ministry to the hungry.
Norton also had something extra to be thankful for on Thanksgiving Day, a basket of gifts from the Diner.