Mr. Thanksgiving looking to the future of community dinner

MOLINE, Illinois -- He's threatened to retire several times before, but this time Bob Vogelbaugh - aka Mr. Thanksgiving - says he means it.

And his hand-picked successor will shock you.

"It's amazing, he's really a young adult in a child's body," Vogelbaugh said of Seton Catholic School 4th grader Isaac Rumler, who has volunteered to take the reins of the annual massive community Thanksgiving dinner at SouthPark Mall. "I don't know of any other nine-year-olds that would take this on."

Vogelbaugh, who started the dinner from the back of his neighborhood grocery store in 1970, says he will stick around to help with the transition, however. Rumler first volunteered as a kindergartner, when he was five, and quickly fell in love with the big community event, that Vogelbaugh always stresses is not a "charity dinner."

If you go

 What: Bob Vogelbaugh’s  47th Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner

Where: SouthPark Mall, Moline

When: 4-6 p.m. Thanksgiving day, Nov. 23.

Donations:  Can be sent c/o Mr. Thanksgiving, 3704 26th St., Moline, IL 61265

Transportation: MetroLink is once again offering free rides. Call 309-788-3360 to make a reservation.