Hy-Vee donation helps Mr. Thanksgiving prepare for 2018

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BETTENDORF - Hy-Vee customers are helping Bob "Mr. Thanksgiving" Vogelbaugh with a donation topping $16,000.

Store directors made the presentation on Friday, December 15.

The donation will help Vogelbaugh buy supplies for his 48th annual Thanksgiving Dinner at SouthPark Mall in Moline in 2018.

Hy-Vee stores also cook much of the food served at the community dinner.

"People have no idea of all the mechanics they go through to make this dinner such a success," Vogelbaugh said.  "It's not Bob Vogelbaugh.  It's Hy-Vee, the mall, anybody that's involved, the volunteers, and of course, the diners themselves."

More than 2,000 diners enjoyed the food and fellowship in 2017.

Hy-Vee customers make $1, $5 or $10 donations to help pay for the event.

"It's easy to want to help a guy like Bob," said Sharm Wenndt, the Bettendorf Hy-Vee store director.  "We look forward to it every year, and we'll look forward to doing it in the years to come."

To date, Hy-Vee stores have raised more than $103,000 for the dinner.

According to Mr. Thanksgiving, that partnership makes a huge difference.

"It's like making a pie or a cake," Vogelbaugh concluded.  "If you don't have all the ingredients, it's not going to come out. So with all that, it has come out, and it's fantastic."