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SuperFeast   SuperFeast Houston  Giant Thanksgiving SuperFeast  Dallas SuperFeast Thanksgiving SuperFeast 

History of the SuperFeast

"...where everyone is welcome -regardless

of their ability to pay!" -J David Moeller, Founder


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Click below to see:

Pictures of the 1986 SuperFeast by Holly S. Dick

 

Thanksgiving SuperFeast Welcomes you to our story!

 

We apologize for the inconvenience while our materials are being gathered.

The Giant Thanksgiving SuperFeast began in Dallas, Texas in 1970. It was born as an idea for a community function by Claxon Magazine Publisher/Editor J David Moeller and business partner George R. Toomer, co-publisher and art director; and staff writers Ken Burns and Art "Smedley" Harding.

The Dallas Times Herald, since gone out of publication, first announced that "Good" Dave Moeller (as they dubbed him) "needs bread!" and went on to explain he was seeking donations to provide a free Thanksgiving Dinner to anyone who needed a place to dine on the holiday, regardless of their ability to pay for the meal.

Moeller felt there were too many people eating alone on a day so devoted to family and that a community could come together and provide for them as well as those in need.

The idea was to provide a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with "all the trimmings...for free; donated, prepared and served by individuals to anyone who wished to attend, regardless of their ability to pay.

Neither corporate sponsorship nor large monetary donations were sought or solicited after the first year, although some minor expenses always arose and these were covered  by the very few donations that did come in, never over a hundred dollars. The concept was to foster a "Family" atmosphere...provided by the "family of mankind".

Corporations were asked to provide soft drinks, some of the cooking, bread, utensils, etc. and they did, graciously; other than that, the entire SuperFeast -turkeys, deserts, vegetables, fresh breads, microwave ovens, carvers, servers, runners, trash patrols- was donated  by individuals and families from within the community.

At The first SuperFeast in 1970 approximately 750 people were fed turkey sandwiches, Lay's Potato Chips/Fritos, and Dr Pepper. Although the goal of the traditional dinner wasn't achieved, the gathering was an unqualified success and set  the tone of the future SuperFeasts.

Toomer had organized a small army of volunteers to not only lovingly hand-make the sandwiches and individualy wrap the "Dinner"; but  he also arranged for the band Seompi to entertain on what was a warm sunny day in Lee Park in Dallas. Toomer -and his team-  is credited with the success of the first Thanksgiving SuperFeast.

His efforts and dedication to that first SuperFeast inspired us to do it again the following year.

(Please Note: George Toomer passed away July 12, 2009 at his home in Dallas. His contribution to the SuperFeast and his community is immeasurable. He was a kind and wonderful soul and will be sorely missed by his family and friends. R.I.P. Buffalo George Toomer

 

The second year we had a surprise.

One woman anonymously donated 50 frozen turkeys! Thirty Three were cooked in the bread ovens of Phil's Delicatessen and the rest were picked up, cooked and then brought out to the SuperFeast by individuals  using their own family recipes and magic touches. From then  on, Thanksgivinng SuperFeasts featured the tradional meal with all  the trimmings...for just a few thousands of our closest friends.

Another example of the miraculous kindnesses people demonstrated occured in Houston: one woman called offering to bake a pie, asking what flavor would be preferred. Moeller suggested she make her own favorite just like she'd make for her own holiday dinner.

On the morning of the SuperFeast she and her daughter came up to him and asked where he'd like her to put them. Moeller pointed out the desert tables whereupon she turned around behind her, waved her hand, and said, "Ok, here it is! Bring 'em in!"

 She and her family had stayed up all night baking all sorts of pies...and had gotten all  her neighbors to volunteer their ovens to do  it. She brought in well over 50 pies of every flavor you would expect at Thanksgiving.

Over the years thousands of people from all walks of life were fed hot, delicious Thanksgiving dinners.

When asked by volunteers what to do when people asked for more than one serving of something, Moeller always told his volunteers to give it to them, "Wouldn't your Grandmother give you extra if you wanted it? This is just like Thanksgiving at Grandma's house. Everybody eats!"

The SuperFeasts never ran out of food or turned anyone away unfed.  As a matter of fact, there was always some set aside to be distributed to the "severely poor" who could not make it to the event. There were never any troubles or incidents and the areas where the SuperFeasts were  held were always left clean and tidy.

J David Moeller helps organize the virtual

grocery store of food for the SuperFeast

 

SuperFeast's Original Chronology

 

In Austin, Moeller was the morning DJ for KOKE-AM/FM. The Monday of Thanksgiving week he decided, on the air at 6:00am to organize a SuperFeast on Thursday. He had no location, no food, no budget...but he did have a listening audience. His show ran from 6am to 10am and during those four hours, between music, news and commercial breaks he teased, cajoled, begged and pleaded enough donations of turkeys, pies, beverages, utensils and everything else needed for the meal.

       The acquisition of a place to hold the event didn't happen until the Day before T-Day! It was finally agreed to by the city Parks and Recreation Department -who'd been involved in the search since Monday- to hold the event at the picturesque Zilker Park open air Hillside Theater, near the banks of Town  Lake and the Colorado River, an easily accessable location.

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The Newspaper Article That Started It All:

(Just one week before Thanksgiving, 1970)

J David "Good Dave" Moeller Founder of the SuperFeasts

(Click for easier reading)

 **************

Good Dave Welcomes the Crowd to

The 1st Giant Thanksgiving SuperFeast

-Lee Park, Dallas 1970-

J David Moeller Greets the SuperFeast

The  Music was great after the meal!

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(Click The Images below for full view -You'll be able to read them all!)

An announcement for the second 

"Giant Thanksgiving SuperFeast"   -1971, Dallas

 

J David Moeller cooks his Turkey for the

Dallas SuperFeast 1982 "Here's One!"

 

"D" Magazine Honors The Giant
 
Thanksgiving SuperFeast of Dallas 1982
 
in its "Best & Worst" Awards Edition.

_____________________________

Dallas Morning News -Front Page

November 26, 1982:

 

_______________________

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Carol Collins-Baer was a dear friend and always brought the bread. Loaves and Loaves of bread to feed everyone.

She filled her car with hundreds of loaves and

brought them out every year.

R.I.P Carol -Thanks! 

Carol Collins-Baer (r)

Young People are always welcome to help out

at the SuperFeasts.

 

It, literally, only took eleven days to organize the SuperFeasts. With the generous cooperation of the press, an article announcing the upcoming event would appear two Sundays before Thanksgiving; eleven days. Moeller would begin fielding calls the same morning that were generated by the inclusion of his number in those articles. From around 8am to approximately 6 or 7pm he'd tell callers what was needed and accepting anything and everything they wished to donate from microwaves to eating utensils, paper plates to trash bags, homemade delicacies to canned vegitables, turkeys, and their time.

Some callers would offer a frozen turkey saying, "We're going to be out of town that day. Do you think you can get it cooked?"

Moeller would assure them it would be taken care of and explained he'd find someone who'd prepare the bird (usually a caller who wanted to "do something, but we wanted to know what you needed") and would then put them in touch with each other to work out the logistics. It was not uncommon for the volunteer chefs to add a turkey of their own.

Moeller kept a meticulous list of donors and their donations and would carefully check off every thing by Thanksgiving Eve. All the birds cooked? Check. All the deliveries staggered and checked? Check? Etc.

Thanksgiving Morning would find a small army of volunteers assembled to begin setting everything up and starting the SuperFeast.

Although he was the only person manning the phone, Moeller's volunteers numbered in the hundreds. Some would make arrangements for pick-up/deliveries of donations, others would co-ordinate the servers' arrivals, some would even transport plates of food to folks who could not make it to the event.

 

 ___________________

____________

 

 

         J David Moeller

          Founder/Organizer

 

George R. Toomer

Founder/Organizer

 

Moeller went on to organize a total of 8 SuperFeasts in Texas between 1970 and 1987. Three in Dallas (1970 -the First one, 71, 82), in Austin  (1977), and  the original 4 in Houston (1984, 85,86, 87).

Those SuperFeasts fed many thousands of people over the years. Regardless of their ability to pay. It was not a feast for only the homeless. It was simply a family dinner for those who needed it.

It is still an annual tradition in Houston.

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We're VERY interested in any PHOTOGRAPHS you may have and would like to share with us to document the togetherness and wonder of those magical Early

SuperFeasts. 

 

Secondary Location of this history...click here.