Donna Ginter's Daughters Carry on Thanksgiving Tradition

by Katie Wiedemann, Reporter


By Katie Wiedemann

DUBUQUE, Iowa - Donna Ginter's Thanksgiving dinner has been a Dubuque tradition for more than 50 years. Each year, the Ginter family provides a free Thanksgiving dinner to hundreds of people who have no where else to go for the holiday. Ginter led the family tradition until she died, unexpectedly, earlier this year. Now her daughters are working to carrying on their mother's legacy.

There comes a time in many women's lives when she realizes she has turned into her mother.

"When I'm talking on the phone, I sound just like her. I repeat the same things she's been saying for years and years," Genny Ginter said.

At the Ginter's family restaurant, the West Dubuque Tap, Donna Ginter's daughters are ready to become their mother by carrying on her traditional Thanksgiving meal.

"Absolutely she's looking down. I can hear her saying 'Don't do this, don't do that,'" Kathy Ginter said. "In fact I have notes from her from last year that we just found saying 'Don't have green beans. Don't do this and don't do that.'"

Before her death, the daughters promised Donna Ginter they'd continue the free dinner tradition.

"She's always been the driving force. But family is always here to help, " said Genny Ginter.

While the hundreds of people who'll attend this year's dinner will miss Ginter's presence, the sisters will be missing their mom.

"This will be our first year, without our mother at Thanksgiving," Kathy Ginter said.

But having their mother's legacy live on in Dubuque is something these daughters will be thankful for this year.

Donna Ginter's family will hold the free Thanksgiving Dinner from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day at the Knights of Columbus Hall in downtown Dubuque.

Home deliveries are also available by calling 563-583-8535

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