Meet The People Who Work On Thanksgiving

Anita Campbell
County Reporter
On Thanksgiving morning, Michele Bruns, secretary to the Benton County Sheriff, will not be sleeping in, nor will she be getting a turkey into the oven.  Instead Bruns will be on duty in the Sheriff’s office.
“I volunteered to work to give another employee the day off to be with family,” said Bruns.  “I plan to head to the city after my shift is over and I am taking my mother out to dinner so neither one of us will have to cook.”
Benton County Jail Administrator Greg Wenberg will also be working on Thanksgiving Day.  “Family members and co-workers will bring us food,” said Wenberg.  “I have been on this job for 14 years so I have probably worked Thanksgiving Day at least 12 times.”
Wenberg mentioned that the prisoners get a special meal on Thanksgiving as well.
At Warsaw Health and Rehabilitation Center, nurses, aids, cooks and the rest of the staff will be working to take care of the residents on Thanksgiving Day.
Nurse Kirstie Schultz will be at work at 6 am and will not get off until 2 PM.
“My family will get together at my mother-in-law’s house on Wednesday evening to celebrate Thanksgiving,” said Schultz.
“We have the opportunity to sign up for which holiday we want off so I usually chose Christmas since have young children,” Schultz said. 
Another nurse Amanda Cramer volunteered to work Thanksgiving and said she would be fixing Thanksgiving dinner for her family on Friday.
CNA Esther Cox said that since she has to work on Thanksgiving, she planned to prepare the meal ahead of time then put in the oven when she gets home Thanksgiving evening.
“While family members of our residents tend to come visit on holidays, some of our residents do not have any visitors so they would appreciate a visit from anyone who has time over the holidays,” said Schultz.
Beth Drake will be working as well at her establishment Osage Mini Mart.  
“I’ve worked every Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember so this one won’t be any different,” 
“Thanksgiving is the most traveled holiday so people will need gas,” Drake said. 
Osage Mini Mart will be open regular hours on Thanksgiving from 6 am until 11 pm.
“My mom will have dinner with us either on Saturday or Sunday,” Drake said.  “My children do the cooking I just supply the turkey.”
Drake commented Osage Mini Mart will be closed on Christmas Day.  “That is the only day we close,” Drake said.
Of course, the local Warsaw/Lincoln Ambulance crews will be working during the Thanksgiving holiday.  Paramedic crew chief Kerry Keys will be working Thanksgiving as well as the day after.
“We work on 48 hour shifts so we won’t be off until Saturday,” Keys said.  While the 6 person crew will be at the Ambulance Center during the holiday, they will not be without a Thanksgiving meal.
“Our administrator makes sure that we have the ingredients for a Thanksgiving meal but we fix the meal ourselves,” Keys said.
A twenty year veteran of emergency medicine, Keys said it wasn’t the first Thanksgiving he has had to work.  “I will get to celebrate on Saturday with my family,” Keys said.
“Luckily, we usually don’t have as many calls on Thanksgiving when families are all together.  It is usually the day before or the day after when people are traveling that we get more calls,” Keys said.
Anyone looking for a place to eat out on Thanksgiving, Common Ground located on Main Street in Warsaw and McDonald’s located in the North Town Center are both going to be open regular hours all day on Thanksgiving Day.