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Volunteers serve hungry service members and their families at the No Dough Dinner at the USO of North Carolina, Jacksonville Center, Feb. 24.

Photo by Cpl. Donovan Lee

USO sponsors No Dough Dinner for active-duty serve members

24 Feb 2014 | Cpl. Donovan Lee

The USO North Carolina, Jacksonville Center, hosts a No Dough Dinner on the last Monday of every month for active-duty service members E-6 and below.

The dinner is hosted for service members who are struggling financially and provides a fun atmosphere for them to meet others.

“We try and lift the spirits of our military members and their families,” said Marisa Reeder, the assistant director of the USO Jacksonville Center. “If they are going through money troubles, they can sign up for this event to help cut down on the cost of at least one meal before pay day.”

Between 150 to 190 service members and their families are served at the monthly dinner.  This month’s event took place Feb. 24 and was Mardi Gras-themed.

“I like to make the dinners fun by giving them a theme with decorations,” said Reeder.

Community volunteers support the USO by helping with the cooking and setting up decorations. Volunteers also go to local churches and organizations to gather donated desserts.

“I first came to this USO in 1964, and since the year 2000, I’ve been the director and leader of the council,” said Joseph Houle, retired Sergeant Major and president of the Jacksonville Council at the USO. “Tonight I was the head cook and helped other volunteers cook the food.”

The No Dough Dinners began in January and will continue until October.  Every month, the USO will host the dinner with a new theme to keep it fun and entertaining.

“We want to show our support to the military community,” said Reeder. “We have volunteers and sponsors who support us, so we try and turn around and show service members that we are thankful for their service and the community supports them.”

It is recommended for patrons to register prior to the event although it is not required. For more information, or to register for the No Dough Dinner, visit


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