Herald Staff Writer
There is nothing like a homemade meal, made with love.
The Salvation Army hosted Thanksgiving dinner for all to celebrate the unity of being together Monday evening.
Food preparation began around 9 a.m. and took a majority of the day. Dozens of community members came to enjoy the homemade classic favorites, comprised of corn, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, green beans, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, stuffing and turkey. A majority of the goods were donated by community members.
Councilman at large and the head chef and general manager of the Green Diamond Grille and Pub, Thomas (Bebe) Heitic, has been heavily involved the culinary industry for 25 years. This is his second year participating in the event.
Having connections through the organization, staff asked if he could “lend his expertise and abilities” and cook for the occasion.
Last year, according to Heitic, the program had 50 volunteers, including Key Club, Judge Todd McKenney and even U.S. Army recruiters. Additionally, he says they fed around 250 people, with an orchestrated line of people passing food from one plate to the next.
Lyle Wytt, a community member, attended the event with his family and siblings. He noted that spending time with his loved ones, as well as eating delicious pumpkin pie and savory ham is his favorite part of the holiday.
After seeing children and adults of all ages volunteering at the event upon arriving, Wytt became inspired and immediately asked how to get involved as a server. He hopes to donate his services in a soup kitchen soon in the future.
Celeste Miller, a Norton key club volunteer, assisted in setting up the tables and chairs for the program, decorating, as well as refilling beverages and providing new place settings. She acknowledged how much she enjoyed seeing “how happy the event makes people,” and that there is definitely a sense of camaraderie in the room. She encourages everyone to give back to their local food bank.
None of this would be possible without Heitic, 1st Ward Councilman Justin Greer, volunteer Brad Garrett, and various members of the Jump on Board for Success program in Kenmore, including Maggie Jackson, Marilyn Bland and Sara Cerklefskie. They all worked tediously to ensure that residents had the most special day. These individuals demonstrated that a little kindness goes a long way.
Herald Photos/Hannah Predojev