It took months of planning and hard work to make A United Thanksgiving a success on Thanksgiving Day, but it only took a couple of hours for hundreds of local folks to demolish about 30 big turkeys, more than 200 pounds of mashed potatoes, dozens of pies and plenty of fixings.
“Bless everyone for making this happen,” said a smiling grey-haired lady sitting with friends. “Many of us are older and live alone. We’re not able to make a big turkey dinner any more, but we still enjoy getting together on Thanksgiving Day. Today’s meal was delicious, and everyone here was so helpful.”
That was no surprise. This was the 38th edition of the free Thanksgiving feast for those in need, and many of the more than 30 volunteers had heart-warming stories from years past.
Area Director Stacy Maple of United Way in Ottawa County (UWOC) was at the helm this year, aided by the Port Clinton Lions, a long-time sponsor, and Chefsbest Catering in Port Clinton, which expertly cooked the donated turkeys.
Reverend Annette Dimond and Trinity United Methodist Church parishioners were there to help. Ready to hit the road to deliver turkey dinners to the homebound were Kenn Bower Jr. of Lighthouse Sober Living and his crew.
“The logistics can be so overwhelming,” said Maple, a chef who helped make the pay-if-forward Bistro 163 restaurant in Port Clinton a roaring success before recently joining United Way. “The businesses and residents of Ottawa County are so giving. They not only donate their time and money to help make the Thanksgiving Dinner a success, but volunteer to help cook, serve and clean up afterward.”