Giving thanks ...along with turkey, mashed potatoes and all the fixings PDF Print E-mail
Written by ALEX ASPACHER Sentinel Staff Writer   
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 11:02
Attendees of an annual Thanksgiving Dinner are seen November 26, 2013 at the Bowling Green Community Center. (Photos: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
A lingering aroma of turkey and trimmings may haunt the Bowling Green Community Center this week.
One of the community center's gyms was host to a community Thanksgiving dinner on Tuesday. Put on by two area churches, the event offered both food and fellowship to anyone wishing to ring in the season a bit early.
They turned out in droves, ultimately gobbling up all that was offered and more as Christmas music played overhead.
Christ's Church Pastor Doug McKinney said the meal reached more than 400 last year, and early indications suggest a similarly smashing success this year.
McKinney estimated that more than 550 were served, and organizers had to make a grocery run for green beans, desserts and even rotisserie chickens to substitute for turkey given the swarms of hungry guests.
"Yesterday, we served more people than we've ever served," he said this morning.
Lynn Eck, a member of Christ's Church, has coordinated cooks, servers and other volunteers for the meal for five years, put on through a partnership with Grace Brethren Church.
As her helpers whipped potatoes, cut cakes and doled out gravy and green beans, Eck, who works as a caterer, was overseeing the operation as a whole.
"Basically all I have to do is organize, and everybody else does the work," she said. "We couldn't do this without all the people who help."
Planning starts in October, Eck said. "Our whole theme is giving back to Bowling Green."
Twenty turkeys, 30 massive cans of green beans, three cases of gravy and countless boxes of potatoes and stuffing were churned out by a flurry of friendly volunteers, sometimes taking a break to hug someone with a familiar face.
Volunteers serve up a meal to attendees during an annual Thanksgiving Dinner November 26, 2013 at the Bowling Green Community Center.
McKinney said he keeps coming back to help each year because of the friendly environment the meal offers.
"I have seen many (people) over and over again, every year," he said. "It's kind of like family time. We get to see each other again, to spend time together... I am thankful that our nation takes time, sets a day aside, to say thank you.
"We need to be people with an attitude of gratitude."
Patrons echoed McKinney's sentiment, saying it's not just about free food, but fellowship.
Michael Budd first attended when the event was held in the city park 18 years ago. He now comes with his wife, Judy, and they said they've enjoyed making friends over the years.
Eva Drones showed up to give her three children - Alize, 6, David, 5, and Nahla, 2 - an early taste of the holiday season.
"We come every year, our whole family comes," Drones said. "We just like to be around a lot of people."
Larry and Shar Stanton will celebrate Thanksgiving at their son's home in Perrysburg tomorrow, but they came to the community dinner for the fourth year in a row.
"We just like to come out and sit with people and enjoy the food," Larry Stanton said. "We just go out to have a good lunch and sit down and visit a little bit."
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 November 2013 11:41

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