By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Residents Gather For Thanksgiving
Except for running short on green beans and having no leftover mashed potatoes, the annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner served up at the Escalon Community Center definitely filled a need.

"I'd be surprised if we served less than 400," said coordinator Bev Arnold, noting the eat-in, take-out and home-delivered meals combined for the large total. "We ran out of green beans, I had another case but we didn't have time to make them up. We know next year to make up another tray of green beans and we had eight trays of mashed potatoes, next year we'll need 10 or 11."

The annual dinner has grown over the years and is about evenly split between those that come in to dine at the Community Center and those that have the meal at home.

Volunteers take home-delivered meals to the elderly and shut-ins that can't make it to the center, while some residents also order 'take out' meals and stop at the Escalon Avenue Community Center themselves to pick up the made-to-order holiday meals.

"We put up some long tables this year and we had one family that came in with probably about a dozen people, they just kept coming through the door," Arnold noted, chuckling. "I love to see the families that come."

The last of the diners arrived about 1:45 p.m. and Arnold said though they were running low at that point, there was enough to make a full Thanksgiving meal for the final arrivals.

"A lot of people called and came in to pick theirs up, plus we deliver to Golden Acres (care home) every year," Arnold added.

Volunteers also helped keep things running smoothly, from those to take the orders and deliver the plates to diners to the kitchen crew serving up the food. Dishwashers and greeters, pie slicers to beverage pourers, it all worked like a well-oiled machine.

"The volunteer numbers were great," Arnold said of having just enough to get the job done. "Everything went smoothly."

After several years of overseeing the event, Arnold is ready to hand it off for Thanksgiving 2012.

"I promised my husband that this was it, we have two grandbabies now and I told him this would be my last year," Arnold said, adding that she has a potential successor lined up.

Whoever agrees to take it over, she said, will have plenty of help.

"I will turn everything over to them, everything is written out, who to contact and when," Arnold explained.