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Westmoreland, Fayette groups open doors to share Thanksgiving meals

Tribune-Review
| Saturday, November 22, 2014 8:25 p.m.

Thanksgiving is traditionally a time of giving thanks and enjoying a great meal, and several area organizations are once again making sure that everyone who wishes can have a home-cooked turkey dinner.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, volunteers from the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Mt. Pleasant and community members will once again be serving a turkey dinner with all the trimmings in the social hall in the lower level of the church.

“This is our 15th year now for hosting the Thanksgiving dinner,” church office secretary Sandy Santmyer said of the dinner that is prepared in-house for the dozens who attend. “It’s really become quite a social event.”

The dinner began as a way to assure that everyone had the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful meal regardless of income or circumstance.

“It’s not income-based in any way,” Santmyer said. “It’s open to everyone who would like to share a meal.”

The meal is made possible every year by donations gathered from the community, local groups and organizations.

The meal that is prepared is an eat-in only feast but rides to the event can be arranged if it is within the borough’s limits.

Santmyer said that they are fortunate to have many volunteers every year who come to cook, serve and clean up after the meal.

“This meal is open to anybody who would like to come,” Santmyer said. “I hear such nice feedback every year. People really seem to enjoy it, and I know that there are people who come year after year.”

Volunteers are welcome at the event, and the meal is free.

The Good Shepherd Lutheran Church is located at 822 W. Main St. in Mt. Pleasant. For information, call 724-547-5941.

Looking to assure that those who can not make it out or who are homebound can still enjoy a wonderful meal, volunteers from the 1st Battalion 110th Infantry based at the Mt. Pleasant Armory will once again be rolling up their sleeves to cook a dinner that will then be delivered to those in the community who request the meals.

“We deliver to Mt. Pleasant, Scottdale, Connellsville and Everson areas,” event coordinator Sgt. Josh Ledy said.

The volunteers at the center began to offer the meals to the area over 20 years ago, and Ledy said that it is now a tradition that is anticipated by many.

“We started out small and its got bigger and bigger,” Ledy said. “We are going to be making around 300 meals this year, give or take.”

Ledy said that the volunteers from the center are joined by other local veterans and volunteers who begin to prepare the dozens of meals the afternoon before.

“We start around 2 or 3 in the afternoon,” Ledy said of the meals that are prepared in-house. “If someone wants to help they are more than welcome to join us.”

The meals will then be delivered from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and are made possible by donations from the community and local businesses.

“We started this as a way to give back to the community and to the folks in the area who have always been so supportive of us,” Ledy said.

The meal is free, and Ledy said that they will also serve dinner on site to those who may wish to eat at the center.

The Mt. Pleasant Armory is at 2239 School St.

For information or to arrange a delivery, call 724-542-0306

Reaching out to hundreds in the Connellsville area and surrounding towns, the churches of Connellsville will be serving a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

The meal will be prepared and served at the Connellsville Senior Center.

“We will be having close to 15 churches participating this year in the Thanksgiving dinner,” City Church of Connellsville Pastor Brian Higbee said of the event that is marking 15 years. “We are going to be cooking and preparing 750 meals this year.”

The meal is free and open to all, and Higbee said that the meal is a wonderful opportunity to join them all to give thanks.

“We have so much to be thankful for here in the city and we give thanks for what God has done,” Higbee said. “There are people who may be alone and sitting at home and thinking ‘what do I have to be thankful for.’We want them to join us-we will be their family and they will be able to come and to share a wonderful meal with us.”

Higbee said the group also will deliver meals to those who may not be able to make the festive feast.

“We take meals to anyone who wants one,” Higbee said. “It’s about sharing and giving thanks, and we don’t want to see anyone go without.”

Higbee also said that volunteers are welcome and anyone who may wish to donate to the event can call the church at 724-628-0700 to see what is needed for the dinner.

The Connellsville Senior Center is at 100 E. Fayette St.

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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