DURYEA — Mary Anne Shaver just wanted to try the food and see old friends. Her husband, Ray, “was hungry.”
The Shavers, of Avoca, were among 200 people served dinner at the Second Annual Free Thanksgiving Dinner Nov. 21 at the Germania Hose Company Hall on Foote Avenue.
Ray said he is a supporter of civic organizations, even volunteering to help with meals before he left.
The dinner was open to all Duryea residents as well as surrounding communities. The effort was a collaboration of the Duryea Police Department, the mayor’s office and the Duryea Crime Watch.
The dinner consisted of traditional food items such as turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, macaroni and cheese as well as pumpkin pie.
“We talked about doing this for years and last year we decided to just do it, so we threw it together and it wasn’t as difficult as we thought it would be,” Duryea Police Chief Nick Lohman said. “It was pretty successful (last year). It’s a way to give back to our community in helping us get programs off the ground, so we thought we’d do it again.”
Duryea Mayor Keith Moss was on hand to help with serving area residents. “This is a great effort from the community,” Moss said.
Donations from area businesses are the key to the event’s success. “Green beans, macaroni, bacon and cheese wer donated by Au Rants, Town Tavern donated the mashed potatoes, the pies were donated by Bimbo’s Bakery and the biggest help was Family Pharmacy donating the turkeys and Gerrity’s Supermarket preparing the turkeys,” said Moss.
Cadets from the Lackawanna College Police Academy fulfilled volunteer hours by serving food and beverages to the residents.
“We (cadets) do tons of community service from parades for traffic control to fallen officer events and we’re here today to do anything we can to help out,” Cadet Holly Hutchinson said.
According to Lohman, with the success of the Thanksgiving dinner, the event will continue for many years.
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