St. Paul's in Port Townsend serves pre-Thanksgiving dinner
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Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News
Ray Grier, left, and Lori Wilcox enjoy the pre-Thanksgiving meal Wednesday at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Port Townsend.

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson County's Thanksgiving celebration got an early start Wednesday with a free dinner at St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

The dinner, which took the place of the church's regular soup service, started with a rush when 45 people showed up in the first half-hour.

The Rev. Karen Pierce, the church's deacon, said that, overall, about 115 people dined at the church, slightly exceeding the 100 expected.

The dinner, which included six large turkeys and four small ones, was served and prepared by 12 volunteers.

Pierce said leftovers will be turned into soup for next Wednesday's meal.

In past years, the dinner was supervised by volunteer Linda McKenzie, but she was unable to participate this year due to a bad cold.

Pierce said McKenzie was still involved in the dinner preparations, texting instructions and advice from her bedside.

Pierce said attendees ranged from the homeless and the needy to people in the neighborhood.

“I'm grateful to this community and how it supports us,” Pierce said.

“There is no division here,” she said.

“Everyone is welcome.”

As the meal, which began at
11:30 a.m., wound down before 2 p.m., Pierce found the time to sit down and eat her own dinner.

“It's been busy the whole time,” she said.

“I'm exhausted and delighted.”

Today, free public Thanksgiving feasts are scheduled in Chimacum and Brinnon in East Jefferson County.

On the West End, one meal will be in Forks.

The Chimacum meal will be from noon to 3 p.m. at the Tri-Area Community Center, 10 West Valley Road.

The meal, which drew about 300 people last year, is expected to have at least that many this year.

“We may even have more,” said volunteer Joyce Zodiaco.

“The economy has not improved,” she added.

Volunteers also will deliver meals to homes. Forty deliveries were scheduled by Wednesday.

“We are expecting more,” Zodiaco said.

About 60 volunteers will have worked on the meal, Zodiaco said.

“The planning begins at least a month before the meal,” she said, adding that about nine volunteers make the preparations before others assist with serving and waiting on tables.

On Wednesday, 12 teenagers from the Chimacum High School Interactive Club helped set up the center for the big feed.

“I think it's marvelous that the teenagers want to help,” Zodiaco said.

The menu includes turkey, ham, salad, rolls, carrots, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, coffee, tea and pumpkin pie.

The meal is sponsored by the St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church and Olympic Community Action Programs.

To have meal delivered to your home, phone Zodiaco on her cellphone at 360-301-6448.

Turkey, dressing, gravy and mashed potatoes will be provided at the community feast at 3 p.m. at the Brinnon Community Center, 306144 U.S. Highway 101.

Participants are asked to bring side dishes such as salads, desserts and beverages.

A sign-up sheet to prevent duplicate side dishes is available at the center.

The meal is free and open to the public, and nobody will be turned away.

For more information, phone 360-796-4350.

A free Thanksgiving dinner will be held at the Forks Community Center, 91 Maple St., from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The meal is open to the public.

Everyone is welcome.

The meal is sponsored by the churches of Forks.



Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at charlie.bermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 21. 2012 7:10PM
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