Community Thanksgiving Dinner Kicks Off Holiday Early - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Community Thanksgiving Dinner Kicks Off Holiday Early

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LEWES, Del.- Members of Lewes Presbyterian Church opened their doors and their hearts a little early this holiday season. 

Nearly 600 pounds of turkey, more than 200 pies and countless other Thanksgiving plates were served to a group of about 1,500 people in order to celebrate Thanksgiving early.

It was meant to not only provide a free meal to those in need, but also it was supposed to bring the community together.

John Novosel prepared string beans flavored with a Monterrey spice in the kitchen. He was joined by a large group of other volunteers working hard to put together the monumental dinner.

"This is a labor of love by a lot of hands," he said. "A lot of people joined in."

Novosel was one of nearly 180 volunteers, all of whom were helping run the Community Thanksgiving Dinner for the 10th year in a row. Organizers were also giving away hundreds of jackets, something that can make all the difference in the cold, winter months.  

Cathy Heronemus was the main organizer of the event. She carried multiple bags of coats down to the basement area. There were hundreds hanging on clothes racks of various shapes, sizes, and colors, all of which could be claimed by those who needed it.

"It's an amazing event to be a part of," she said. It is just the warmth you feel from all the people, the smiles."

The doors opened at 3 p.m. Sunday, and was immediately packed with people of various ages and backgrounds.

Heronemus said the tables were set for eight people each, something which forces people and families to sit with other community members they don't know.  

"It's so wonderful to see little children next to the elderly at the same table," she said. "And enjoying what's Thanksgiving really is, which is a meal to be thankful for. And family and community."

There was a take-out section at the event as well, something that Heronemus said was a crucial part of the event. She said this allowed the effect to move outside the walls of the church and to all others that get a meal from the event.

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