DERBY – Hundreds enjoyed a thanksgiving feast during the 9th annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner at the Elks Lodge in Derby, an international event.
More than 500 meals were served both at the Derby facility and at private homes. More than 200 meals were served to those who could not attend the event.
Some Canadians enjoyed the meal as well.
Much of the food was grown locally or donated from local businesses and individuals. A farmer in Stanstead, Que., grew and donated 185 pounds of potatoes.
The Culinary Arts students from North Country High School prepared and donated 60 pies. Jocelyn and Cintas’s Bakery in Newport and Jay Peak Resort donated rolls. Coleslaw was prepared and donated by a local restaurant. Cabot Creamery donated butter, whipped cream and milk.
Vista Foods donated $2,000 worth of gift cards, said Ken Gordon with the Area Agency on Aging, an event sponsor along with the Elks and the First Universalist Parish of Derby Line.
Close to $5,000 in monetary donations came in for the event as well, Gordon said. Any funds not used will go into the emergency fuel fund for senior residents to help in the cold winter months.
Over 100 volunteers worked hard to make the day special, including local Boy Scouts. Junior high school students made decorative center pieces for the tables, and guests enjoyed music by the DeSena family, and the Bobbin Mill Players.
The community support was “an incredible outpouring,” Gorgon Said. He said he thought it was the largest event to date. And it was all done by dedicated volunteers and community members led by Frances Dewing. Dewing began preparing for the event Tuesday and worked more than 12 hours a day with others to make it all come together.