FRIENDS, FAMILY COME TOGETHER FOR ANNUAL COMMUNITY THANKSGIVING MEAL
The enticing aroma of roast turkey and all the fixings, an abundance of laughter and conversation and the very clear presence of fun Monday night signaled the annual community Thanksgiving prepared, served and hosted by the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club.
“I think it’s a wonderful thing in this community,” said longtime volunteer Susan Schwartz. “It brings people here … We can tell then that we’re here for you. We want you to know we’re here for you.”
The dozens that attended the amazing meal were obviously thankful, sharing smiles and hugs with the cadre of volunteers — including Club kids and alumni — who stepped up to help.
Gary Aylworth and his wife, Rosanne, were wrangled by a friend, Charlie Clark, to help. Clark and his wife, Tracylee, are veteran event helpers.
Clark, though sick, showed up to help but asked Aylworth in as backup. Together, they carved bunches of roast turkeys and even one that had been smoked, as well as what appeared to be a spiral ham.
“We just enjoy helping the community, especially the kids,” explained Rosanne.
Her husband agreed.
“This is our home, too,” he said, of Vacaville. “Anything we can do to help.”
Plus, the couple said there’s something special they like to share when they can.
“We need some joy and thoughtfulness,” she said, of the world.
“We need a lot of joy and thoughtfulness,” Gary emphasized.
Because of their help, and that of many, many others, attendees enjoyed a full Thanksgiving spread. That means turkey and ham, stuffing, corn and green beans, rolls, gravy, fruit salad and more. So for those who wanted it, second and even third helpings were possible.
“We do have great volunteers, said Anna Eaton, the Club’s executive director.
“Every year, we have more and more people coming. This is one of the events (the community) looks forward to every year to kick off the holidays.”
Prior to the feasting, attendees — including local police — held hands for a prayer and to give thanks.
Officials said they are blessed to be able to care for the community’s children and will continue to do so through the holidays and beyond.
By Kimberly K. Fu, firstname.lastname@example.org, @ReporterKimFu on Twitter