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VACAVILLE COMMUNITY CELEBRATES EARLY THANKSGIVING

The wonderful aroma of a traditional Thanksgiving meal beckoned residents into the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club headquarters Friday while conversation and camaraderie lured them further onto the patio.
The goal — the club’s annual community Thanksgiving meal where everyone is family.
As giggles and fun erupted outside, where pumpkins sprouted miniature scarecrows, paper turkeys and autumn flora, there was a flurry of activity inside, where staff and volunteers readied the food.
For at least eight or nine years in a row, Charlie and Tracylee Clark went to work carving turkeys. There were six shredded by 3:45 p.m., with the seventh, hot out of the oven, arriving soon after.

The birds were moist and flavorful, Charlie Clark said, showing the love staff members and volunteers had put in to cooking them.
“It’s just falling off the bone delicious,” Tracylee emphasized.
Earlier, she had magically turned 40 pounds of spuds into amazing trays of mashed potatoes, explaining that she makes them every year.
“This is why we do it, for them,” said Charlie of the community, and especially the kids. “You see their big smiles,” he said.
Tracylee agreed.
“It’s just serving good people who need love,” she said. Outside, club kids gave speeches and shared for what they are thankful.“Turkey,” shouted one youth, and was welcomed with laughter.
“How many of you are thankful for your parents?” queried Anna Eaton, executive director.
All hands went up.
For his part, Boys & Girls Club Youth of the year winner Sergio Maciel said he was most thankful for the club, which showed him his true potential.
Through serving with the club and all he’s learned along the way, he shared, he found his niche.
“It opens a lot of doors for you,” he said, of community service. “You have this awakening. You learn how much potential you have both as a person and as a leader.” He encouraged everyone to open up and soak in their experiences so they, too, can find their inherent potential.
Following a prayer, guests trooped back inside the club for their meal — turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, carrots, green beans, corn, cranberry sauce, rolls and a wealth of desserts.
There’s always a lot of food, Charlie advised, which is a good thing because leftovers go home with the participants.
Along with love and good memories, he continued, adding to the blessings of Thanksgiving.

Kimberly K. Fu — The Reporter Families gather at the annual community Thanksgiving meal hosted by the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club.



By Kimberly K. Fu, kfu@thereporter.com@ReporterKimFu on Twitter