Early turkey dinner helps feed seniors at Thanksgiving

If you didn’t come and enjoy a complete dinner while being serenaded with live music at this benefit, see what you missed ‚Äì and how you can help this worthy cause ‚Ķ

Volunteers serving up the meals at the 7th Annual Benefit Turkey Dinner for Loaves & Fishes Center are Seth Young, Angie Boyd Stephen Pletka, and Randi Holberg.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
About to take our friends to dinner on October 8, we remembered it was time for the Benefit Turkey Dinner for Loaves & Fishes Center.

We headed over the East Portland Community Center and tucked into a traditional turkey dinner, with all the trimmings.

“You can have ‘seconds’ if you want,” our volunteer server, Jennifer Lewis, told us. We were hungry, and took them up on their generous offer. Our meal was made complete with servings of pumpkin pie for dessert.

We were joined at dinner by Bruce and Margery Davis who moved here in 1952. They told us fascinating stories about outer East Portland, long before it was developed, then annexed into Portland. That’s our wonderful, cheerful volunteer server, Jennifer Lewis.

After dinner, we spoke with the lady who sold us our dinner tickets.

“We’re having this turkey dinner as a fundraiser,” explained Tamara Rochester, Center Manager CherryBlossom Loves & Fishes, Meals-on-Wheels.

“All proceeds from this community event will go to help feed our seniors. Much of the food was donated, the balance of the food and supplies were provided, at cost, by their vendors.”

She said 25 volunteers cooked, served and cleaned up after serving 250 dinners. The effort raised about $1,500 for their organization.

“We love our volunteers,” Rochester said. “They are great. Many of our volunteers here today help us provide hot, nourishing meals to seniors in their home, and here, at the center.”

Serenading the diners with her keyboard styling on the piano is Kay Robbins. She told us, “I get pleasure for playing for those who enjoy my music. It makes it more festive. I can communicate the music I love with the people who come and enjoy the event at Loaves & Fishes.”

You can help
This center serves 225 seniors in their homes, and 120 more in the dining room, Rochester said. “We always are looking for drivers. But we can use kitchen help as well.”

To learn how you can help, contact the center directly at (503) 736-6325 or the citywide number, (503) 256-2381 or see their website www.loavesandfishesonline.org.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

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