Turkey and all the fixings are served during the Community Volunteer Program’s Free Thanksgiving Dinner on Thanksgiving Day at Veterans Memorial Hall American Legion Post #28. Mark Wilson Photos
Johnny Gonzales and his wife Mary greeted all comers to the annual Thanksgiving celebration at Veterans Memorial Hall. The doors opened at 10:30 a.m., turning the dinner into something of a brunch.
Mary spoke at length about the power of God.
More than 75 volunteers worked for more than four days cooking the 75 turkeys. One volunteer was so devoted that she was prepared to serve despite an injured foot.
Johnny personally escorted the disabled to the head of the line so they would not have to wait too long for services.
Tables and trays were laden with turkey and all the fixings, while pies — everything from pecan to pumpkins — covered two more tables, and the food was still coming in at 11 p.m.
The free meal was open to all, and according to Mary, the event has been an established tradition for more than 30 years. Special provision had been made to deliver plates to the elderly and to shut-ins who could not attend.
The members of the Boy Scouts and the Salvation Army joined in the prayers. The Job Corps Color Guard presented the colors for the Pledge of Allegiance.
Adam, Joe and Gene Soliz provided musical accompaniment to the meal. He said he was going to sign CDs tomorrow around 2 p.m. at Inspirations Unlimited.