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Eighth Annual Operation Burnt Turkey Thanksgiving Dinner
Written by Larry Roeder, Editor
2023-11-29

            How many years does it take for an event to become a tradition?

            The volunteers of the Red Hill Fire Company continue to raise the level of their "Operation Burnt Turkey" Thanksgiving Day service to the community, and those who make it a reality consider it a tradition.

People eating Thanksgiving dinner at Red Hill Fire Company.  This was

the eighth year for Operation Burnt Turkey.

            For the eighth year, the volunteers have served up a traditional Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings.  After serving about 150 people last year, the group served more than 200 people this year – those who pre-registered and those who walked in.  Nobody was turned away.

Early morning volunteers pictured above left to right, front,

Turkey- Samantha Chrisman, and daughter Olivia; second row,

Nancee Kane, Jen Hartzel, Denise Chrisman,Scott Worthington

and Maryann Longo; back row, Doug Buck, George Kolodziej,

Bill Bennett, Pete Stoeckel, Brad Buck, and David McCrork.

            Many of the volunteers plan their holiday around their commitment to give those in need of companionship, friendship, or a nutritious meal a place to go and someone to celebrate with.  Some even bring family members to help out.

             According to fire company president Maryanne Longo it was a challenging for the volunteers to roast 18 turkeys over a period of three days, but "they got the job done."  All of them roasted just right – there were no "burnt turkeys."

            If final preparations and serving the meals don't provide enough of a challenge for the workers, the overall time to get ready in the days leading up just adds to it.

            Maryanne shared, "Things went really well, it was very hectic leading up to the day, but all-in-all, the day went very well.  Eighteen turkeys was a little daunting, but we got the job done."

            On Thanksgiving morning, before the first of the dinner attendees arrived, the volunteers slipped into their "Operation Burnt Turkey" 8th-year anniversary t-shirts, showing off their pride in the Red Hill Fire Company and the public service event they created and are a part of.

Pete Stoeckel carves the last of the 18 turkeys 

roasted for the Burnt Turkey dinner.

Jennifer Hartzel, one of more than 25 volunteers, makes gravy for the meal.

            A t-shirt seems like a small token for the more than 25 well-deserved volunteers to display their pride but you can sum up their intentions in the words they used to advertise the event.  "If you find yourself alone for the holiday, or times are tight, please come out and have a meal with us! Meet our volunteers, make new friends!"

            Red Hill Fire Company pride?  You bet!

            The good folks who volunteer to make this event a success are always

Volunteers of the Red Hill Fire Company serve 

Thnnksgiving Dinner to the community on 

Thanksgiving Day.

looking for ways to improve the experience for those in need.  In addition to planning to provide more folks with a holiday meal next year, they are thinking of asking folks picking up their meals to stop in 15 minutes before those being seated in order to keep things flowing.

            When asked how she and the volunteers feel now that year number eight is over and the event was another success, Longo replied, "Now that it's over, we look forward to year number nine!  We are very grateful for those who helped sponsor this event in our community.  Our community supports us through our fund drives and fund-raisers throughout the year.  This is the least we can do to show our appreciation and take care of those who support us."

            A heartfelt give back from volunteers who give throughout the year.


 

 

 

 

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