Three events offer free holiday meals Thursday
A place is being prepared for you Thursday at one of Yuma's community Thanksgiving dinners.
In addition to the Three Days of Thanksgiving hosted by Crossroads Mission Tuesday through Thursday, two other major events will also offer free Thanksgiving dinners Thursday.
The North End Thanksgiving Feast will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Neighborhood Center, 3rd Street and 13th Avenue.
American Legion Post #19 will also a host its annual Thanksgiving dinner Thursday, offering the free meal for veterans and active-duty military. The event will run from noon to 3 p.m.
The North End Thanksgiving Feast has served as many as 600 people in years past. The event, which began nine years ago, is cosponsored by the City of Yuma Neighborhood Services and numerous businesses, churches and civic organizations.
“This event was initiated after folks who included representatives from the local government, faith-based groups and non-profits decided to bring their own or each individual efforts at Thanksgiving time to one big event,” said Dave Nash, city spokesman.
This year's meal will boast servings of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, stuffing, rolls and pie.
In addition to the meal, the North End Thanksgiving Feast will also offer kids activities such as face painting and crafts.
All children ages 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
People interested in volunteering may call Lydia Blackthunder at 783-9347 or Neighborhood Services at 373-5187.
American Legion Post #19 began serving its Thanksgiving dinner six years ago.
“Nobody should spend Thanksgiving alone, so we offer camaraderie in a family-style setting among fellow veterans,” said Rev. Woodie Woodward, senior vice commander for Post #19.
The post served 350 people last year. Organizers are expecting 500 people this year, including a unit of 150 Marines from North Carolina. “We welcome them all with open arms,” Woodward said.
Also on the invitation list are Col. Reed Young from Yuma Proving Ground and Col. Robert Kuckuk from Marine Corps Air Station-Yuma.
American Legion Post #19 is located at 2575 S. Virginia Drive. For more information about the event call 344-3441.
“Heartfelt thanks goes out to all the volunteers who make this event possible, and all the organizations and individuals who donated from their hearts,” Woodward said. “Happy Thanksgiving, God bless you all, and God bless America, home of the free because of the brave.”
Darin Fenger can be reached email@example.com or 539-6860.