Churches, groups and businesses throughout the community opened their hearts and their doors last Thursday to provide free Thanksgiving dinners to the community. One of the longest-standing Thanksgiving community dinners in the area was held at Abingdon Episcopal Church, now in its 21st year. At top, Sarah Bryan Fask, David Fask, Joan Myles, Sylvia Fask and Alan Fask, from left, serve the meals. About 265 people were served there, according to Abingdon’s rector, the Rev. Sven L. vanBaars. He spoke positively about the spirit of cooperation that exists between the many groups that serve free community meals that day. The rector said that he is often on the phone with Courthouse Restaurant, which also has a free Thanksgiving dinner, seeing where volunteer help is most needed. At bottom right, one of the newest additions to the tradition was the group from For Him Because of Him Worldwide Outreach Ministries, which served 60-70 diners at Distinction Catering and Special Events at White Marsh. Betty Wyatt, Alfreda Ackes and Shirley Bristow, from left, are shown preparing to-go meals, which they made for the officers of the Gloucester and Middlesex jails, residents of Port Town Village in Urbanna and other elderly and shut-ins, according to Minister Irene Reed. Leftovers were given to the Laurel Shelter. At bottom left, six Mathews County churches held a dinner at Kingston Episcopal Parish House on Main Street. This table included, from left, diners Randy Miles and Mae Miles, volunteer Jay Black, and diners Ed Clayton and Michael Lair. Antioch Baptist, Francis de Sales Roman Catholic, Macedonia Baptist, Salem United Methodist and Westville Baptist joined members of Kingston to prepare and serve the banquet. Photos by Charlie Koenig
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