Thanksgiving Dinner Served to 225 at Portland Club Today


Joshua D. Poleck, With His Aunt, Maggie Waugh at the Portland Club This Afternoon.  Waugh is a Former Resident of the Hill Where Her Nephew Currently Lives.

Lots of Empty Serving Pans in the Kitchen Following the Community Thanksgiving Today.

Julie Harrison, community meals manager for Wayside with Volunteer Elizabeth Emerson.

Volunteers Gayle Duncan, Lisa Reardon and Lynn and Rick Gannon Serve the Buffet Today; Turkey, Mashed Potatos (Gone), Squash and  a Green Bean Cassarole.

Melisa Melendez (L) With a Friend, Tom Clukey Today.

Gary Winward at the Thanksgiving Dinner Today.  “I don’t do much cooking.”

“I don’t want to cook.  I’m burned out from cooking,” said Maggie Waugh laughing this afternoon as she and her nephew, Joshua D. Polek, were among the 225 served a Thanksgiving dinner with all of the trimmings for free.  “We connect during the holidays.  We hit the circuit together and this year we decided to come to the Portland Club.”

Gary Winward was another recipient of the three course Thanksgiving Dinner complete with wait staff.   “I’ve come every year for the past 6 or 7 years.  I come for the people I’ve gotten to know and to celebrate the holidays.  The food is great, said Gary who is a Munjoy Hill resident.   “I don’t do much cooking,” he said.  (See way below right photo of Gary.)

Melisa Melendez, who lives at Franklin Towers, said:  “I come for the community and my oven is broken until tomorrow.  So I couldn’t  cook a turkey,” Melisa said.  (See below left photo.)

These and the other 220 people at the annual “Community Thanksgiving” were served a complete dinner organized by Wayside Food Programs, Mary Zwolinski, Director of the Food Programs. Donations were received from Hannaford Brothers, Pineland and Whole Foods.

The Dinner could not have happened without the 75 Wayside volunteers who served the food, hosted the tables including waiting on guests and getting seconds and thirds and  performed various other crucial services to make it such a happy and festive occasion for so many in the area.  Keith Haynes, said he’s been volunteering for the past 10 years.  “It feels good to give back in this way.  I’m going to go home and make some lasagna and watch Dallas play,” he said.  His favorite team.

Julie Harrison, community meals manager for Wayside said:  “We have wonderful volunteers and we are grateful to them.” Another of those volunteers is Elizabeth Emerson who served as a host for the first time, but the third time she has volunteered at the Community Thanksgiving.  “I worked my way up to become a host this year.  Previously I  served the buffet and helped with the desert.  I”ll definitely do it again next year.”

By the looks of the empty pans piled up in the kitchen, not a morsel or a crumb was left – always a good sign!

Please see previous post here in for more background information on the Community Thanksgiving.