By Mary-Justine Lanyon
The decision was made on Monday, Nov. 25 to cancel the annual community Thanksgiving feast, which has been coordinated by the Crestline-Lake Gregory Rotary for the past several years.
That decision, said the club’s president, Gaston Maya, was a difficult one. “I didn’t feel comfortable having families come out in the projected weather,” he said.
The other piece to that feast is the preparation and delivery of meals to Mountain Meals on Wheels recipients and others who are unable to get out on Thanksgiving itself. Those deliveries usually take place on Thanksgiving morning.
But, with the forecasted storm, both the dinner and those deliveries appeared to be scratched.
Up stepped Paula Marzacola and Windy Oliver who took the initiative to prepare Thanksgiving dinner on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at the Masonic Lodge in Twin Peaks. Numerous other volunteers also stepped up to deliver those meals before the first wave of the storm hit on Wednesday.
Oliver, Maya said, has been in charge of the delivered meals for the past two years. “She took the initiative,” he added.
The Crestline-Lake Gregory Rotary Club thanked the two women and the other volunteers in a Facebook post on Wednesday, adding that, without their efforts, those who would have had no way to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal got to do so.
“It broke our hearts to think these people would be without food,” Oliver said. “It worked out perfectly – we had the exact amount of food and the right number of volunteers.”
Jack Cooperman, the vice president of Mountain Meals on Wheels, said he got a call from Oliver, telling him of the plan to cook the meals at the Masonic Lodge.
“Our recipients got a good meal,” he said. “Turkey, stuffing, corn, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, rolls and butter and pumpkin pie.”
He got calls from several recipients, Cooperman said, telling him how much they loved the meal and how grateful they were.
Oliver said they delivered 70 meals on Tuesday night.