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Volunteers serve up holiday cheer at dinner

November 26, 1999

Thanksgiving dinnerBy DON AINES / Staff Writer, Chambersburg

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer




WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Thanksgiving was a busman's holiday for Rick Cook, a restaurateur who spent his day off helping prepare about 200 turkey dinners for the needy, senior citizens and those who didn't want to be alone on the holiday.

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The ingredients for the Thanksgiving dinner at the Evangelical Lutheran Church, 43 S. Church St., included 10 turkeys, a couple of large hams, six gallons of sauerkraut, eight gallons of green beans, mounds of potatoes and stuffing and plenty of volunteer help, according to Cook, the owner of the John Wallace Kitchen in Waynesboro.

"It's Thanksgiving and we didn't have anywhere else to go so we came to the Lutheran Church," said Ron Grimes of Waynesboro, who was enjoying the meal with his wife, Nancy.

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John Buhrman of Waynesboro said he cooks for himself, but didn't feel like being by himself. "I don't have anybody. That's why I'm here today," he said.

Thursday's meal was free to anyone who walked through the doors, whether or not they were needy. "A lot of people come in here because they don't want to be lonely on Thanksgiving Day," said Susan Brall, the coordinator for the event.

"It's sponsored by Waynesboro Area Human Services, but it's a community effort, said Brall, who works for the social services organization.

She said her group also sponsors a Christmas dinner, food pantry and diaper bank, along with providing referral for counseling and other services.

Along with serving a hundred or more meals at the church, volunteers also prepared and delivered about 80 more meals to area homes, Brall said.

The list of more than two dozen donors for the meal included several restaurants, grocery stores, civic organizations, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

Brall said about 40 volunteers are involved in the preparation and delivery of the meals.

Marshall Shuman of Waynesboro runs the kitchen at the church, which he said has been hosting the community dinner for about 20 years. Finding volunteers has not been a problem, he said.

"We have too many people sometimes and we get in each other's way," he said.

Cook had his son Justin Cook and daughter Amanda Ferguson with him Thursday. He said he'd gotten there at about 8 a.m. to begin cooking, although he said other volunteers had come in the night before to cook the turkeys.

Although he moved out of the area three years ago, Hector Raymond of Columbus, Ohio, was lending a hand in the kitchen. He was back in town to visit family.

Dr. William and Mildred Johnson and their friends Willard and Darwin Good, all of Waynesboro, were seated together at one table. Mildred said she enjoyed not having to cook or clean up, "The only thing is you don't have leftovers to eat the rest of the week."

Brall said any leftovers would not go to waste. The extra food was going to be donated to The Lunch Place, which serves free lunches to the needy five days a week in the Faith United Methodist Church in Waynesboro.

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