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Nick keeps Christmas tradition going

December 02, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

For the 14th year, Nick Giannaris and George Turner are teaming up to provide Christmas dinner for the needy and those who might otherwise spend the holiday alone.

Giannaris said Thursday he will continue his tradition of providing a free holiday meal at his Sheraton Four Points Hotel at 1910 Dual Highway. The meal will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Christmas day.

Turner, owner of Turner's Taxi, provides free transportation to the event. The County Commuter also gives people rides.

Last year, free meals were served to 1,200 people and that number probably will be higher this year, Giannaris said.

"So many people depend on us and we can't let them down," Giannaris said.

"We don't want anyone to be alone at Christmas. And we don't want anyone to be hungry at Christmas," Turner said.

The event is his way of giving back to the community where he has lived for 39 years, Giannaris said.

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"That day is a beautiful, beautiful thing for me," he said.

Turner said his employees don't mind working on Christmas Day because it's a good cause. He has told some of them on occasion that if they don't have a good time he will pay them $100.

He hasn't had to pay up yet.

People can call the Community Action Council at 301-797-4161 for taxi reservations.

About 200-300 volunteers help out each year. Those wishing to volunteer may call the hotel at 301-790-3010.

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