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Avalon Manor cooks up tasty dinner for dozens

November 29, 2002|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - For Avalon Manor Health Care Center employees, preparing and delivering more than 100 Thanksgiving dinners to residents of senior and assisted living facilities in Hagerstown wasn't a problem Wednesday.

Staff members said they enjoyed lending a helping hand.

"It's just kind of our way of giving something back," Avalon Manor Director of Dietary Services Steve Allen said. "That to me is really what it's all about."

Ryan Cather, admissions and marketing director, said staff members cooked and prepared 105 Thanksgiving dinners and then planned to deliver them later Wednesday - 75 to residents of the Alexander House and 30 to those living at Holly Place.

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Alexander House is a subsidized apartment complex for senior citizens and people with disabilities. Holly Place provides 24-hour supervision and assistance to low-income senior citizens.

Cather said Hagerstown Mayor William Breichner planned to help deliver the meals.

Allen said employees had been cooking for three days straight to carry on the dinner giveaway that dates back to the 1980s. The dinners include turkey, stuffing, green beans, pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce.

Staff members cooked six turkeys for the event.

"It invites Avalon Manor into the community," Cather said.

Randy Holtry, assistant admissions director, said all the food was prepared from scratch in the kitchen at Avalon Manor.

"We just like to ensure that everyone has a traditional Thanksgiving meal," Holtry said. "This has been an overwhelmingly successful project."

Residents of Alexander House and Holly Place look forward to receiving the meals, he said.

Cather said the number of meals prepared increases every year.

In addition to the meals for Alexander House and Holly Place, Avalon Manor employees also prepared nearly 300 meals for residents of their own facility and their families.

Cather said about 80 family members of facility residents planned to eat Thanksgiving dinner at Avalon Manor.

Cather also delivered "Needy Baskets" to the Department of Social Services to be distributed to a grandmother and her two teenage granddaughters, he said.

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